HL Deb 16 April 1970 vol 309 cc561-80

3.25 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Report be now received.

Moved, That the Report be now received.—(Baroness Phillips.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Clause 6 [Extension of objects of British Film Fund Agency]:

LORD STRABOLGI moved Amendment No. 1: Page 3, line 43, leave out (" to ") and insert (" towards the costs to be incurred by ").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this Amendment is the same as the Amendment I put down in Committee. I have ventured to put it down again because my noble friend Lady Phillips was good enough to say that she would look into the point that I raised. I shall not weary the House by repeating the arguments that I developed in Committee, and will confine my remarks to the fact that the Amendment deals with the running costs of the National Film School. The original intention of the Government was that these running costs should be met entirely by the cinema exhibitors, through the so-called Eady levy. This was resolutely opposed by all the main bodies of the film industry, not only by the exhibitors but also by the producers and most of the other bodies.

During the passage of the Bill through the other place, and also through this House, it was increasingly recognised that this School should also be financed by other bodies who would derive equal benefit from it. Graduates from the School would work not only in the film industry, but also in television, and it was recognised that the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. should also be asked to help with the finance. The Government agreed to this and very wisely redrafted the sub-section concerned, with vastly improved wording, and it was passed by your Lord-ships during the Committee stage.

However, I am still not happy in the redrafted subsection (1)(d) of Clause 6 with the word " to", and than is why I am proposing this Amendment. To my mind the words, with the approval of the Board of Trade, payments to not more than one body mean that the entire costs will come from the Eady levy, while the words in my Amendment, towards the costs to be incurred by mean that only part of the costs need come from the Eady levy, and the rest will come from the other bodies after the Government have consulted with them through the Cinematograph Films Council. As I have said, my noble friend very kindly agreed to look into this matter, and I feel sure that she will be able either to meet me in this or to explain what the wording of the clause means. My Lords, I beg to move.


My Lords, the noble Lord is clearly concerned that nothing should be done which might imply that the running costs of the National Film School should or could be met entirely from the levy. As I said during the debate on Committee stage, in making their recommendation about financial support for the National Film School the Cinematograph Films Council said that they considered it would be wrong for the annual cost of the School to be met entirely out of the British Film Fund. They took the view that the B.B.C. and the independent television companies, who would employ graduates from the School, should also contribute to its annual cost. The Bill in the form in which we now have it before us will make it obligatory on the part of the Board of Trade to consult the Cinematograph Films Council before any payment is made.

I have already given assurances that this consultation would always take place, even had the provision for consultation been omitted from the Bill. I feel sure that we can rely on the Council to take full account of points such as those which have been made in this House when considering what their advice to the Board of Trade should be regarding the amount of any payment. The Council have already made it clear that in their view it would be wrong for the annual cost of the School to be met entirely out of the British Film Fund, and I hope that I may suggest that the noble Lord's point in moving this Amendment is already met. On those grounds alone, I would invite him to withdraw it.

As regards the Amendment itself, I am advised that it does not achieve what the noble Lord has in mind. It does not have the effect of earmarking the payments to the cost of running the School, which is what he wants; nor does it certainly ensure that the Film School will not be maintained wholly from the levy. I can give the noble Lord an assurance that it is the intention of the Government that payments will be approved by the Board of Trade only to meet the running costs of the School, and that the running costs will not be wholly met from the levy. As I have made clear, the noble Lord need have no fears on this score, and I hope that perhaps he will see his way clear to withdraw the Amendment.


My Lords I am very grateful to my noble friend. In view of the assurances which she has given, which I am sure will be welcomed throughout the film industry, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 15 [Applicant for registration of film to give certain statutory under-taking]:

3.32 p.m.

BARONESS PHILLIPS moved Amendment No. 2: Leave out Clause 15.

