841.4061 Motion Pictures/182: Telegram

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

1614. Discussion with Board of Trade today with reference to possible emergency defence control measures for the film industry elicited following information.

Board of Trade considering suspension of quota provisions Producers group here adopted resolution last week opposing any suspension of quota provisions. A memorandum to this effect has been presented to the Board of Trade. Embassy informed today that Board is now checking certain sections of producers memorandum Definite impression received that major portion of quota provision: will probably be suspended. Entire Board of Trade personnel film section already transferred to other duties.
Board of Trade intimated that import of foreign films may be subject to licence in order to equalize imports to reduced theatre requirements. Anticipated blackouts will seriously curtail cinema attendance resulting in some theatres closing permanently and other operating shorter hours.
Board of Trade raised question of foreign exchange control with Allport4 on September 9. He was warned that in view of un avoidable shortage of dollar exchange it may be necessary to consider suspension of transfer abroad of earnings of American film companies in the United Kingdom. Board of Trade state that Import Licensing [Page 215] Board and Treasury are arranging for a conference on this subject with American interests here.
Board of Trade further state no plans made as yet regarding number of first run theatres which will remain open.

Not for public release. Advise Commerce.

  1. Fayette Ward Allport, representative in London of Motion Picture Producer and Distributors of America, Inc.