BW 4/65 – Re: Correspondance Dealing With the Transfer of the British Council Film Department to the Central Office of Information
[SC – 30/06/11]


- [28/02/46] Mr Ferguson to Mssrs Tritton & Lane
"As a result of a recent Treasury decision it will be necessary for the Council outstanding film contracts to be transferred to the Central Office of Information (Director general as nominee).
Will you kindly consider method of approach to the contractor and suggest an appropriate form of assignment.
Three parties are involved, British Council, C.O.I. and the contractor. In almost every instance some of the money will have been paid by the Council.

Specimen X.L. Productions
Film "Open Door"
Price £3,000
Already paid by British Council in respect of any work done £2,000

Required to transfer the Council's whole rights and so far as the contractor is concerned the Council's liabilities to D.G. C.O.I.

- The COI's stance on filmstrips: [photos]

- Discussion about This Is Britain series. Three issues were extant at the time of writing (13/03/46). Kennedy-Cooke to Tritton:
'THIS IS BRITAIN will have to carry rather more of the British export message than our present three issues have in them and I think it is probably likely that they should contain two industrial or trade items to one cultural or scientific.
Both magazines [referencing the MOI's Britain Can Make It] will be paid for and controlled by the COI and THIS IS BRITAIN, therefore, comes off our budget.
I think that this is a sensible arrangement and should enable us to have at least one item a month in THIS IS BRITAIN of primary Council interest, possibly sometimes more.
A meeting is now being planned at which COI ( who will call the meeting), the British Council, Paul Rotha, who makes their magazine, and Hankinson, who makes ours, are to be present to plan the details.
Distribution if the magazine overseas has not yet been discussed.

- [22/05/46] Savoy London stationary.
'For the attention of Mr Ferguson.
Dear Sirs:
I understand that your film "BRITISH JUSTICE" made by Verity Films is an authentic record of what happens in a Criminal Court.
Mr Alfred Hitchcock is making a film in Hollywood this August and is anxious to get all the details of criminal procedure correct in his story "The Paradine Case". He would greatly appreciate it if he could acquire a copy of your film for this purpose, and I should be glad if you could let me know when one is available, and I could arrange to have it shipped out.
Yours truly,
Victor Wark
For Vanguard Films Ltd.'

- The Council is told that this request is their responsibility, and they agree to send a copy of English Criminal Justice. They are not convinced that Hitchcock can 'get the details of criminal procedure correct' from watching this title, and decide to send it free of charge with the understanding that the Council will not be credited or mentioned regrading the accuracy of procedure in The Paradine Case.

- [24/05/46] Kennedy-Cooke to 'BL' - discussion on who will pay for films already in production. Oswald-Scott of the Foreign Office is open to the notion of their "fathering" the Council medical films, but KC declines, saying "it was up to the Council to find enough money to carry on with the programme in order to prevent this happening." [photos]

- [06/06/46] KC to dsg.
' I mentioned to you on the telephone the necessity of having an early answer in regard to the medical films query in paragraph 2 of my minute of 24th May.
I feel very strongly that we ought to retain in our own hands the sponsorship of medical films, but if we are to do so, we must be able to sponsor a reasonable Humber, and our present commitments, coupled with the tremendous cut in the films budget this year, prevent us from doing so. If I say therefore that we do propose to retain the commissioning of medical and similar films, we must be able to call on the unallocated reserve for additional funds. If, on the other hand (to avoid making such a call), I let the matter go by default, out powers of ordering are likely to be circumscribed in perpetuity.'
[illegible handwritten reply]