4 AUGUST 1939, Page 24


SIR,—May I, as a member of the Films Council representing persons employed by makers of British films, make two comments on your article dealing with that body's first annual report?

When you comment that one might have expected some proposals of a more constructive nature for bettering the lot of producers, it might be assumed that no such proposals were discussed. The report, however, refers to a memo- randum which I submitted on behalf of the employees in the industry and continues: " in the memorandum which they submitted to us " (attention was drawn) " to the very high level of unemployment in the producing section of the in- dustry, which in their view could only be cured by increased production. They were unwilling to accept the contention that a higher quota would not mean a higher production of films, and they pressed energetically for an increase in quota as an immediate remedy for the prevailing unemployment."

I still feel, notwithstanding the majority decision of the Films Council, that such a quota increase over and above the statutory annual increase would have provided the neces- sary stimulus to ensure the much-needed increased produc- tion in the industry.

I feel also it may be misleading to state that none of the films not complying with the minimum cost clause failed to obtain renters' quota because of the difficulty experienced in inter- preting the meaning of the words " special entertainment value." True, the report mentions the difficulty of interpre- tation, but on the other hand it clearly states that all the films submitted were considered by the Council. Personally, I regard the rejection of all the films submitted as confirma- tion, if considered necessary, that the supporters of the mini- mum cost clause when the Act was under discussion were one-hundred-per-cent. right. The employees engaged in film production have always contended that a creditable full- length film cannot be made for less than about a pound a foot. The decisions of the Films Council appears to confirm that.—Yours, &c.,

145 Wardour Street, W. r.