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We attach great important to the maintenance of a high standard of broadcast programmes, with continuous efforts to secure improvement, and we think that advertisements would lower the standard. The broadcasting of advertisements on a large scale would tend to make the service unpopular, and thus defeat its own ends. ... The time which could be devoted to advertising should in any case be very limited, and, therefore, exceedingly valuable; and the operating authorities, who would want revenue, would naturally prefer the big advertiser who was ready to pay highly, with the result that only he would get a chance of advertising. This would be too high a privilege to give to a few big advertisers at the risk of lowering the general standard of broadcasting. We consider, however, that there would be no objection to the operating concern being allowed to accept the gift of a concern and to broadcast a preliminary announcement giving the name of the donor; and also to broadcast the name of the publisher and the price of a song which is about to be broadcast. Broadcasting Committee Report (chairman: Sir Frederick Sykes), 1923, para 41.
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The life of the child today is being invaded by the cinema and unfortunately by a cinema almost entirely unadapted to its needs. ... The film, which might interest and captivate children and the general public in so many different ways, has violently abused its power of pushing sensation to the point of exasperation through the medium of the picture and of thus giving rise to criminal suggestions even under the cloak of morality. [0038] Effects of the Cinematograph on the Mental and Moral Well-Being of Children: Report by the Secretariat submitted to the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations, March 27, 1926, written by Dr F Humbert
Like a bolt from the blue the first films synchronised with sound and accompanied by dialogue came to Australia just before Christmas 1928, to make the task of censorship more unenviable than ever. Report of the Australian Film Censorship Office, 1928
Broadcasting stations are licensed to serve the public and not for the purpose of furthering the private or selfish interests of individuals or groups of individuals. ...  The entire listening public within the service area of a station, or of a group of stations in one community, is entitled to service from that station or stations. If, therefore, all the programs transmitted are intended for, and interesting or valuable to, only a small portion of that public, the rest of the listeners are being discriminated against. Federal Radio Commission, US: Third Annual Report, 1929; referring to the Great Lakes Application decision of 1928
Sound is hastening the Americanization, especially in regards to speech, of the Australian people. Report of the Australian Film Censorship Office, 1929
The soul of the film was its eloquent and vital silence and the old mystery and beauty are giving way more and more to the depiction of the sordid and vulgar with tiresome emphasis on incidents drawn from stage life. Report of the Australian Film Censorship Office, 1929
The materialised figure of the Saviour, blasphemy and comic treatment of religious subjects, travesty of religious rites, the institution of marriage treated with contempt, death treated with vulgar flippancy, gross and brutal travesty of prison life, hospital scenes treated with vulgar levity, physiological enormities, suggestive themes acted throughout by children, unrelieved sordid themes, prolonged and gross brutality and bloodshed, scenes in and connected with houses of ill-repute, lives of thoroughly immoral men and women, collusive divorce, stories in which the criminal element is predominant, equivocal and objectionable bedroom scenes, habitual youthful depravity, habitual immorality, offensive political propaganda, gross and objectionable dialogue. British Board of Film Censors annual report for 1931. Reasons given by the BBFC for rejecting 34 films
There has unquestionably been a tendency of late for films to become more and more daring, the result probably of the large number of stage plays which are now presented on the screen, and of the licence which is to-day allowed in current fiction.
    Subjects coming under the category of what has been termed 'sex' films, others containing various phases of immorality and incidents which tend to bring the institution of marriage into contempt, show a marked increase in number. Even when the story is not in itself wholly immoral, there appears to be a desire to stress the unpleasant aspect which is best described as 'sex appeal' with a wealth of detail which is altogether prohibitive for public exhibition.
    The Board has always taken exception to stories in which the main themes is either lust or the development of erotic passions, but the President [Edward Shortt KC] has come to the conclusion that more drastic action will have to be taken with regard to such films in the future.
    There are certainly some producers who take delight in showing the 'female form divine' in a state of attractive undress, and during their year their number has appeared to increase. There has been also a move in a similar direction so far as men are concerned. The objectionable aspect is the tendency on every conceivable occasion to drag in scenes of undressing, bathroom scenes, and the exhibition of feminine underclothing which are quite unnecessary from the point of view of telling the story. They are solely introduced for the purpose of giving the film what is termed in the trade 'a spicy flavour'. The cumulative effect of a repetition of such scenes as can be described as 'suggestive' is very harmful, and properly evokes adverse criticism, although isolated instances may do no harm and call for no comment.
British Board of Film Censors annual report for 1931
The time may come when a sound broadcasting service entirely unaccompanied by television will be almost as rare as a silent cinema film is today. Report of the Television Committee (Selsdon), January 1935
The British film producing industry has an insufficient supply of capital for its needs and ... the cost of production of British films has been increased by the necessary money being obtainable only at a high rate of interest. ... Lack of finance is a powerful factor in enabling foreign interests to obtain control and is certainly an impediment to the industry’s continued and satisfactory expansion. ... The Government should, as soon as may be, take such steps as may be practicable to encourage financial interests to constitute one or more organizations to finance British film production, in approved cases, on reasonable terms. Report of a Committee appointed by the Board of Trade to consider the position of British films, (The Moyne Committee), Cmnd 5320, 1936
Go to Moyne Committee report Moyne Committee report
We have received evidence which suggests that, owing to the increasing strength of the home industry, foreign interests are adopting means which are tending to prevent a further expansion of the output of British films and are, moreover, endeavouring to obtain a further measure of control of the producing and exhibiting as well as of the distributing sides of the industry. Reportof a Committee appointed by the Board of Trade to consider the position of British films, (The Moyne Committee), Cmnd 5320, 1936. For 'foreign' read American.
