§ 40. Mr. R. Harris
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of growing unemployment in the film industry; and if he will take steps to raise the quota of British films which must be shown in British cinemas from 30 per cent. to 50 per cent.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
There has been a small decrease in the number of persons employed in film production since the summer, but this is a normal seasonal fluctuation, and employment today is slightly higher than it was this time last year. I do not believe that to raise the quota from 30 per cent. to 50 per cent. would be in the best interests of the film industry. The first need of the industry is economic stability and other measures have been taken, including the establishment of the British Film Production Fund, to this end. There are indications that the industry is now more firmly based and has better prospects than has been the case for a considerable time.