HC Deb 29 November 1938 vol 342 cc244-5
56. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he will state the position and membership of the Joint Films Committee; the work it has accomplished up to the present time; and the general nature of the films which it is desired to have shown at the New York World's Fair?

Mr. R. S. Hudson (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

The Joint Committee on Films of the British Council and the Travel and Industrial Development Association of Great Britain and Ireland was set up in 1936 for the purpose of centralising the activities of the two bodies in making this country better known abroad through the medium of films. The British Council and the Travel Association, and the British Film Institute are represented on the committee as also the Foreign Office, the Post Office, and the Department of Overseas Trade. The work of the committee is concerned with the circulation abroad of documentary and other films. The committee acts as a clearing house for information concerning the source of supply of such films in this country and, since its inception, has been instrumental in arranging displays of films in 69 countries. The committee has been requested to coordinate the selection of films to be shown in the cinema of the British pavilion at the New York World's Fair and in this connection it is in close consultation with the United Kingdom film industry. It is proposed that feature films, news reels and documentary films shall all be represented in these programmes.

Mr. Mander

Will the Minister bear in mind the great importance of showing as many British documentary films as possible indicating the successful way in which social reform, such as housing, has been dealt with in this country?

Mr. Hudson

What I am chiefly bearing in mind is the importance of making a really good show in New York.

Mr. Gallacher

In showing films of Bonnie Scotland, will the right hon. Gentleman also show the slums of Bonnie Scotland?