HC Deb 26 January 1960 vol 616 cc99-101
The Solicitor-General

I beg to move, in page 10, line 4, at the end to insert: but nothing in this Act shall affect the operation, in relation to films registered before the year nineteen hundred and sixty-one, of subsection (2) of section eight of the Cinematograph Films Act, 1957 (which applies section twenty-five of the Act of 1938 for the purpose of determining whether a film is a British film)". The object of the Amendment is to ensure that films registered as British before 1st January, 1961, and which up to that time will be eligible for a share of the film levy, should continue to be so eligible. As a result of Clauses 6 to 9 and certain other provisions in the Bill which are to come into force on 1st January, 1961, the condition laid down in Section 25 of the 1938 Act with which the film must comply before it can be registered as a British film will be altered. Also, by virtue of Clause 18, subsections (2) and (3), of this Bill, all references to Section 25 will in future be construed as references to it as then amended by this Bill.

For the purpose of Section 3 of the Cinematograph Films Act, 1957, which is concerned with the distribution to makers of British films by the British Film Fund Agency of the proceeds of the levy on exhibitors, Section 8 of that Act defines a British film by reference to Section 25 of the 1938 Act. So the House will immediately see that unless a saving provision is written into the Bill the only films which will qualify as British for the purpose of the levy after 1st January, 1961, will be those which comply with the test laid down by Section 25 as amended. That might mean that certain films which are at present drawing levy would be unable to continue to do so, and, as I said, the Amendment saves those films registered as British before 1st January, 1961, which passed the old tests laid down for a British film but not the new.

Mrs. White

All I wish to say is that if ever an example was needed for consolidating legislation, I think we have it before us in this Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. J. Rodgers

I beg to move, in page 10, line 9, to leave out subsection (5) and to insert: (5) This Act shall come into force on the first Sunday falling after the expiration of one month beginning with the day on which this Act is passed; except that—

  1. (a) sections twelve to sixteen, the First Schedule, and Part I and paragraphs 10 and 11 of the Second Schedule shall come into force on the first day of October nineteen hundred and sixty; and
  2. (b) sections six to nine and eleven, paragraphs 8, 14 and 15 of the Second Schedule, and so much of the Third Schedule as relates to section forty-four of the Act of 1938, shall come into force on the first day of January, nineteen hundred and sixty-one.
This Amendment proposes that certain parts of the Bill, including Clauses 12, 13 and 16, and Part I and paragraph 10 of the Second Schedule, should come into operation on 1st October, 1960. This is consequential on the substitution of playing time for length in Clause 16. It has proved necessary because the earliest possible period for which the Board of Trade can prescribe by regulation and supply to exhibitors new quota return books making reference to playing time is the quota period beginning on 1st October, 1960. To avoid a multiplicity of regulations it has been decided to bring other parts of the Bill into force from 1st October, 1960, namely, Clause 14, dealing with quarterly exhibitors' licences, and Clause 15 dealing with fees, together with the First Schedule and paragraph 11 of the Second Schedule which are consequential.

Following representations from trade interests it has also been decided that it would be right and convenient that Clauses 9 and 11 dealing with the credit titles and the use of old material, as well as paragraphs 8 and 14 of the Second Schedule, should come into force on 1st January, 1961, along with the other Clauses which affect the eligibility of films for British quota registration and of which producers require long notice. In addition, it is proposed that paragraph 15 of the Second Schedule, which makes a minor change in the definition of a trade show and which can conveniently be dealt with by regulation effective from 1st January, 1961, should also come into force on that date.

Three main groups emerge from this Amendment: firstly, the provisions affecting newsreels, co-productions and the relief and exemption arrangements as well as a number of minor points all of which can conveniently be put into operation as soon as possible; secondly, a group of provisions primarily affecting exhibitors which will entail new regulations and which will be introduced at the beginning of the next quota year, namely, 1st October, 1960; and finally, the provisions affecting the eligibility of films for British quota registration, of which, in fairness to producers, long notice must be given. These will come into force on 1st January, 1961.

I hope that this will commend itself to the House as a sensible arrangement which will be for the convenience of the trade.

Amendment agreed to.