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, at the Committee stage an Amendment was agreed to and is now included in the Bill as Clause 15. I hope noble Lords will bear with me if, in moving this further Amendment, I have to repeat some of the things I said at the earlier stage. I am not certain that all of your Lordships were present at that time. I should like first of all to say that there is a very wide sympathy for the principles which motivated the noble Lord, Lord Willis—and indeed other noble Lords who had similar Amendments down—in moving the inclusion of the clause; and also, of course, for those who supported him. But this Bill is not the proper place for such a measure, nor is the time right for the inclusion in our legislation of the principles envisaged. In the earlier debate I explained that, while great sympathy was expressed for the worthy objects of the Archive, the preservation of copies of films which are made is the responsibility of the British Film Institute, of which the National Film Archive is a part, and Ministerial responsibility rests with the right honourable lady the Minister of State for the Arts. For those reasons alone, therefore, the Bill before us is not the proper place for legislation of this kind.

Quite apart from that, noble Lords might like to know or be reminded that just about a year ago a Bill was introduced in another place which had as its object the provision of legislation the effect of which, if enacted, would have been very much the same as the present clause is designed to achieve. That Bill was not given a Second Reading, and it was said during the debate that the British Film Institute, and therefore the National Film Archive, is financed almost entirely by a grant from Government sources. The grant to the British Film Institute has been increased from £100,000 in 1963–64 to £625,000 in the current financial year, and the Archive itself has benefited substantially from this grant. For example, the Government have pro-vided £64,000 for new vaults, opened in 1968, and this year the Institute's grant includes £29,000 for further vaults and £37,000 for the duplication of nitrate film.

The right honourable lady further said that in a more favourable economic climate this was one measure which the Government would like to see on the Statute Book. I know that there are many pressures on money available for the Arts—your Lordships do not need to be reminded of this—and, as the right honourable lady indicated a year ago, it is a question of priorities. But it would be wrong to allow a provision to become embodied in legislation which involved the provision of public funds which the Department concerned is unable to pro-vide. I recognise that Clause 15 intends that the existing procedure, whereby films are offered to the Archive, will continue. These offers are made voluntarily, and the Archive receives many copies of films without cost to itself—an arrangement which can and should continue. However, much as we recognise the principle behind this provision, and however greatly we regret the necessity for doing so, for the reasons given I cannot support the inclusion of the clause in the Bill, and I sincerely ask noble Lords to accept my Amendment to remove it. I beg to move Amendment No. 2.


My Lords, I find myself in a rather curious situation to-day with regard to this Amendment, because little more than a week ago your Lordships' Committee, by a substantial majority, passed my Amendment and included this clause in the Bill. A number of other equally reasonable Amendments which I and other noble Lords put up were rejected, and the Government refused to budge one inch towards what were considered in the industry, never mind by your Lordships, as being perfectly reasonable Amendments. On this particular Amendment, which was perhaps the most reasonable of all, the Government opposed it, but in this case your Lordships' Committee passed it and this clause is now included in this legislation. Now this House, which is supposed to be established for the benefit of having second thoughts, is being asked to have third thoughts.

My Lords, the argument is that this Bill is not the place for this particular clause. In my view, that is nonsense. The fact is that this Bill deals with questions like the Eady levy and the money going from that levy to the British Film Institute. The British Film Institute is in fact largely run on funds from the Eady levy, which is mentioned in this Bill; and in any one year the acquisition of films for the Archive—the pure acquisition, which is mentioned here—would cost the British Film Institute something like £8,000 to £10,000 at the maximum. It is perfectly reasonable, therefore, that this clause should be included in this Bill as a stipulation to the British Film Institute.

However, it may be that it is awkward for the Government for the clause to be in this particular Bill. In those circum-stances, I should have hoped that they would have taken note of the feeling of your Lordships as expressed in the passing of this Amendment and would have said, "We are prepared to give some consideration, some kind of quid pro quo, so to speak, for the future, so that the clear wish of the Committee can be ex-pressed in other legislation." No such assurance has been forthcoming, which I find surprising. I find it surprising, in fact, that the Government have taken the responsibility on their shoulders of trying to delete this clause from the Bill on Report stage to-day, because it seems to me to be a small and almost tiny Amendment to an important Bill that is going to be enshrined for ten years in our legislation. Yet we have all kinds of pressures about this clause, even to the extent that we have had moved to-day an Amendment to completely delete it.

