660F.116/48: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Czechoslovakia (Tuck)

5. Legation’s despatch No. 831, September 25, 1932.1 The Department is in receipt of a letter from Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Incorporated, reading in part as follows:

“You will recall that for almost a year our offices have ceased taking contracts in Czechoslovakia, thinking that by this action we could break down the quota law in that country against foreign motion pictures. Unfortunately, in spite of the splendid help and cooperation from the Legation we have not been able to change the Government’s idea on this matter.

The different foreign managers are returning from their annual trips to Europe where they have gone into this matter pretty thoroughly, and they feel that they cannot afford to allow the money from that territory to slip through their hands any longer. The loss of last year’s business meant well over $100,000 to them. Due to the terrific pressure from their financial departments in their home offices they feel that if they cannot strike a compromise by the middle of March, that we will have to give in.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In the meantime, of course, we are saying nothing about this supposed action of going back into the territory on March 15th under these new laws because, needless to say, there would be no compromise by the Czechoslovakian Government if they thought we had this in the back of our minds.”

We hope that the action contemplated by the Motion Picture Producers can be avoided. Should they be forced to give way on this point, their position would be weakened not only in Czechoslovakia but presumably in other countries as well.

Telegraph report of recent developments together with suggestions as to any action which you believe might be taken with a view to protecting the interests of the Motion Picture Producers.2

  1. Not printed.
  2. In telegram No. 6, March 7, 4 p.m., the Chargé in Czechoslovakia reported: “No immediate action possible here.” (660F.116/50)