HC Deb 18 February 1971 vol 811 cc2112-3
29. Sir R. Thompson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has now completed his consideration of the problems raised by the abuse of Section 5 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952; and if he will now introduce amending legislation.

Mr. Carlisle

This problem raises some difficult issues and the examination of these has not yet been completed.

Sir R. Thompson

Does my hon. Friend realise that Section 5 is being used for purposes which were never intended by Parliament? In his further consideration of these matters will he turn a deaf ear to the raucous clamour of the permissive society and, instead, pay heed to the expressed wish of the silent majority of our people?

Mr. Carlisle

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend in that I believe that it is clear that Section 5 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 is not in practice being carried out in the way intended by Parliament, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that there are difficulties when one is dealing with private clubs and the question whether censorship should exist.

Mr. Ford

Is the Gentleman aware of a notable phrase coined by one of my hon. Friends that "one man's porn is another man's corn"? Is he also aware that there is no satisfactory legal definition of "pornographic", that these are largely matters of taste, and that individuals should be left to decide such matters for themselves?

Mr. Carlisle

I am aware that it is a matter of taste and of the fact that people are not required to go to these clubs if they do not wish to do so. Nevertheless, I should be failing in my duty if I did not repeat again what I said on an earlier Question—that I appreciate that there is public concern about certain things which are happening.