I beg to move:
That the Cinematograph Films (Quota Amendment) Order, 1941, proposed to be made by the Board of Trade under Section 15 of the Cinematograph Films Act, 1938, a copy of a draft of which was presented to this House on 3rd December, be made.
This Act makes further provision for securing the renting and the exhibition of a certain proportion of British cinematograph films. These proportions, both as regards renters and exhibitors and as regards short and long films, are set out in the Schedule to the Act. As drafted in the piping times of peace, it was hoped that there would be an annual increment of these quotas of about two and a half per cent., rising from the original figure of 15 up to a maximum of 30 per cent. in 1948, but Section 15 made provision under which the Board of Trade, after consultation with the Cinematograph Films Council, might recommend a modification of these percentage quotas. It also laid down maxima and minima in each case. The Order now before the House is a modification of those figures and has been rendered necessary because of war conditions. A good many studios have been taken over, a certain amount of labour has been drafted away, and, last but by no means least, the Government are making considerable demands on the cinema industry for the production of technical and instructional films which do not affect the quota at all. Under these conditions the Board of Trade have been in consultation with the Cinematograph Films Council, and in agreement with them they have arrived at the figures set out in the first and second schedules of the Order. I hope the House will realise that the last thing the Board of Trade wish to do is to curtail this trade in any way. We have made the existing suggestions with considerable reluctance, but I am satisfied that they are reasonable, and I therefore recommend them to the House.