HC Deb 22 February 1955 vol 537 cc1045-6
15. Mr. F. M. Bennett

asked the President of the Board of Trade the duration of the current Anglo-American Films Agreement.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Until 24th September, 1955, unless renewed.

Mr. Bennett

As, under present arrangements, 70 per cent. of all films shown over here are American, while of films shown in America only 1 per cent. are British, does not my right hon. Friend think that is too great a disparity, even taking into account the difference in size between the two national industries; and when the time comes to negotiate a new agreement, will he do his best to impress on our American friends the need for a greater degree of reciprocity than has been shown up to now?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I much appreciate what my hon. Friend has in mind, but he will recognise that the exhibitors are separate from the producers and those with whom we are negotiating these Agreements, but I am not unsympathetic to the views he has expressed.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Can the President of the Board of Trade say why dollar expenditure on this import, much of which is second rate, is going on at a time when our gold and dollar reserves are going down, our imports are excessive, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer is very worried about the whole situation?

Mr. Thorneycroft

Largely because a lot of people like to see these American films.

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