My Lords, the Government ought to learn that they cannot win them all. This was one which was won against their wishes about a week to 10 days ago, and I think it shows—well, I will not use a description for it, but I think it shows perhaps a bad spirit that they should come back to-day and refuse to accept what was, after all, a very minor defeat that is certainly not going to rock 10 Downing Street, the Cabinet or anybody else. I am not sure what is going to be the position of the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, who was associated with me in this Amendment, but in the circum-stances I certainly do not feel inclined to withdraw from my position or to sup-port the Amendment which is on the Order Paper to-day.


My Lords, may I briefly join in what the noble Lord, Lord Willis, has said in asking the House not to accept the Amendment which we are now discussing. I do not want to go over all the arguments which the noble Lord has already put forward, but it seems to me that when an Amendment to a Bill is carried by a substantial majority in your Lordships' Committee one should not be asked to withdraw it or to agree to its being removed unless some very substantial promise is given to us that the purpose of the Amendment is going to be included in some other form of Government measure or in some other way, although I do not know what it would be. But just to accept that the Amendment we put in should now be withdrawn, with no possibility of anything occurring further, is not satisfactory, and I hope that the House will not accept the Amendment.


My Lords, as a governor of the British Film Institute I naturally feel profound sympathy towards the object of this new clause, and I would certainly strongly support any practical move to assist the National Film Archive in achieving its purpose of securing copies of as many films as it needs. Unfortunately, I was unable to be present at the Committee stage proceedings, but I have read care-fully the Report of the discussion which took place. It seems to me that the issue was a litle confused because of the point taken that this legislation is concerned only with the film as an industry and not with the film as art or a social record. With all respect, I do not think that these two are separable. To some extent this idea flows from the very uneasy division which exists between, on the one hand, the Board of Trade, which is concerned with the industrial aspect, and, on the other, the Department of Education, which by its tutelage of the British Film Institute is concerned with the artistic aims. These two are inseparable; and on the Continent the normal practice is for ministerial responsibility for films to be unified in one Ministry, which I venture to think is a more satisfactory arrangement. Also, as my noble friend Lord Willis pointed out, Clause 6 itself shows the indivisibility of the film as a mode of communication, a form of entertainment and a form of art.

I am bound to say that I feel a certain difficulty about this Amendment from the technical point of view, because by Section 9 of the Films Act 1960 (which is the one to which this Amendment is integrated) an application for registration is to be made either by the maker of a film or by the renter who acquired it for distribution. It is of no use imposing a statutory duty upon someone who cannot necessarily implement that duty. The difficulty might arise on the form in which this Amendment is drafted because the person who registers the film might well not be in a position to supply a copy. It is clearly not desirable to impose upon a person a statutory obligation which he cannot fulfil. It seems to me also that this may create a certain difficulty in respect of foreign films, and might in some cases prevent their registration in this country.

Therefore I feel, first, that this Amendment calls for a certain amount of scrutiny and revision; and, secondly, there is the question of the financial aspect. It is no use offering a positive print to the Archive if they do not have the money to pay for it. We are not dealing here with something like a book which is presented to the British Museum or to some university library which has to pay for the book: that might involve a matter of only £2 or £3. A feature film print, however, might cost several hundred pounds, so that this may involve considerable sums of money. In these circumstances, a provision of this kind, unless linked in some way with a financial grant, may prove somewhat illusory.

