HC Deb 15 November 1927 vol 210 cc860-7
Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

I beg to move, in page V, to leave out from the word "shown," in line 6, to the end of line 12.

I presume the right hon. Gentleman will be prepared to accept this Amendment because he has already accepted a similar proposal in regard to a previous Clause. For instance, as I have already pointed out, it would be quite impossible for the representatives of a group of people to go to Paris to see a film.

Colonel DAY

I beg to second the Amendment.


I quite agree, and I accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 7, to leave out lines 13 to 18, inclusive.

This Amendment is moved in order that the President of the Board of Trade shall not have the power to be a sort of special nuisance to anybody who has taken a special antipathy to a film. It is as well not to run any risks of this description.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

I beg to second the Amendment.

This proposal only deals with the parts of the serial film that have not been trade shown. The law will be that the first part should be shown, but the other parts need not have any visible existence in this country. I am told that these films as a rule do not alter in character, and therefore I think it is quite reasonable that this part of the Clause might be left out.


I am afraid that I cannot accept this Amendment because the general purpose of the Clause is that the films should be trade shown. The people who are primarily concerned in this business attach considerable importance to this practice being continued. If there happens to be a considerable change in the character of the film these people consider that there should be a discretion to insist upon a trade show in all cases, which, after all, is the rule of the Bill. For these reasons I cannot accept the Amendment.


I am sorry that the President of the Board of Trade cannot see his way to accept this Amendment, because the Bill puts the Government Department in a rather difficult position. The right hon. Gentleman says that he has consulted the exhibitors on this point but I would like to know which exhibitors he has consulted. We were told in Committee that, after all, the steps he was taking were being taken on the advice of all the exhibitors representing the whole of the trade. Yesterday I presented a petition signed by 900 cinema proprietors who were opposed to the Bill altogether, and under these circumstances this proposal seems to me to be placing a Government Department in a difficult position. If any common informer comes forward and says that these people ought to make a trade show, then the President of the Board of Trade must say either "yes" or "no." We had a very long discussion in Committee as to the advisability or otherwise of having this trade show, and it seems to me quite unnecessary to retain this proviso. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will now see that it is quite unnecessary to retain it.

4.0 p.m.


I think the hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension. This is a general provision referring to all serial films, and not dealing in a discriminatory manner with this or that particular kind of serial. May I add that, while I quite admit that some exhibitors are not in favour of the quota system, I do not think there is a single exhibitor in this country who does not lay the utmost stress upon the trade show.


I think the right hon. Gentleman is right in offering temporary opposition to this Amendment, in order to enable the Opposition to discover to what Amendment we are rushing next. This particular Amendment is one which certainly ought to be accepted, and which I hope the whole House will agree to accept. It deals only with serial films. I hope some Members of the House have seen a serial film. If they have seen one, I may tell them that all others are exactly the same. There is not only no change in the character of the serial film after it has started, but there is no change in the character of all serial films. They are all precisely the same; they all leave the heroine at the end of each part in the hands of the villian. Under the Bill without this proviso, the first three parts of these serials have to be trade-shown. It is no kindness to the trade to trade-show them, because they must be awfully bored with serials; but under the Bill there is the opportunity of seeing the first three of the six or eight parts, and surely that should be enough.

This proviso reserves to the Board of Trade power at any time to say, "No, we will have trade shows of every single part of this serial, because it may change its character." If it did change its character it would be all to the good, and the Board of Trade ought to encourage any such change; but in any case there can be no sufficient reason for leaving in the Bill a proviso which the Board of Trade itself knows perfectly well will never come into operation. The Board of Trade would not dream of asking that more than three of these parts should be trade-shown, and I can only say that, as has been pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Hillsborough (Mr. A. V. Alexander), if this power be left in it will leave in the hands of the Government Department the power of making invidious distinctions between the serial films produced by different firms of manufacturers. I do not think the Board of Trade ought to have any power to make any such distinction. If they could educate the public taste into doing away with these shilling shockers called "serial films," it would so much the better, but, if they do not, all that they are asking is that in certain cases they may compel these people to show what no one wants to see.

Colonel DAY

I do not quite know whether the President of the Board of Trade wants to keep in this proviso for the purpose of justifying the registration fee that we have already passed, but yesterday the right hon. Gentleman said that there was going to be a charge of £l or a guinea in respect of each portion of a serial film. It seems to me that, if he insists upon this proviso remaining in the Bill, it will be more or less a justification for his Department compelling a trade show of each portion of a. serial film. No doubt the President of

the Board of Trade or the officers of his Department who have advised him know, from their experiences of serial films, that the remark of my right hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) is quite correct, that, after you have seen the first three portions of a serial, you have practically got the idea of the whole lot. You know in what kind of photography the film is going to be produced; you also know the plot, with the exception of how the heroine is going to escape in the various episodes and the different calamities that are going to happen during the serial. I would suggest to the President of the Board of Trade that this will give the trade a lot of unnecessary trouble, and no doubt the advice he has received with regard to this Clause has been submitted to him by only a very small portion of the committee of exhibitors. The figures I gave yesterday proved, I think, to the House and to the right hon. Gentleman that the exhibitors as a whole are right against a quota system of any kind, but this only makes it more onerous, and, as the President has made use—


This does not deal with the quota; it deals with the trade show.

