The US Embassy and British film policy, 1947-48: A 'lesser but highly explosive question?
Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 7
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14794010903286268
In August 1947 the British Treasury imposed a substantial tax on film imports, to conserve dollars for the purchase of essential goods from abroad. In response, the American film industry stopped exporting its product to Britain, and the US Embassy began lobbying vigorously against the tax. American diplomats wanted to promote free trade and feared that the US film industry might disseminate propaganda against European Recovery Programme aid planned for Britain. The tax was repealed in March 1948 partly due to Embassy protests, but the British authorities rejected the concerns of US diplomats over the subsequent quota system because of the seemingly greater importance of bolstering the indigenous film industry. This article examines the controversy over British film Policy 1947-1948 and offers fresh insights into the Anglo-American ?special relationship? and diplomatic representation in an era of growing US economic and cultural dominance. Among other things, it notes that what appears to be on the surface a relatively minor issue can have much broader implications.
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