There is also a third point. As the noble Baroness pointed out, at the moment the Archive obtains a consider-able number of copies of films from commercial companies free of charge. There is a possibility that if a statutory provision of this kind were passed in exactly this form it might have the effect of causing the source of free copies to dry up, which would be not a very desirable consequence. It seems to be agreed on all sides that this is the kind of provision which ought to be introduced for the benefit of the Archive—and we have had Dr. Kerr's Bill which had an airing in the other place but which in fact was not passed. I would therefore venture to suggest, and to take up the point forcefully put by my noble friend Lord Willis, that the appropriate out-come of this matter should be for the Government to take some positive line on this matter, if only to the extent of saying that some departmental committee might be set up to review this whole situation and to make recommendations for the benefit of the Archive.

I would certainly join in the pressure (if I may so describe it) of Lord Willis upon the Minister to make a more positive reaction to this suggestion—parti-cularly in view of the fact that this Amendment was passed previously by a substantial majority—at any rate to the extent of saying that she will seriously consider the setting up of a departmental committee to give close consideration to this question which represents such an important aspect of the work of the British Film Institute and, in particular, of the National Film Archive.


My Lords, on the Second Reading of this Bill I said that I hoped to put down an Amendment very much on the lines of that put down by the noble Lord, Lord Willis. If it had not been for my unavoidable absence from the Committee stage I should have joined with my noble friend Lord Amulree in putting down the Amendment that he did. I read with interest and attention the Report of the debate on the Committee stage; I listened with attention to what the noble Baroness said this afternoon and I confess that I did not get from her a single reason why this Amendment should be passed. We were told that the clause which she now asks us to omit is inappropriate here. Perhaps that is so; and perhaps when the noble Baroness comes to speak again she will spell out what bad consequences this inappropriateness may have. If this House were to decide to go ahead, and if this Clause 15 were to become part of the Bill, what would happen that would be so disastrous?

The whole question of cost is fairly irrelevant. I must say, with respect, that I differ from the expert noble Lord who has just spoken because I think it is worth while to lay down the requirement that these films should be offered to the Archive. Even if the Archive cannot at any particular time afford to buy them, or can afford to buy only some of them, or even if for a period of time they can afford to buy none, it is worth while putting it down so that when the Archive have the money, and when the films are important, they should be able to acquire them. Then there is the technical disadvantage of this Amendment which the noble Lord has pointed out to us. Unless there is a full answer to this, I suggest this should not necessarily be a reason for us to accept this Amendment to-day, but rather a reason to oppose this Amendment and to put clown perhaps a slightly different one on Third Reading to make the Amendment technically applicable.


My Lords, I should like to say a word on this Amendment. For some years I was on the British Film Institute. I think I served for five or six years. It was some time ago. I have a distinct recollection of the great value attaching to the National Film Archive, a section of the Film Institute. I think it would be the greatest mistake to take out this clause. It stresses the importance of having records. These records are historical; they are part of our history. And the fact that they are kept in the National Film Archive is, I think, an excellent thing, as in the case of books which are kept in any great library. In my view, it would be the greatest mistake not to include this clause in the Bill.

The noble Lord who has just spoken, and who is a member to-day of the British Film Institute (I am no longer), suggested the setting up of a depart-mental committee. If there is one way in the world of burying something for a long time, it is to set up a departmental committee to consider it. When the departmental committee reports, where is the Bill in which this particular small provision is to be put? Surely this is the Bill to put it in. This Bill is about films; it deals with the British Film Institute and the National Film Archive. It would be the greatest possible mistake if we were to accept this Amendment and were not to stick to our guns. I was one of the people who voted for Lord Willis's Amendment last week, and I shall vote for it again.

3.50 p.m.


My Lords, may I, with the leave of the House, say a few words on this Amendment? In Committee I supported the spirit of the Amendment of my noble friend Lord Willis because I felt that something should be done to help the National Film Archive, but I agree with my noble friend Lady Phillips that this Bill is not the place in which to do it. If this debate to-day and the discussions during the Committee stage do something to remind the Government of the urgent need of the Archive for funds, they will have done a lot of good.