Colonel DAY

The trade show of the serial film. It is all very well for the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. H. Williams) to laugh, because he is in touch with the council of the Exhibitors' Association at all times, and is practically their spokesman. They themselves have told me that anything they want to get the hon. Member for Beading will propose for them. It is all very well for the hon. Member to sit there laughing, but the right hon. Gentleman knows full well that this is an unnecessary proviso, and that it is no use worrying the trade with additional Clauses which make their business very much more difficult than it already is.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 206; Noes, 131.

Division No. 332.] AYES. [4.7 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Bainlel, Lord
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir Jamts Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W. Barnett, Major Sir Richard
Albery, Irving James Astory, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Barnston, Major Sir Harry
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Atholl, Duchess of Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)
Apsley, Lord Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Bellaris, Commander Carlyon W.
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Ganzoni, Sir John Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Berry, Sir George Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Penny, Frederick George
Bethel, A. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Betterton, Henry B. Grant, Sir J. A. Perring, Sir William George
Boothby, R. J. G. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Pilditch, Sir Philip
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Greene, W. P. Crawford Power, Sir John Cecil
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Price, Major C. W. M.
Braitnwaite, Major A. N. Grotrian, H. Brent Raine, Sir Walter
Brassey, Sir Leonard Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Ramsden, E.
Briggs, J. Harold Gunston, Captain D. W. Rawson, Sir Cooper
Briscoe, Richard George Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Brittain, Sir Harry Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hammersley, S. S. Ropner, Major L.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y) Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Buchan, John Harrison, G. J. C. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Buckingham, Sir H. Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Sandeman, N. Stewart
Bullock, Captain M. Haslam, Henry C. Sanderson, Sir Frank
Burton, Colonel H. W. Hawke, John Anthony Sandon, Lord
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Savery, S. S.
Campbell, E. T. Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle) Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Henn, Sir Sydney H. Shepperson, E. W.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Skelton, A. N.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Hilton, Cecil Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Smithers, Waldron
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Chapman, Sir S. Hopkins, J. W. W. Sprot, Sir Alexander
Christie, J. A. Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities) Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Hume, Sir G. H. Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Huntingfield, Lord Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Cohen, Major J Brunel Hurst, Gerald B. Styles, Captain H. W.
Conway, Sir W. Martin Illffe, Sir Edward M. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Cooper, A. Duff Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Couper, J. B. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Templeton, W. P.
Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend) King, Commodore Henry Douglas Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Galnsbro) Knox, Sir Alfred Tinne, J. A.
Curzon, Captain Viscount Lamb, J. Q. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset. Yeovill) Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough
Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester) Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green Waddington, R.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Loder, J. de V. Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Dawson, Sir Philip Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Dean, Arthur Wellesley Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Drewe, C. Lumley, L. R. Warrender, Sir Victor
Eden, Captain Anthony MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Edmondson, Major A. J. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington) Maclntyre, Ian Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Elliot, Major Walter E. McLean, Major A. Watts, Dr. T.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M) Mac Robert, Alexander M. Wells, S. R.
Ersklne, James Malcolm Montelth Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Everard, W. Lindsay Margesson, Captain D. Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Meyer, Sir Frank Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Fanshawe, Captain G. D. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford. Lichfield)
Fermoy, Lord Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fielden, E. B. Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Womersley, W. J.
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Murchison, Sir Kenneth Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Forrest, W. Nelson, Sir Frank Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Fraser, Captain Ian Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)
Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E. Nuttall, Ellis TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Major Cope and Captain Bowyer.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro) Charleton, H. C. Greenall, T.
Ammon, Charles George Cluse, W. S. Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)
Attlee, Clement Richard Connolly, M. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Baker, Waiter Cove, W. G. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Grundy, T. W.
Barnes, A. Dalton, Hugh Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)
Batey, Joseph Davies. Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)
Bondfield, Margaret Day, Colonel Harry Hardie, George D.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Duncan, C. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon
Broad, F. A. Dunnlco, H. Hayday, Arthur
Bromfield, William Fenby, T. D. Hayes, John Henry
Bromley, J. Gardner, J. P. Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)
Brown, James (Ayr and Butt) Gibbins. Joseph Henderson, T. (Glasgow)
Buchanna, G. Glllett, George M. Hirst, G. H.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Oliver, George Harold Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Hore-Bellsha, Leslie Owen, Major G. Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)
Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Palin, John Henry Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Paling, W. Thorne, W. (West Ham Plaistow)
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Thurtle, Ernest
John, William (Rhondda, West) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Tinker, John Joseph
Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Ponsonby, Arthur Townend, A. E.
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Potts, John S. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Kelly, w. T. Ritson, J. Viant, S. P.
Kennedy, T. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Wallhead, Richard C.
Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)
Kirkwood, D. Rose, Frank H. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Lansbury, George Salter, Dr. Alfred Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Lawrence, Susan Scrymgeour, E. Wellock, Wilfred
Lee, F. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Welsh, J. C.
Lindley, F. W. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Westwood, J.
Lowth, T. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Wiggins, William Martin
Lunn, William Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Wilkinson, Ellen C.
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Sitch, Charles H. Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Mackinder, W. Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighiey) Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
MacLaren, Andrew Snail, Harry Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
MacNeill-Weir, L. Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Stamford, T. W. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
March, S. Stephen, Campbell Wright, W.
Maxton, James Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Montague, Frederick Sullivan, J TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Sutton, J. E. Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
Naylor, T. E. Taylor, R. A. Whiteley.