HC Deb 08 February 1967 vol 740 cc1627-8
9. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the cost to public funds of the production of the film "The Private Right".

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

I regret that I cannot give details of individual transactions between the National Film Finance Corporation and its customers. There will, of course, be no cost to public funds for this particular film if it is a commercial success and if the loan is repaid in full.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Will the hon. Gentleman not cloud the issue, as his right hon. Friend did on the last occasion, by talking about censorship but face the question what value to the public is obtained by financing a film which shows members of Her Majesty's Forces acting in a wholly outrageous manner for which there is no justification in fact?

Mr. Mallalieu

I have seen this film. It does not do any such thing. The objection, I think, which the right hon. Gentleman is raising is about a torture scene in which an Englishman was present. He is not a soldier, he is not in uniform, and he has not had a haircut for about 10 weeks. He is obviously a civilian.

Mr. Whitaker

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this film, which I also have seen, clearly states that it is a work of fiction, and that it is a work of exceptional merit, being the only British film chosen at the London Film Festival? Will my hon. Friend agree that it is the Corporation's business to develop films of merit and talent and not to succumb to interference by busybodying meddlers?

Mr. Mallalieu

I think that the young director and producer of the film shows exceptional talent and is exactly the sort of man who should be encouraged by the National Film Finance Corporation.