My noble friend is quite right: the Amendment of my noble friend Lord Willis, which the Government Amendment seeks to take out, has no place in the Bill. The Bill we are considering is An Act to amend the enactments relating to the financing and exhibition of films. I have with me a copy of the Private Member's Bill which was discussed in another place but did not reach a Second Reading. It was to deal with films statutorily deposited. The Preamble says that it is: A Bill to require the deposit of certain copies of moving pictures in the National Film Archive of the British Film Institute. That is quite a different matter. In another place the Minister, Miss Jennie Lee, accepted the principle of the Bill. I have a copy of Hansard which reports that she said: I must not, however, convey to the House anything more than I have done, which is the good will of the Government and acceptance of the Bill in principle. We would like to consult the British Film Institute, the commercial industry and everyone concerned about how best it should be carried out."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Commons, 18/4/69; col. 1529.] As my noble friend Lord Lloyd of Hampstead said (he knows a great deal about this; he is a distinguished lawyer and knows about the legal implications as well) this is a matter which is very complicated from the copyright and deposit point of view. It is not, I think, some-thing that this House should be asked to send back to the other place based on an argument which, I suggest with respect, is an emotional argument because it is motivated by the great wish that we all have to help the Archive to get the increased funds it deserves. If this debate helps towards that, no one will be more grateful than I shall be. I suggest also to my noble friend Lord Willis that this is an excellent matter for a Private Member's Bill. We had a Bill before from my noble friend, for which we are grateful, and if he could give his energies to drafting a Bill which was acceptable I think that we should all be greatly indebted to him.


My Lords, I am somewhat worried about the position of the House in this matter. This is not a Party political matter; neither are we in this position because of a chance decision, or because it was taken late when there were few people present. The decision was taken a week ago, after some discussion, by a large majority. We are faced to-day with the bald request to stand on our heads—just like that—with no extra reason being given, and no indication that the matter will be looked at again. I think it is putting the House in a rather absurd position if we calmly agree to stand on our heads after having come to a decision, not by accident—and one which is not a Party decision—a week ago. I ask the Government to look at this matter from that point of view.


My Lords, I would ask the leave of the House to say one or two words in reply to questions put to me.


My Lords, if I may interrupt the noble Lord, I must say that I am very sympathetic but, strictly speaking, he can rise only on a point of explanation now. He has no right, I am afraid, even with the leave of the House, to speak a second time. I am sorry, but this is the Report stage.


My Lords, may I have the leave of the House to make a point of explanation? The short point of explanation that I wish to make is about the vexed question which was raised by my noble friend Lord Lloyd of Hampstead, about the requirement in the original Bill that renters and producers of films be the people that register films as British films. He made the point that renters do not necessarily own the films and therefore that this clause would lay an obligation on them to offer for sale something which was not their property. I am afraid that that does not hold water, because those renters which do make an approach to register a film to make it British are those who are also the producers of the picture—


My Lords, I am sorry to interrupt the noble Lord again, but he is replying to a point in the debate. It is very trying to have these Standing Orders, but his right is one of explanation or exposition of some point he himself has made in a speech; and I am not sure whether in fact he is not now replying to a point made by somebody else.


My Lords, with respect, I think it was a point I made which the noble Lord took up from me, and therefore it is six of one and half-a-dozen of the other. The other point I made in my remarks that I should like to expand on very briefly, or to explain briefly, is that this clause, as was said by the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont of Whitley, only lays an obligation on the parties to offer for sale. It does not lay an obligation on anybody to give more funds to the N.F.I. at this moment.


My Lords, may I ask a question of the noble Baroness, Lady Phillips'? Am I right in thinking that there is at least one stage more for this Bill in this House, and three in another place? It is not unknown for another place to alter decisions that we have made in this House, but I think it an extremely bad precedent for us to alter our decision within a week.


