HC Deb 28 January 1954 vol 522 cc1938-9
5 and 6. Mr. Warbey

asked the Minister of Education (1) whether her attention has been called to the decline in the production of new films suitable for use in schools equipped with projectors; and what steps she proposes to take to remedy the deficiency

(2) whether she will investigate the methods employed by the Governments of other countries to encourage the production of educational and scientific films, with a view to the introduction of suitable methods in this country.

Miss Horsbrugh

I am aware of the general position in this and certain other countries, and the difficult problem of new film production is one of the questions which I am at present discussing with the Governors of the Educational Foundation for Visual Aids.

Mr. Warbey

While thanking the right hon. Lady for the assurance that this matter is under discussion, may I ask her to bear in mind that thousands of schools are equipped with projectors, but have only semi-obsolete films? Will she take into account the fact that in Germany, for example, the Film Und Bild organisation receives £60,000 a year subsidy for the production of educational films? Will she speed the discussions and get the Chancellor of the Exchequer to help her in this matter?

Miss Horsbrugh

I do not know what the hon. Gentleman means by "semi-obsolete." I have seen at primary schools a good many films about animals, both domestic and wild. I do not know whether they are obsolete or not.

Mr. Snow

May I offer this suggestion to the right hon. Lady? [HON MEMBERS: "No."] I am asking a question. Would the Department make a considered survey of the suitable films available at the various institutes of other countries in London, for instance, the French Institute that have many highly suitable films that could be used by our own education authorities?

Miss Horsbrugh

That has been and is being considered. We have discussed the possibilities of getting films from such institutions as the hon. Gentleman mentioned.