HC Deb 31 October 1939 vol 352 cc1750-1
78. Mr. Hannah

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of widespread unemployment in the film industry; and will he give an undertaking that the existing quota regulations will on no account be relaxed?

80. Sir Ralph Glyn

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Government's policy of requisitioning a large number of English film studios for storage purposes has had the effect of throwing out of work so large a number of persons previously employed in film production that there is now scarcely a film in production; and as Treasury restrictions limit the amount of money which American producers can take out of the country, and thus the number of films they are likely to send, will he convene a conference of the British film producers in order to ensure that there shall be no shortage of films for the entertainment of the public?

Mr. Stanley

I am aware that since the outbreak of war there has been considerable unemployment in the film industry but I do not think that this is due to the requisitioning of floor space in British studios for storage purposes. I hope soon to be able to make a statement on the special arrangements required to meet war-time conditions. I can assure my hon. Friends that in considering this question I am fully alive to the importance both of maintaining an adequate supply of films and of seeing that full use is made of the available facilities for film production in this country. As I have already informed the House, the Cinematograph Films Act, 1938, is still in force and its quota provisions will not be modified without consultation with all sections of the industry, and unless some other arrangements are made which will give at least equivalent opportunities for the production of films in this country.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Will the right hon. Gentleman expedite his decision on the films quota, which is causing a great deal of worry to the film industry itself and throwing a great many people out of work in consequence?

Mr. Stanley

I have just said, as I have said previously, that the film quota is in force and that it will not be modified without consultation with the industry, and unless I am satisfied that some alternative equally good from the point of view of production in this country can be put in its place.

Mr. Leonard

Will the Minister consult the Advisory Committee?

Mr. Stanley

I intend to do so.