HC Deb 25 February 1957 vol 565 c836
11. Sir L. Plummer

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will consult the heads of the Government information services with a view to establishing a national film unit.

Dr. Hill

The present system under which the Central Office of Information commissions the production of films by documentary and newsreel film companies is working satisfactorily. Under it, 376 reels were completed in 1956.

Sir L. Plummer

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the Crown Film Unit, which was disbanded by the Conservative Government in 1951, did an absolutely splendid job for British prestige, that the disbanding of it did a good deal of harm and that we lost a great number of technicians? Do not present circumstances demand that a co-ordinated body like this should be re-formed without delay?

Dr. Hill

I agree with the tribute the hon. Gentleman paid to the Crown Film Unit, but the existing arrangement under which the services of the documentary film industry as a whole are used—for example, contracts are entered into with 24 companies—is one which I believe in general secures that the full resources of a specialised industry are made available.

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