HC Deb 23 March 1937 vol 321 cc2751-2
63. Mr. Day

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the changes that have taken place in the cinematograph film-producing industry since the case of the Victoria Pier (Folkestone) Syndicate, Limited, versus Reeve, which was decided in 1912, with reference to the meaning of slow-burning or non-inflammable films, and the confusion among local licensing authorities as to the application of same to present-day sound films, he will consider the appointment of a departmental committee to consider these difficulties and to advise and enable him to introduce legislation to clarify the position?

Sir J. Simon

I do not think it necessary to appoint a departmental committee, as I propose to refer the question of slow-burning or non-inflammable films to an advisory committee on the Cinematograph Act, 1909, which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I are in process of constituting.

Mr. Day

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider asking the President of the Board of Trade to endeavour to clarify this provision in the Amendment that he is introducing into the Cinematograph Films Act?

6. Mr. Mathers (for Mr. R. Gibson)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the public attending cinemas in Greenock and elsewhere in Scotland have shown preference for news films produced in Britain by British-producing companies; that many cinemas in Scotland received intimation towards the end of last year that if they did not show Fox Movietone News, which is produced by America-controlled interests, these cinemas would not be enabled to book major films produced by the same interests; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure to the public in Greenock and elsewhere in Scotland the privilege of seeing the British-produced news films without financial loss to those Scottish cinemas?

Mr. Runciman

I have received no complaints of the kind suggested by the hon. and learned Member. Such a practice would appear to be connected with what is known as the block booking of films. The Departmental Committee on British Films, which reported recently, made certain recommendations regarding this practice, which are under consideration.