Oral Answers to Questions — Imported News Film (Withdrawal).

– in the House of Commons on 4th December 1933.

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Photo of Mr Cooper Rawson Mr Cooper Rawson , Brighton

44.

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the importation into this country on 29th November of a film reacting the murder of Brooke Hart in California by Thurmond and Holmes who were subsequently lynched, including an authentic scene of Thurmond after his confession being taken by the police to the scene of the murder, and a still photograph of one of the murderers hanging after lynching; whether he is aware that this film was distributed to various picture theatres in this country; and whether he will issue orders forbidding the exhibition of this film on the grounds of public decency?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

I am informed that steps were taken by the distributing company last Saturday to prevent the further exhibition of this film.

Photo of Mr Cooper Rawson Mr Cooper Rawson , Brighton

Will the right hon. Gentleman obtain some further powers to prevent the importation of these offensive films in the future?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

If further experience should show it to be necessary to have powers, that might have to be done. At the present moment I think it is not necessary.

Photo of Mr Cooper Rawson Mr Cooper Rawson , Brighton

If this film was not a news film why was it not brought before the Films Advisory Committee? It could not have been a news film.

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

It was a news film, and of course, news films are not examined by the Board of Film Censors. But attention was drawn to it, notices were published, communications took place, and in this case, the film has been withdrawn.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the "Daily Mirror" on 29th November published the identical photograph of a naked man hanging on a tree; and will he suitably admonish those responsible?