HC Deb 06 July 1954 vol 529 cc1951-2
17. Mr. Wyatt

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the recent attack made by Mr. Sam Eckman, an American national, on the British film industry, he will not reappoint Mr. Eckman to the Cinematograph Films Council.

Mr. H. Strauss

I cannot yet say who will be appointed to the Cinematograph Films Council when the terms of office of the present members expire, but my right hon. Friend would not regard a representative of one section of the film industry as unsuitable solely on the ground that he had criticised another section.

Mr. Wyatt

Is not the Minister aware that Mr. Eckman attacked the Eady Fund and said that the film industry ought not to contribute any more to it from the remission of taxation which they have recently been given; that he has come into full conflict with the British Film Producers' Association representing the producers, and that in any case he represents an American film company? Would it not be a good idea to have only British subjects on the British Film Council?

Mr. Strauss

I am aware that Mr. Eckman has published a controversial article on the merits of which I am expressing no view whatever. I would, however, refer the hon. Member to Section 41 of the Cinematograph Films Act, 1938, from which it will be seen that it is the duty of my right hon. Friend to appoint representatives from various sections of the industry.

Sir H. Butcher

Has not the gentleman in question brought to his duties an expert knowledge of the film industry and a great friendship for this country?