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

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this being, they added, " the only security against the predominant advocacy of particular interests."* 2. CONSTITUTION : RESTRICTIONS SECURED BY TRADE. Six months later, the Cinema Industry, speaking generally, was as enthusiastically for the proposal as it had previously been against it. What was the reason for this astonishing volte face ? It was, of course, desirable to secure the goodwill and, if possible and with every necessary safeguard, the active co-operation of the film trade— no Institute could hope to do useful work without at least a measure of these things. No one, not even their most vehement critics, envied the Educational Com- mission the task, on which they set out in the autumn of 1932, of securing it. But the price paid for this, as for any other kind of co-operation, can be too high. Here are four of the conditions successfully insisted upon by the trade during the subsequent conferences, which took place in one of its own offices, and at which the Institute's Constitution and Articles of Association were drawn up, as the price of its conversion. That Constitution and these Articles have now been regis- tered under the Companies Act, 1929 ; and are permanently binding. I will first set out these con- ditions in brief, and then examine them in more detail. (The clause in the Institute's Memorandum of Associa- tion and those of its Articles of Association from which I quote will be found in full in the appendices at the end of this volume.) Condition 1. FILM INDUSTRY : " The In- stitute shall neither seek to control nor attempt to interfere with purely trade matters in the Film Industry.'^ * Letter in The Times dated August 17, 1932. | Memorandum of Association of the British Film Institute— Section III. Page 24