HC Deb 13 May 1971 vol 817 cc606-7
25. Sir R. Thompson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is now in a position to announce his proposals for the reform of Section 5 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sharples

The proposals, on which my right hon. Friend is about to carry out consultations would require the control by cinema licensing authorities of all film exhibitions which are publicly advertised or for which admission charges are made, unless the charges are confined to members of a club enrolled as such at least 24 hours previously; and would also involve applying the law of obscenity to all film exhibitions which are not controlled by licence.

Sir R. Thompson

I express my partial satisfaction at that rather qualified reply. Does my hon. Friend think that he is going far enough and moving fast enough in this matter? I first raised it in the House about ten months ago and progress since then seems to have been purely at the level of consultation. Can we have effective action?

Mr. Sharpies

I make no excuses for the progress which has been made. These steps are fairly far reaching and it is right that there should first be consultation with the trade and others concerned. Bringing film clubs within the application of the law of obscenity is a far-reaching step.