Record #1143

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David Palfreyman
Carl E. Milliken
Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Reel 11
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Additional text in Transcription. This also relates to 11-1153 to 11-1159.

Re trade practice regulation to counter statutory control of the motion picture industry


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Various memos from Palfreyman relating to Trade Practice regulation and its problems. 11 May 1936 to Hays, documenting the MPTOA proposals which they hope to negotiate separately with the distributors. Warners have refused to negotiate. "The proposals made by the exhibitor committee, it develops, fall into two general classifications; first, those that can be solved effectively and to their satisfaction by a voluntary modification of sales policy by any distributor, which can remove all reasonable objections to such trade practices. ... "The second class of proposals call for active cooperation by the distributors with the exhibitors and require a more or less uniform attitude on the part of at least a majority of the distributors. ... It develops that the legal and economic obstacles now in existence make it apparent that the conciliation committee seems to be the only likely way in which these problems can be overcome or solved. It is not a perfect solution, will not be completely effective, but there is every reason to believe that it can do an immense amount of good in reducing friction, irritations, controversies, litigation, and both legislative and economic reprisals."11 May 1936 another Palfreyman memo to Hays: Trade Relations in the Distribution and Exhibition of Motion Pictures "The trade practice controversies and disputes that have caused friction and irritation within the industry have been analyzed and considered in detail in the various memoranda compiled and prepared during the past several months, since the NRA machinery was destroyed. The troubles these things lead to in the way of ill-will, litigation, legislation and reprisals have been pointed out, itemized suggestions proposed to overcome the difficulties, remove possible abuses and prevent injustices in the commercial operations of the business. The whole matter has been at a complete standstill for almost a year, the lack of any apparent progress along these lines steadily increase the discontent and distrusts of exhibitors generally."Palfreyman approves the MPTOA suggestion for conciliation committees -- which would not be arbitration committees unless specifically asked to be by both parties, who would have to agree to the recommendation: "In the 30 distribution centers outside of New York City, such an organization would probably cost about $180,000 per year for salaries and office expenses, exclusive of the cost of training and supervising the personnel. And it will take several months to select competent personnel, train them in policies and methods, and establish suitable office facilities for the work.... This, in effect, means the re-establishment of the former Film Board of Trade offices, but without several features that were objected to."

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