HC Deb 15 December 1938 vol 342 cc2171-2
61. Mr. Mander

asked the Home Secretary the present position with regard to non-inflammable films and the conditions under which they may be shown in this country?

Sir S. Hoare

The Cinematograph Act which gives local authorities power to enforce conditions as to the exhibition of films applies only to inflammable films. The question has arisen whether slow-burning films are or are not subject to this Act, and whether in any case the exhibition of such films ought not for safety and other purposes to be subject to some control by the local authorities. I have asked the Cinematograph Advisory Committee to consider the question.

Mr. Mander

In view of the anxiety which is felt upon this subject, will the Home Secretary be good enough to give the House an assurance that there is no question of introducing any form of censorship in connection with these films?

Mr. Pilkington

Has not the hon. Member himself been defending very inflammable films?

Sir S. Hoare

I have told the hon. Member that I have referred this question to the Cinematograph Advisory Committee, and they will consider all the issues concerned.

Mr. Mander

Is it not clear from that answer that this committee has actually under consideration the possibility of some form of censorship?

Sir S. Hoare

No, Sir, I would not say that, but if the hon. Member puts down a specific question about censorship I will see if I can give him a fuller answer.

Mr. Lawson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in many areas there is a suspicion, that instead of these matters being decided upon the question of inflammable or non-inflammable films, it is simply a question of censorship?

Sir S. Hoare

In regard to any question for which I am responsible there is no Government censorship of any kind.

Mr. Day

Will regard be had to the fact that there is no power of control over slow-burning films.

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