My Lords, I wonder whether I may intervene at this point. First, I should say to the noble Lord, Lord Willis, that he did go a little far, but the House obviously was in a tolerant mood. However, I should not like to think that our Standing Order had been eroded thereby. I wish to intervene now because there has been some criticism about whether we were right to attempt to overturn a decision taken on what I believe—I may be wrong—was a fairly unexpected Division; but, none the less, the subject was fully debated and discussed. There has been criticism of whether we are right on Report stage to overturn that decision. May I say to the noble Lord, Lord Willis, who I know is concerned about this matter, that there are difficulties according to which Party is in Government. When we were in Opposition there was, practically speaking, never an occasion when the Government of that day needed to overturn a decision in Committee, because they had a built-in majority and they usually won. May I say, if the noble Lord, Lord Grenfell, is worried, that I am not seeking to make Party political points. I am trying to explain the difference between the two sides in this matter.

The question that confronts those in charge of Government business is whether the Amendment is one which in all the circumstances should go to the Commons (I mean that in the last resort it is the decision of the House of Lords itself whether it should do), or whether it is one that in our judgment would inevitably return to us again. It is always difficult for the minority Party in this House to be certain of overturning a decision in those circumstances. Noble Lords have rather more freedom in this House. Per-haps I had better not say anything about another place or I shall be in trouble, as I was once before, but we have considerable freedom. Very careful consideration was given to this matter. My noble friend has made clear that there is great sympathy for this proposition, and that was not said just to disarm criticism. There is general sympathy for the proposal. But, for reasons that she gave, which clearly have not satisfied every noble Lord, it is inappropriate to retain that Amendment.

I see nothing wrong—I say this to the noble Lord, Lord Grimston of Westbury—in this House having second thoughts. I do not think it is unbefitting to our dignity to do so. The Government judged that it was right that before this Bill went to another place there should be an opportunity for second thoughts. So I hope that your Lord-ships will not think that this is in any way disrespectful to the House; I am sure that that is not so. Basically, the argument is: is this appropriate? There is one aspect of the Amendment which has been put into the Bill and which worries me, I shall mention it very cautiously because I am anxious not to mislead the House. I doubt very much whether that Amendment could have been put into the Bill in another place within the Long Title of the Bill. That, to me, has always been very much a guiding line. We can do what we like in this House. We can make a nonsense of it. If we leave that Amendment in the Bill, it will go to another place. Of course, it would be possible to amend the Long Title, but I do not find it a very satisfactory Amendment.

I accept the arguments of noble Lords that this is not a Party issue. I certainly would not suggest that the Conservative Party are necessarily going to vote on the Party Whip, although we are Whipping on this side, because this is Government business. But not every noble Lord on either side obeys the Whip. We do not take that too much to heart. But I am bothered about putting some-thing like this in the Bill which would have to go to another place for consideration. I am wondering whether the suggestion, which I think was beginning to come out in certain speeches—and I was impressed by the speech of my noble friend Lord Lloyd of Hampstead—of whether it would not be better to restore the situation, might be considered. There will be a further occasion on Third Reading, though I am hesitant about dragging this out. It is now for noble Lords to make up their minds. My noble friend Lady Phillips, who has the right to reply, will undoubtedly wish to deal with some of these points, but I thought it was right that I should intervene to give my personal observations on the matter.

4.2 p.m.


My Lords, I am puzzled by the statesmanlike intervention of the noble Lord the Leader of the House, because he said that he doubted whether this Amendment could be made in another place. The Amendment is plainly within the Long Title. I do not think that anyone could dispute that, because the very Act that this Amendment is aimed to change is amended by this Bill elsewhere. From that point of view, this is one of the enactments relating to the Films Act, which is amended. I think that the noble Baroness can only mean that this must have involved something outside the financial resolution of another place.

With respect, is this so? The noble Baroness, who is arguing in effect not on this Bill but on the Bill that came before another place last year, Dr. Kerr's Bill, said that it would need more money in order to implement it. But this Bill does not do that. As the noble Lord, Lord Willis, said, and as I would have said if he had not said it, all this Amendment does is to ensure that a film is offered to the British Film Institute. It does not necessarily involve any more expenditure. It only means that some films, which otherwise would not have been offered to the B.F.I., would be offered. The noble Lord, Lord Willis, knows a good deal more about the workings of the film industry than I do, but I should have thought that if a renter knew that he had to offer a film, he would make perfectly certain that he was in a position to offer the film, otherwise he would not be able to rent it. So that argument completely falls.

