28 JUNE 1940, Page 13

FILMS AND THE GOVERNMENT SIR,—I should like to endorse heartily

the views expressed in Mr. Basil Wright's excellent article on the film situation in your last week's issue.

Without losing heart at the almost skilful evasion of simple answers to simple questions, I have continually throughout the war period, in common with other producers, approached the Films Division of the Ministry of Information for the help which it is presumably their function to give to the British film-production industry.

We were all eager to play our allotted part in the general war effort, both on national grounds and also because we saw in our potential war activities a means of keeping alive an industry commer- cially and culturally important to this country in the future as in the past. The help we sought—let me make myself clear—was not finan- cial ; we wanted simply guidance on policy. What did the Government want of us? What was its policy on propaganda as applied to films? If any such specific policy existed, then my colleagues and I were never made acquainted with it. Nor were technical, but equally pressing, problems solved for us. The problem of the great inroads on our personnel. The problem of supply. The loss of many of our best actors. The problem of organised plans for evacuation. The problem of pooling the industry's resources, as to both machinery and man-power. The problem of establishing supplementary units in the Dominions. These are only some of the many which have arisen as a result of the war.

These problems could have been solved easily by half a dozen experts from within the industry, who, given the official sanction, could have reorganised the industry on a war-time basis within a few days. But the official sanction was not forthcoming, nor indeed was there any official encouragement to reorganise the industry on this basis. Confronted with the stone wall of Civil Service procedure, the film industry managed to carry on with its own resources and by its own resourcefulness. But now, with a new phase of war before us, we can no longer carry on unless that delayed official reorganisation of the film industry under the officially backed leadership of the in- dustry's experts is quickly brought about.—Yours faithfully,