The cinema and the public: a critical analysis of the origin, constitution, and control of the British Film Institute (1934)

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At the time the Sunday Entertainments Bill was before Parliament, a number of persons associated in a " Commission on Educational and Cultural Films " had just issued a report advocating the setting up of a body called a National Film Institute, with a Royal Charter, State-appointed governors and wide powers over the whole realm of cinematography comparable to those exercised by the B.B.C. in the realm of wireless*; and for this ambitious proposal secured the support of certain members of Parliament as well as of a section of the Press. This particular scheme has, as a result, taken a prominent part in the subsequent discussions, and you will therefore perhaps allow me to examine it in some detail. * See pages 152-155 in the Commission's report, The Film in National Life. Both Professor J. L. Myres, D.Sc, D.Litt., its Vice-Chairman, and Colonel John Buchan, C.H., M.P., its chief spokesman in the House of Commons {Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 267, No. 122, Col. 1838), referred to the B.B.C. as a model of the kind of organisation they had in mind. Page 11