Home Archives & Manuscripts Archive Contents COMMITTEE ON THE EXPORT OF WORKS OF ART ETC. (A81)

Correspondence and papers. 1951-3.

The Committee was appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Oct. 1950 ‘to consider and advise on the policy to be adopted by His Majesty’s Government in controlling the export of works of art, books, manuscripts, armour and antiques and to recommend what arrangements should be made for the practical operation of the policy.’ The Right Hon. the Viscount Waverley (John Anderson, 1882-1958) was appointed Chairman. On 13 Nov. 1952 Council set up a committee to make recommendations on possible action arising from the Report (/2/1 below) (see Council minutes, CM/82/2, Item 8). The Officers, Miss B.M. Blackwood, H.J. Braunholtz, and Dr G.H.S. Bushnell were appointed to the Committee. See also Council minutes, CM/80/6, Item 11.

 1/    1951

  1    R.L.S. Bruce-Mitford, Secretary for the President & Council of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Feb. 1951 – ‘Written Evidence submitted to the Anderson Committee by the Society of Antiquaries of London’. 8 leaves (tp.)

  2    H.J. Braunholtz to W.B. Fagg, RAI Hon. Secretary, 27 Feb. – asks him to return papers to Bruce-Mitford, who would like a memo from the RAI (autogr.)

  3    W.B. Fagg to A.E.L. Parnis, Secretary to the Anderson Committee, 1 Mar. – sets out RAI’s principles: (1) That all objects considered by the responsible experts to be of national importance should be liable to control …; (2) That the decision whether a given piece is to be classed as of national importance should be taken on its merits and not influenced by extraneous financial or other circumstances …; (3) … regulations should not be so drafted as to exclude what we may perhaps call the ‘contemporary antique’ …; (4) That the needs of science are just as valid for this purpose as those of fine art; refers to work of Committee promoting the Museum of English Life; encloses some documents relating to the project [probably including ‘A scheme for the development of a museum of English life and traditions’; see A59/16/3]. 2 leaves (tp.)

  4    Ibid. 2 leaves (mimeo. copy)

  5    Ibid. 2 leaves (autogr. draft)

  6    A.E.L. Parnis to W.B. Fagg, 2 Mar. – sorry that RAI not invited to give evidence, but there is plenty of time; Committee is only considering written evidence; if he is to circulate the letter, asks for further copies of ‘the Scheme’ [see A81/1/3] (tp. with autogr. notes
  7    Minutes of Executive Committee meeting held 20 Mar. 1951 [EM/80/6], item 4, Anderson Committee. 3 leaves (tpc. with autogr. annotations by W.B. Fagg)

  8    W.B. Fagg to A.E.L. Parnis, 16 Apr. – reports Council has considered in detail its views on the export of antiquities; letter of 1 Mar. provisional; asks for present letter to be substituted for earlier one. 3 pages (tp.)

 .1    Ibid., first paragraph (autogr. draft with autogr. note by Felicia Stallman, Administrative Secretary)

  9    Norah R. Witham, Personal Assistant to A.E.L. Parnis, to W.B. Fagg, 19 Apr. – acknowledges his letter; Mr Parnis away until 30 Apr. (tp.)

 10    A.E.L. Parnis to ibid., 17 May – will lay his letter before the Committee as soon as possible (tp.)

 11    [W.B. Fagg?] to H.J. Braunholtz, 12 June – on record of meeting on 25 Apr.; raises two points relating to Nigerian artefacts, the British Museum, and the Nigerian Government (tpc.)

 12    The Times, 8 Aug. – ‘Export of Works of Art’ (newspaper cutting)

 13    Ibid. – another article on the same subject (newspaper cutting)

 14    W.B. Fagg, nd – rough notes (autogr.)

 2/    1952

  1    Report of the Committee, London, HMSO, 1952

  2    Secretary to the Officers to Dr G.H.S. Bushnell, Curator, Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge University, 28 Nov. – notifying him of his appointment to the Committee; gives names of other members (tpc.)

 3/    1953

  1    Draft letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer by H.J. Braunholtz and W.B. Fagg    4 leaves (autogr. by WBF)

  2    Ibid by H.J. Braunholtz (autogr., annotated by WBF)

  3    Ibid by H.J. Braunholtz and WBF. 3 leaves (tpc., with correction by WBF)

  4    Ibid (tp., heavily emended by J.P. Mills, President)

  5    J.P. Mills to RAI, 9 Jan. – covering letter to emended draft (/4 above) (autogr.)
  6    President, RAI to Chancellor of the Exchequer, 14 Jan. 3 pages (tpc.)

  7    Memorandum on the Report by the Council for British Archaeology, 24 Feb. 4pp (mimeo.)

  8    President, Council for British Archaeology (D.B. Harden) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer – covering letter to Memorandum (/7 above) (tpc.)

  9    Memorandum on the Report by the Society of Antiquaries, 6 May. 6 leaves (tpc.)

 10    Secretary, Society of Antiquaries (R.L.S. Bruce-Mitford) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer – covering letter to Memorandum (/9 above) (tpc.)

From the W.B. Fagg Papers, July 1992.