We are in some difficulty about this, though I think that perhaps the noble Lord the Leader of the House rather overstressed the difficulty. Everybody wants this Bill, and if one thing is absolutely certain it is that this House would not hold up the Bill if it came back to us again with the Commons disagreeing with the Amendment. All it will do is to give another place the opportunity of looking at the Amendment. It may be that the Amendment is not in exactly the right form. In that case, having got the will of the House, surely the Government ought to discuss with the noble Lords, Lord Willis and Lord Amulree, to see that it is put into proper shape. It may be necessary, for example, to say, "a British film" to get over the difficulty the noble Lord mentioned.

I would say with great respect that the Government have not really made a case for leaving out this clause, although I take the points made by the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Hampstead. There is still an opportunity to improve this clause, if we leave it in. Is not that the position? I hope that the noble Baroness will not stand on the argument of the appropriate-ness of the Amendment, because obviously it is not ultra vires, and we all know, whether it is a Government or a Private Member's Bill, that Bills give the opportunity to include improvements, whether they were in the original intention of the Bill or are four square within the power of a particular Department. I see the difficulty of the noble Baroness. She is doing her best, but I think she ought to consider the wishes of the House. If she can now give good reasons why we should accept her Amendment and leave out the clause that was inserted on the last stage of the Bill, that is fine. With that, I must leave this matter to the noble Baroness's reply.


My Lords, on a point of explanation, may I say that I did not wish to mislead the House, because I am certain that the Long Title is too restricted. If the noble Lord, Lord Drumalbyn, takes a contrary view, your Lordships may wish to consider that, but I would still stand on my point that it is not relevant to the subject matter and may still therefore be ruled out of order.


My Lords, I should like to say at once—and I hope that noble Lords sitting on the Benches opposite will not take exception to this— that there has been some little play on the matter of the majority vote. I should not like to put too much emphasis on this point. As we know—perhaps my noble friend Lord Willis will bear me out— there were not many noble Lords sitting in the Chamber at the time we debated this matter on Committee stage. No doubt they were studying the Bill outside in the tea room and therefore understood exactly what we were talking about. But I feel that there is a slight element of hypocrisy if we stress the majority in this case. I put it no higher than that.

If the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, will forgive my saying so, he did make the point in Committee (although I have not the words in front of me now) that he was trying by his Amendment to bring the attention of the Committee to this point and would probably not press it to a Division. He made the point to me several times that he wanted some-thing on the Record. I appreciate this, because it is exactly what I would do if I were sitting where the noble Lord is sitting. In any event, I think that all noble Lords who spoke in Committee— some, like my noble friend Lord Willis, with great knowledge of the industry and some with great emotion, like the noble Baroness, Lady Elliot of Harwood— took the view that we have now heard with great clarity from my noble friend Lord Lloyd of Hampstead, that we should have these films for the Archive. I do not think there is any question about this.

This Government have no need to apologise to anyone for the money spent on the Arts. No other Government has spent so much money on the Arts. I can say this without fear of contradiction. I repeated what my right honourable friend said in another place about this. That was intended to be a reassuring factor, which evidently did not work.

I should like to turn to one point which is important. We are discussing a provision to spend public funds. I was interested to hear the noble Lord, Lord Drumalbyn, who combs Bills very carefully, make the point that no money would be involved. If a dealer offers to sell a film at cost price, where is money coming from to buy the film?


My Lords, it may come from refusing another offer at cost price.


The noble Lord means that there is the alternative of one for nothing and one at cost price.


It would at least improve the quality of films rented for the Archive, because in this way the B.F. I. would be able to acquire films that they really wanted to retain and could not otherwise acquire.


