HC Deb 12 November 1928 vol 222 cc469-70
14. Mr. DAY

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he has now received replies to the communications addressed to the various governors of the Colonies on the subject of the introduction of legislation that would give effect to the clauses contained in the Cinematograph Films Act of 1927; whether he is in a position to give the House particulars; and which of the Colonies are introducing legislation on the subject?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Amery)

As the reply to the hon. Member's question is unavoidably long, I propose, if he sees no objection, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

Replies have now been received from Kenya, Northern Rhodesia, Uganda Protectorate, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ceylon, Jamaica, Trinidad, Windward Islands, British Honduras and Falklands. Except in the case of Trinidad and Ceylon the Governments feel that in the present circumstances the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1927, could not usefully- be embodied in local Colonial legislation. In the case of Ceylon the Executive Council consider that legislative action might be deferred for the present.

As regards Trinidad, the Governor considers that it will be desirable to introduce legislation requiring a certain proportion of British films to be exhibited in the Colony, but before taking action in the matter he has asked for particulars of the supply of British films available and of the terms on which they can be obtained, since it is understood that British films can only be purchased and not rented, and that the manager of the local film exchange is not in a position to purchase films outright.

From the replies received it would appear that stress is laid in the British West Indian Colonies generally on the difficulty of renting British films, and the matter is to be discussed at the West Indian Conference to be held in January next. In the meantime, the Board of Trade have been asked to ascertain on what terms arrangements could be made for a regular supply of British films for circulation throughout the West Indies, on the assumption that it would be found possible to introduce legislation in the various Colonies providing for the compulsory inclusion in cinematograph programmes of a moderate quota of British films.