HC Deb 24 July 1939 vol 350 cc1024-5
78. Mr. Wakefield

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that at the present time permits are only granted by his Department and the police authorities to a limited number of news-reel companies to take films of important public events; and whether he will take steps to ensure that the resultant films are available for exhibition to all interests which are prepared to pay the usual price and that there is no restriction, as now, on the distribution of the films for exhibition in places not approved by the principal cinematograph interests in this country?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Peake)

Neither the Home Office nor Scotland Yard have any authority to issue permits for the taking of films. My hon. Friend probably has in mind the cards, similar to those given to the Press, which the Commissioner of Police gives to the representatives of news-reel companies. These cards, which are merely a means of identification to enable the police to give such assistance as is proper, are, I understand, issued to all the main companies. In reply to the second part of the question, my right hon. Friend has no power to interfere in the distribution of films, which is entirely a matter for the proprietors.