841.4061 Motion Pictures/117: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State

221. Your 113 of March 15, 6 p.m. Everything feasible is being done here. As reported in my 211 of March 12 [14], 4 [6] p.m., I have already taken up the films question with Halifax, Stanley, and Cadogan. The British Cabinet is well aware of the effect Lord Moyne’s amendment would have on American opinion and there is nothing to be gained by further protests on our part. I have, however, discussed the matter with Stanley and will continue to press him to act in the House of Commons. A reference to the reports of the sessions of the Standing [Page 25]Committee will show that Stanley has consistently held that a 15 per cent renters’ quota in 1938 was reasonable and he still feels so. He may be able to persuade the Commons to readopt the 15 per cent figure,28 but Parliament has got out of hand on this particular subject. The British have lost money on this industry and see it flowing to the Americans. On this basis you do not have to know much about the subject to make a convincing argument against any concession to the American industry.

I presume Hays informed you that the House of Lords also adopted the two amendments favorable to American interests providing for reciprocity credit and triple credit.

  1. On March 28, 1938, the House of Commons restored the renters’ quota for long films to 15 percent for the first year of the Act. It also retained the triple quota and reciprocity credit provisions put in by the House of Lords. The bill was accepted by the House of Lords on March 30, 1938.