HC Deb 07 December 1911 vol 32 cc1578-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the recent refusal of a licence by the Lord Chamberlain's office of two short plays by Mr. Lawrence Cowen; whether he is aware that Mr. Cowen, before submitting the plays finally on 17th November, deleted certain lines to which the licenser of plays had taken exception; whether, notwithstanding this, a licence is still withheld; and whether the Government still adhere to their intention to take no action with regard to the existing arrangements respecting the dramatic censorship?


I am informed that the plays in question were submitted to the Lord Chamberlain, after certain alterations had been made in passages to which the Examiner of Plays had called special attention. On receiving the plays the Lord Chamberlain immediately forwarded them to the Advisory Board which unanimously advised that they should not be licensed. Licences were refused accordingly. I do not think that this incident shows any cause for action on the part of the Government.


Is it not the case that one of the plays to which a licence has been refused in this instance was simply one act out of a play which had already been licensed?


I am not aware whether the play has been licensed before, but, having had the misfortune to read the play, I should regret extremely if it had ever been licensed.