HC Deb 29 July 1949 vol 467 c184W
Mr. Levy

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now furnish any information as to how far cinematograph exhibitors have fulfilled their quota obligations during the six months ended 31st March, 1949.

Mr. H. Wilson

Returns from exhibitors generally do not have to be rendered till the Autumn, but in the meantime the Board of Trade has made a sample investigation which covered all the 152 cinemas in two London districts and nine other towns in Great Britain—viz., Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Dundee, Hull, Inverness and Norwich.

Many of the cinemas concerned are in highly competitive areas and have been granted under Section 4 of the Cinematograph Films Act, 1948, a measure of relief from the full statutory quota of 45 per cent. for British first feature films. As a result of this the average of the first feature quotas prescribed for the cinemas covered by the Survey was 31.4 per cent. The overall quota of British first features shown by these cinemas during the six months ended 31st March last was 35.7 per cent. of all their first feature films.

The overall British percentage of "supporting" films (i.e. second features and shorts) achieved at these theatres in the same period was 24.5 per cent. This compares with the statutory requirement that not less than 25 per cent. of all the "supporting" films must be British.