Out of 21,000 children in the county of London, a recent enquiry shows that nearly 9 per cent. frequent the cinema twice a week, 30 per cent. once a week, and 48 per cent. at intervals. Only 13 per cent. do not go at all; 80 per cent. of Dundee children go ence a week or even more frequently, while in Edinburgh 69 per cent. over nine years of age go at least weekly. The U.S.A. has 11,000,000 children under fourteen who attend weekly.
These startling figures were given by the Hon. Mrs. Bower, a member of the Catholic Film Society, in the course of an address on "The Power of the Film in Catholic Action," delivered at a recent conference of the Association of Convent Schools.
Too long, she said, had films been left in the hands of those who made them purely for personal gain, but now they were being recognised as having greater powers of propaganda than printing or radio-broadcasting. Twenty millions of people spent as much as four hours a week in cinemas, many of which showed un
suitable films. An independent censorship of films for Sunday showinis revealed one-quarter to be unsuitable on grounds of "crime, cruelty and loose morality.''
Cinema and Catholic section The purity campaign, Mrs. Bower went on, had already made a great difference to the screen; films, on the whole, were more moral, but in Catholic Action the campaign had to be used positively and not merely for criticising.
The Pope, writing to the president of the French Cine Society. regarding the growing importance of the cinema as a medium of world-wide influence, had said, " It is highly desirable that organised Catholics should occupy themselves constantly with the cinema in their meetings to promote Catholic Action, and in their programme of studies."
The Catholic Film Society. said Mrs. Bower, had been formed to carry out the Pope's wishes. The Catholic Truth Society had a collection of 200 reels which could well be shown in poor districts by voluntary workers. Film projectors were cheaply bought in these days.
Anyone wishing to see a free demonstration of Catholic films can apply to the Catholic Herald, 110-111, Fleet Street, London, E.C. 4.