HC Deb 02 November 1937 vol 328 cc707-9
13 and 14. Mr. George Griffiths

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) how many convictions have been registered against large cinema combines during this year for evasion of the quota regulations; which company has been the biggest offender; and whether such an offence or series of offences will disqualify a member of the company from acting on the Films Advisory Committee;

(2) whether he will call for the resignation from the Films Advisory Committee of the representative of a leading cinema company which has been convicted several times for offences against the quota regulation?

Mr. Stanley

Associated 13ritish Cinemas, Limited, is the only large cinema circuit which has been convicted for defaults under Part III of the Cinematograph Films Act, 1927, in respect of the exhibitors' quota year ended 30th September, 1936. In the case of two out of the three convictions, notice of appeal has been lodged. There is no provision of the Act under which a member of the Cinematograph Films Advisory Committee is disqualified from membership in these circumstances, and although I have observed these convictions I have at present nothing to add to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer) on 29th July last.

Mr. T. Williams

As the person referred to is a member of the Advisory Committee representing producers, can the Minister say whether there is any justifiable reason for his breaking the quota regulations? Further, may I ask whether this particular person has been consistently advising His Majesty's Government on this question?

Mr. Stanley

As I have said, this particular person is a member of the committee. With regard to asking me to express an opinion on a particular case, I would point out that the two cases are under appeal and, therefore, I am not in a position to express an opinion.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Will the Minister see that if this appeal fails, this person is no longer on the Advisory Committee advising other folk to do something which he is not doing himself?

Mr. Stanley

As I said in my answer, there is no provision under the present Act for disqualification on these grounds, but I would point out that the Act comes to an end next spring, and new arrangements will be necessary under the new Act.

Mr. Day

Did this company avail itself of the provisions of the Act which give an opportunity to apply for an exemption certificate as regards the quota provisions?

Mr. Stanley

I am afraid I could not answer that question, but the fact remains that the company did not get an exemption certificate, and were therefore subject to the quota.

Sir A. Wilson

Is the Minister aware that no member of the advisory committee can sit upon an application in which he is interested?

Mr. Stanley

That is the case.

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