The Masters  
The Powell &Pressburger Images

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Submitted by Nicky Smith

The Thunderer      June 29th 1939


Smith, a short film setting forth the aims and achievements of the Embankment Fellowship Centre, was shown privately at the House of Comons yesterday, after a luncheon at which Field-Marshal Lord Milne, who is a vice-president of the centre, presided. The centre exists to care for destitute and friendless middle-aged ex-Service men - the minimum age limit is 45 - and the film discusses, with the aid of Mr. Ralph Richardson, Miss Flora Robson, Mr. Alan Jeayes, and Mr. Wally Patch, the case of a typical ex-Service man who is helped by the centre.

The film is to the point, and it naturally includes a brief account of what the centre has effected. In the four years of its existence it has dealt with 3,000 cases, 2,000 of which have resulted in re-employment after an average stay in the centre of six weeks. Last year emplyment was found for 549 men, of an average age of 53; and as for the rest, men who are too old and, to use Lord Milne's words "have no chance of getting into the turmoil of the labour market again," these are being trained "in the smaller things of life."

Lord Milne first apologised for the absense of Lord Hollenden, the chairman of the centre, who was recuperating abroad. He said the officials of the centre hoped they might be helped by some of the many distinguished members of the film profession who were present to get the film into general distributionb all over the country. He emphasized that the Embankment Fellowship Centre was essentially a national undertaking. Rather less than 20 per cent. of the men came from London, and the rest came from all parts of the country. The film, he said, showed how the typical ex-Service man in need was housed, fed, and reclothed by the centre, which trained him for new work, and finally found him new employment. By general distribution of this picture it was hoped to secure a substantial sum towards the total of £50,000 sought by the centre for purposes of organization. Part of this sum would be devoted to the acquisition of a country home for veterans with good records who had no pensions and were too old to work.

Sir Patrick Hannon, M.P., replied, and said that with many of his colleagues he had made determined efforts to induce the Chancellor of the Exchequer to moderate taxation on the film industry. It would be an act of gratitude on the part of the film industry, he said, for what the Chancellor had done if it would cooperate in showing the film in cinemas throughout the country.

After the film was shown, Lord Milne announced that three of the most important men in the film industry had said they would give every assistance they could in showing the film.

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