§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Home Office, having regard to the Report of the Departmental Committee on Celluloid, which advocated regulations as to celluloid being made which would apply to the whole country, are prepared, after the termination of the War, to introduce legislation on the matter if they consider such a step necessary; and whether the Home Office, having regard to the regulations under the Defence of the Realm Act, 1914, and the Orders of the Secretary of State for the Home Department thereunder whereby ample safeguards are in force as to the use and storage of celluloid and cinematograph film, intends to allow the London County Council and the Glasgow Corporation to proceed (so long as such regulations are in force) with their private Bills dealing with celluloid and cinematograph film, thus causing enormous expense to traders in protecting their interests, seeing that the Special Committee of this House, presided over by the hon. Member for the Doncaster Division, dealing with those Bills have made a Special Report to the effect that the Bills were only passed by that Committee as a temporary expedient as the Select Committee saw no early prospect of general legislation dealing with the matter, although general 258W legislation was the proper course which the Select Committee urged upon this House?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I should be glad to see a public Bill dealing with this matter passed at the termination of the War, but it is impossible for me at the present time to give any pledge on the subject. As regards the second part of the question, while a new situation is created by the orders made under the Defence of the Realm Act which provide for safety during the War, I do not think I should be justified in opposing the private Bills referred to inasmuch as they make provision for the interval between the close of the War and the passing of general legislation.