The Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) (Amendment) Bill had its committee stage, the first chance for detailed line-by-line examination, in the Lords on Wednesday 12 June.
This is a private member's bill. A private member's bill is a type of public bill (that affects the public). Private members' bills must go through the same set of procedures as other public bills.
As no changes were suggested to the bill, a motion was agreed to that both committee and report stages be dispensed with and that the bill progress directly to third reading. This procedure is known as ‘order of commitment discharged’.
Third reading, a chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, is yet to be scheduled.
Lords second reading: Thursday 9 May
Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury (Conservative), the bill's sponsor in the Lords, opened the debate.
Members discussed a range of subjects, including the issue of determining a cultural item's origin and whether museums should label artefacts as stolen property, the principles of the 1998 Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets and a proposal for pan-European co-operation in locating 'looted' property of the Nazi era.
Government whip Viscount Younger of Leckie (Conservative) responded on behalf of the government.
Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) (Amendment) Bill summary
This bill aims to:
- prevent the expiration of the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009 on 11 November 2019 and ensure its indefinite continuation
- confer powers on museums and galleries to return certain cultural objects lost during the Nazi era under recommendations made by the Spoliation Advisory Panel.