§ LORD NEWTON had given Notice to call attention to the present position of the British film industry; and to ask if His Majesty's Government will consent to appoint a Departmental Committee to inquire into the causes of the present depression of the industry and to make recommendations as to the best means of 1090 re-establishing this industry having regard to the industrial, commercial, educational, and Imperial interests involved.
§ The noble Lord said: My Lords, this Notice has been on the Paper for a long time. The proposal is one of a very simple character, but I understand that the responsible Department has not had time to consider the question properly, and that my noble friend Viscount Peel is going to ask me to postpone it. If so, I shall be ready to oblige him. At the same time, I hope he will not postpone it for long, because in that case it is possible that the industry will have disappeared altogether.
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (VISCOUNT PEEL)
My Lords, I will do my best not to anticipate the decease of the industry, but, as the noble Lord suggests, I am going to ask him to postpone the Question because the Board of Trade are engaged at the moment in searching investigations which will not be concluded for a fortnight or so. I assure him that the Government are well aware of the importance of the Question. They attach considerable interest to it from the educational and also from the Imperial point of view. All I wish to say at the moment is that I am not quite sure whether the suggestion of having a Committee to enquire into the circumstances of this trade is the best way of dealing with the matter. I understand that at the Board of Trade the view is held that they have all the information that could be obtained about the present condition of the film industry, but if the noble Lord will be good enough to put his Question down at a later date, I will give him as full an answer as possible.