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Films (Anglo-Soviet Exchange)

Volume 466: debated on Tuesday 21 June 1949

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps have been taken to ensure an exchange of films between the Soviet Union and this country; if the Russians were prepared to conclude an arrangement; and what difficulties arose.

In 1948 the leader of the Soviet Trade Delegation in London suggested an exchange on a barter basis of selected Russian and British films. I welcomed the suggestion and agreed to explore the practical possibilities. Since then copies of 11 Russian and 11 British films have been exchanged for viewing. The Russians have not yet reported on the British films, but after viewing the Russian films, the British film companies concerned have now reported that the box office takings on these particular films would not in their opinion cover the distribution expenses including the cost of preparing English versions. The companies would, however, be very willing to discuss terms for any of the British films which the Russians may be interested to take on an ordinary commercial basis.