864.4061 Motion Pictures/68: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Hungary ( Montgomery )

23. Department informed by Hays1 organization that a Film Chamber organized in Hungary about a month ago similar to the German Film Chamber prescribes in one of its regulations that “anyone who desires to head a distributing organization must be a member of the Film Chamber and only a certain small percentage of members of the Film Chamber may be non-Aryans”.

The Hays organization states further that distributors who are not members of the Film Chamber will not be allowed to do business after February 1; that the small quota percentage of non-Aryans has been filled by enrollment of Jewish stenographers, et cetera; and that the Metro manager who applied for membership was refused on the ground that the Jewish quota was filled.

In our relations with other governments we have emphatically rejected the right of foreign nations to apply on their part laws, decrees, or regulations which would have the effect of arbitrarily dividing American nationals into special classes based on race or religion and subjecting them to differential treatment on the basis of such classification.

Please investigate the alleged situation of the Metro and other distributors for companies of American nationality, and if the facts are as indicated you should make prompt informal and energetic protest to the appropriate authorities of the Hungarian Government with a view to obtaining the removal of the apparent discrimination against American film companies arising from the regulation concerning membership in the Hungarian Film Chamber based on racial considerations. Please report developments promptly by cable.

  1. Will H. Hays, President of Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc.