Film Quota

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd November 1954.

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Photo of Mr Woodrow Wyatt Mr Woodrow Wyatt , Birmingham Aston 12:00 am, 2nd November 1954

asked the President of the Board of Trade which members of the Films Council are associated with cinemas which have not fulfilled their quota requirements for the three years ended 30th September, 1954; and which are the cinemas involved in these defaults.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

As my right hon. Friend informed the hon. Member on the 1st April last, it is not for the Board of Trade to decide whether any exhibitor is or is not guilty of failure to fulfil his quota obligations under the Cinematograph Films Acts. A court of law alone can decide this question.

Photo of Mr Woodrow Wyatt Mr Woodrow Wyatt , Birmingham Aston

While thanking the Minister for that very pompous answer, may I ask him if he is aware that it is an obligation on the cinema owner to prove to the court that he had justification for not fulfilling the requirement? The fact whether he has or not fulfilled the requirement is ascertainable by the Ministry concerned. Why do we now have all this secrecy when in the past we used to be told the names of the persons concerned and the cinemas concerned?

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

I will not discuss with the hon. Member either pomposity or bumptiousness. The answer I gave sets out the legal position with accuracy.

Mr. Wilson:

In that case, will the hon. and learned Gentleman say exactly what are the functions of the quota defaults sub-committee of the Films Council?