HC Deb 09 November 1954 vol 532 cc1020-1
17. Mr. Swingler

asked the President of the Board of Trade to make a statement on the constitution and membership of the statutory committee to which film producers who fail to secure a circuit booking may appeal, stating, in particular, how many of the members of this committee are also members of the Cinematograph Films Council; and what sections of the industry they represent thereon.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Henry Strauss)

I assume that the hon. Member refers to the Selection Committee which is appointed by the Board of Trade to advise them whether a film, in respect of which an application has been made to the Board to make a direction under Section 5 (2) of the Cinematograph Films Act, 1948, is suitable for exhibition as a first-feature film by reason of its entertainment value. I will, with permission, circulate the names of the members in the OFFICIAL REPORT. They include the Chairman and two members of the Cinematograph Films Council.

Mr. Swingler

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman reconsider the constitution and the personnel of this committee? Is it not a fact that on this committee, appointed by the Minister, are two gentlemen who represent the sectional interests of the exhibitors on the Films Council, whereas there is no representation of either the producers or the unions in the industry? Is it not entirely wrong that the sectional interests of the exhibitors should be represented on this committee but that no other sectional interest of the industry should be represented?

Mr. Strauss

It is clearly desirable that there should be some representation of the exhibitors.

Mr. Swingler

If there is such representation, should not some representatives of the other sections on the Cinematograph Films Council also be added to the committee, instead of all the sectional representatives coming from one interest?

Mr. Strauss

Without accepting the hon. Member's description of the Committee, I shall be glad to consider his comments.

Mr. Wyatt

Is the Minister not aware that recently this committee rejected a film for first-feature showing, although a member of the committee subsequently booked the film for one of the circuits which he represented?

Mr. Strauss

I have no such knowledge.

Following are the names:

The members of the Committee are as follows:

Mr. S. C. Roberts has agreed to be Chairman in succession to Lord Drogheda, whom he has also succeeded as the independent Chairman of the Cinematograph Films Council. Messrs. Bernstein and Hinge are also members of the Cinematograph Films Council on which they represent exhibitors.

Forward to