841.4061 Motion Pictures/139: Telegram

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

190. Your 340, April 26, 6 p.m. You are requested to initiate conversations with the appropriate British authorities at the earliest convenient date looking to the conclusion of an understanding between the two countries regarding the treatment to be accorded American motion picture films and the American motion picture industry in the United Kingdom. I hope that your negotiations can begin at once and thus be conducted simultaneously with the Trade Agreement [Page 29]negotiations. As you know, we regard a satisfactory arrangement respecting motion pictures as an important part of the Trade Agreement negotiations. There are two reasons why it seems preferable for the motion picture negotiations to take place in London: first, your wide and detailed knowledge of the motion picture industry; and second, the fact that the British Trade Delegation here appears to have little information regarding the new film legislation and no authority to deal with the question other than to transmit our views to the responsible British Ministers in London.

If you are able to reach a satisfactory agreement, its terms might well be included in the text of the proposed Trade Agreement. Although we prefer this, it could, alternatively, take the form of an exchange of notes to be effected in London on the day of signature here of the Trade Agreement. This question can, of course, be settled later.

I have few specific suggestions at this time as to the substance of the proposed arrangements. Would it not be well to ask that the renters’ quota be bound at 15%? You will recall that our original request on motion picture films, transmitted to the British last September with our Trade Agreement desiderata, was to abolish the renters’ quota and to bind existing import duties. The general approach set forth in your 340 seems to be a sound one. I hope that you will work out with Stanley the most favorable draft arrangement which you can obtain. You may, of course, consult with us by telegraph at any time.