HC Deb 13 July 1959 vol 609 c25
34. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reasons led him to advise that the film, Carlton-Browne of the Foreign Office, was unsuitable to be shown at the Moscow Film Festival.

Mr. Profumo

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the Written Answer my hon. Friend gave on 6th July to a similar Question by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler).

Mr. Rankin

I read that reply with interest, and I note that the hon. Gentleman agrees that this was an excellent piece of satire which he feared the Russians might not appreciate. Since when have the Foreign Office become film censors? In any event, are not Burgess and Maclean now sufficiently qualified to enable the Russians to appreciate our various figures of speech?

Mr. Profumo

I am glad of the opportunity of making quite plain to the House that my Department did not, in fact, prohibit the showing of the film. The film industry selection committee asked my Department for an opinion, and it was told that we doubted whether the film would be good festival material. I have seen the film, and I am bound to admit that I laughed a great deal. On the other hand, it pokes fun at the Russians, and they might have thought it was "Volga".