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(p. 553), would still be the most satisfactory solution of the problem. As has been pointed out, however, since the Council expressed that opinion the position in regard to the censorship has altered materially.
The British Board of Film Censors has continued to consolidate its position, and at the present time its censorship is accepted, we believe, by most of the licensing authorities throughout the country. So far as London is concerned, we are of opinion that the censorship of the Board has worked well, and the replies received from the licensing authorities in the country whom we have consulted show that there is no general demand for material modification of present arrangements. The view of the Government on the subject was indicated by the Secretary of State, who stated on 1st March, 1928 (in connection with the film " Dawn "), that he <: had no sufficient evidence that the present system of censorship fails to secure, on the whole, an adequate standard .... His Majesty's Government is satisfied that this is a matter which is better left to the local authorities for decision."
In respect of the films which are not dealt with by the Board, or which come before the licensing authority by way of appeal or complaint, the chief difficulty arises from the lack of uniformity in the decisions of the licensing authorities. As regards the only measures which have so far been taken to meet this difficulty, it should be noted that the arrangement with the Middlesex County Council for the joint inspection of such films has resulted in a unanimous decision in 11 out of 12 cases, and we consider that it is a matter for regret that it has not been found possible to secure a greater measure of uniformity by the extension of the arrangements so as to cover the other home counties.
It is in respect of these limited and difficult classes of films that the crux of the existing position lies, and we can only regard this lack of provision for uniformity as unfortunate. Taking, however, a comprehensive view of the whole situation and giving due weight as well to the present hmited numbers of these films as to the great preponderance of those which come within the scope of the British Board of Film Censors, we are not prepared to advise the Council to take any steps at the present time to secure the establishment of an official and independent censorship. If. however, the number of films submitted to the Council for decision should increase substantially, it appears to us that the matter may have to be reconsidered.
Francis Anderton, Chairman.
The foregoing report was submitted to and received, by the Council.
The County Hall,
Westminster Bridge S.E.I. 20th February, 1929.