My Lords, I would repeat that on this matter the Government are sympathetic, and I think it would be quite wrong if it went out to-day that they are not. The actions of the Government in other connections have shown that they recognise the importance of keeping historical records. I must repeat—and the noble Lord, Lord Drumalbyn, from his distinguished career, will know this far better than I—that one must be guided by the experts on this aspect, and it is wrong to embody in legislation from one Department something which will involve expenditure from another.

I have the feeling that, whatever I say on this matter, some noble Lords will have made up their minds. I am never one who knocks at an open door—per-haps that is not a very good metaphor. What I say is that we shall have on the Record what was said in another place by my right honourable friend the Minister for the Arts when this other Bill which dealt more specifically with this subject was discussed. I feel that what set out in the first place to be a statement of fact to elicit from the Government sympathy has become rather an enshrined principle in the Bill, which has no place in that Bill. May I beg those of your Lordships who view this with an open mind (there must be some noble Lords who do) on this occasion to support the Government, with the assur-

ance that we have the interests of the film archives at heart?


My Lords, before the noble Baroness sits down, I wonder whether I may ask her if her appeal about the open mind also applies to those who might support her in the Division Lobby.

4.13 p.m.

On Question: Whether the said Amendment (No. 2) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships Divided: Contents, 55; Not-Contents, 62.

Addison, V. Granville of Eye, L. Royle, L.
Ardwick, L. Hankey, L. Sainsbury, L.
Beswick, L. Henley, L. St. Davids, V.
Birk, Bs. Hilton of Upton, L. [Teller.] Segal, L.
Boothby, L. Jacques, L. Serota, Bs.
Bowles, L. [Teller.] Kennet, L. Shackleton, L. (L. Privy Seal.)
Brockway, L. Leatherland, L. Shepherd, L.
Buckinghamshire, E. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, Bs. Sorensen, L.
Chalfont, L. Lloyd of Hampstead, L. Stocks, Bs.
Champion, L. McLeavy, L. Stonham, L.
Citrine, L. Milner of Leeds, L. Strabolgi, L.
Delacourt-Smith, L. Moyle, L. Walston, L.
Douglass of Cleveland, L. Nunburnholme, L. Wilson of Langside, L.
Energlyn, L. Pargiter, L. Winterbottom, L.
Evans of Hungershall, L. Phillips, Bs. Wootton of Abinger, Bs.
Fiske, L. Plummer, Bs. Wright of Ashton under Lyne, L.
Gaitskell, Bs. Popplewell, L.
Gardiner, L. (L. Chancellor.) Redesdale, L. Wynne-Jones, L.
Garnsworthy, L. Ritchie-Calder, L.
Aberdeen and Temair, M. Elliot of Harwood, Bs. Milverton, L.
Abergavenny, M. Emmet of Amberley, Bs. Morrison, L.
Airedale, L. Falkland, V. Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Albemarle, E. Faringdon, L. Napier and Ettrick, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E. Gray, L. Oakshott, L.
Alport, L. Grenfell, L. Ogmore, L.
Amherst, E. Gridley, L. O'Hagan, L.
Amulree, L. [Teller.] Grimston of Westbury, L. Rankeillour, L.
Balerno, L. Guildford, L. Bp. St. Helens, L.
Barnby, L. Hanworth, V. Salisbury, M.
Barrington, V. Hawke, L. Sandys, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Hayter, L. Sempill, Ly.
Belstead, L. Hylton-Foster, Bs. Somers, L.
Bourne, L. Jessel, L. Southwark, L. Bp.
Brougham and Vaux, L. Kilbracken, L. Stamp, L.
Cottesloe, L. Lauderdale, E. Strange of Knokin, Bs
Cowley, E. Loudoun, C. Teviot, L.
Craigavon, V. Lucas of Chilworth, L. Vivian, L.
Cromartie, E. McCorquodale of Newton, L. Wade, L.
Daventry, V. Macpherson of Drumochter, L. Willis, L. [Teller.]
Dundee, E. Massereene and Ferrard, V.

Resolved in the negative, and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.