HC Deb 12 December 1963 vol 686 cc549-51
17 and 18. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secbetary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development (1) if he will now initiate discussions with representatives of British film producers concerning the present difficulties in film production:

(2) in view of the danoer of unemployment in the film industry with cojsequent loss of production and exports, if he will propose to the managers of the major circuit{ emergency steps to speed up thi release of Bri|ish films in 1924.

Mr. Heath

I have already had preliminary meetijgs with deputations from the Feheration of Film Unions and from the Federation of British Film Makers. I told them that I shall shortly receive the advice of the Cinematograph Films Council which is presently considering the difficulties of the film industry and that I shall then decide what action it may be justifiable for me to take.

Mr. Swingler

Could not the right hon. Gentleman speed up this matter? Did he not hear from the independent producers that a certain aspect of this matter is really urgent, namely, that film prod action in the independent sphere may collapse unless something can be done to organise a quicker release of British fillms next year? That can be dealt with separately from the considerations of the Films Council on the question of a third circuit and reducing the dominance of the A.B.C. and Rank Organisations. Could not the right hon. Gentleman separately deal with the question of early releases next year of films already produced by independent producers and make an immediate approach to the circuits on this matter?

Mr. Heath

I am aware of the difficulties of this situation. I am looking at some of the points raised by the deputations, but both deputations were of the view that I ought to receive the advice of the Films Council, on which many of their members sit, before I finally decide on action.

Mr. Rankin

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when he is meeting the Films Council? Is it at an early date?

Mr. Heath

If I remember correctly the Films Council is having its adjourned meeting in about a week or ten days and it hopes to let me have its advice as soon as possible thereafter.

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