Go to Moyne Committee report Moyne Committee report
Go to Alexander KordaSir Alexander Korda
An annual income of 1m would not cover the needs of an acceptable Television Service on a national scale for more than a few years. Report on Television Development in 1939 and 1940, BBC, October 1938
The only favourable factor contributed by the [First World] war was the enhanced value of film as a medium for conveying information and for strengthening morale. Cinematograph Films Council Report for the Year to March 31st 1939, 1939
The British have theaters and movies (which they call 'cinemas') as we do. US War Department: Short Guide to Great Britain, 1942
The quantity of viewing seems much more closely related to programme content than the quantity of listening. BBC television audience research, 1948
Television's combination of moving pictures, sound and immediacy produces an impact that extends television as an advertising medium into the realm of personal sales solicitation. US Department of Commerce, 1949
On an average only one evening is left free each week for other interests. BBC audience survey of 24,000 television viewers, 1950
The right of access to the domestic sound and television receivers of millions of people carries with it such great propaganda power that it cannot be trusted to any person or bodies other than a public corporation. Report of the Broadcasting Committee 1949 (The Beveridge Committee), January 1951
Enforcement of the necessary conditions of impartiality, fair treatment of minorities, regard to national interest and regard to outside opinion, is likely to prove easier with one Corporation than with three or four Corporations. If there are three or four Corporations, they cannot be prevented in practice from making common cause against a controlling authority. Alternatively, if there is a question of one or other of them being called on to take an unpopular line or render and unpopular service, each will seek to shuffle off responsibility for this on one of the others. Report of the Broadcasting Committee 1949 (The Beveridge Committee), January 1951
Your committee recommends to the General Council to advise members to discontinue trading with any renter [ie, distributor] or producer making or handling entertainment films for both television and cinema exhibition. ... A producer or renter cannot be prevented from deciding which of these two markets he desires to serve, but it cannot be both. ‘Llandudno Resolution’, proposed by Cecil Bernstein, managing director of Granada Theatres, passed by members of Cinematograph Exhibitors’ Association July 1952. Four years later Granada was on the verge of becoming one of the major commercial television broadcasters in the UK.
The experience of the Hayes [sic] Code for films in the United States has, however, not always been a happy one and the Committee believes that a written code has certain positive disadvantages. While a code can save time, it can also serve as a scapegoat on to which a producer can pass off his responsibilities. It is only too easy to argue that, because a particular theme is not specifically banned in the code, there is no harm in exploiting it. A code may, therefore, become a shield for irresponsibility and it may become an excuse for the mediocre programme or the programme which plays safe. Children and Television Programmes, O'Conor Committee report, March 1960
The duty of providing a service of broadcasting, and the responsibility for what is broadcast, are vested in public corporations since the purposes and effects of broadcasting are such that the duty and responsibility should not be left to the ordinary processes of commercial enterprise, and because there are compelling objections to their being undertaken by the State. Report of the Committee on Broadcasting 1960 (Pilkington), June 1962
For television ... A large volume of sharply critical submissions reached us. Such a volume of critical interest was to be expected since television now plays so great a part in the lives of many millions. Here, as in sound broadcasting, we find that people are disposed to criticise what they dislike rather than to praise what they admire. But this rapidly developing medium has also inspired great hopes. ... It was perhaps largely because they realised what television had done, and could do, that people and organisations which wrote to us as viewers were conscious of what it had done badly, or failed to do at all; of how it had abused its power, and failed to realise its possibilities. Report of the Committee on Broadcasting 1960 (Pilkington), June 1962, para 38
Foreign programmes, usually of American origin, were ... criticised not because they were foreign, but because of their content. ... It is not enough to satisfy the statutory requirement as to the amount of foreign material if the quality is ignored. Report of the Committee on Broadcasting 1960 (Pilkington), June 1962, para 206
Advertisements which appeal to human weakness could well in the long run have a deplorable individual and social effect. ... More exacting standards would not necessarily make advertising too restricted, drab and unexciting: we are sure that the creative powers of the advertisers, applied to one of the most compelling of all mass media of communication, can rise so far as to produce advertisements which are decently persuasive and interesting. Report of the Committee on Broadcasting 1960 (Pilkington), June 1962, para 254
[The Home Affairs Committee] agree with the Pilkington Committee that, while pay television would enlarge the range of programme for those who took the service in addition to the BBC and Independent Television services, it would increase the costs and reduce the value of the existing broadcasting services; in particular it was likely to 'corner' popular programmes and the promotion of sporting events, which could then not be broadcast live by the BBC or ITV, though they would be available on film for later showing. The Committee thought that if Pay-TV made a success of their venture it would be necessary to license other commercial companies to provide a pay service, and that commercial considerations not subject to the restraints imposed on the BBC and ITV might thus predominate over considerations of public service. Memorandum to the Prime Minister (Harold Wilson) from the Office of the Postmaster General (Edward Short), PRO 13/1951, 1968
It is in the interests of this nation to encourage its local film and television industry so as to increase the quantity and improve the quality of local material in our cinemas and on our television screens. ... Our audiences are subjected to the ever-increasing sociological influence of imported material, and our writers, actors and film-makers are unable to fulfil their creative potential. ... This situation hampers Australia’s efforts to interpret itself to the rest of the world. Australian Council for the Arts, Interim Report: Film Committee, 1969
See also GO to D G C Lawrence D G C Lawrence
[Robert Maxwell] is not in our opinion a person who can be relied upon to exercise proper stewardship of a publicly quoted company. UK Department of Trade and Industry report on the British publisher and media tycoon, 1971
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Page updated 3 January 2006
Compilation and notes David Fisher