Spanish, in Poli, Reject Film Censorship
By HENRY GINIGER
Special to The New York Times
MADRID, April 26—After al-most 40 years of film censor-ship, most Spaniards reject the watch over
public morals, ac-notion that the state should cording to a poll just taken.
The poll was commissioned by the Government and, in accordance with the freer climate here, it has
served as a basis for loosening state controls. Censorship of movie scripts was abolished recently and
greater tolerance toward Spanish and foreign pictures is now seen in the variety of films being shown here
compared with last year.
The results of the poll were cited by the Minister of information, Adolfo Martin-Gamero. the opening of a
film festival in Valladolid yesterday. "The state has the duty," he said, "to see that the process of
communication represented by mo-vies be carried out freely and smoothly."
Mr. Martin-Gamero promised that the Government, through a new cinema law, would seek
diversification—"a cinema that is pluralistic, since Spanish society also is pluralistic."
2,000 People Questioned The poll was taken among 2,000 people over the age of 15 described as
representative. Those most favorable to the liberalization of films tended to be younger than the rest. the
best, educated and lived in urban areas with a -relatively high attendance at movies.
Some 62 percent of those questioned said in the poll that the state should not be the guardian of a person´s
morals. Only 52 percent, however, were in favour of allowing adults to see all films without cuts and 78
percent said that if censor-ship was abolished controls should be imposed to protect minors.
According to 62 percent, any danger within a film does not depend on whether someone appears nude in
it but rather on the story it tells. Some 46 per cent thought freedom of films to express ideas on political,
social and cultural problems was good far people´s education while 19 percent thought it made no
difference one way or another.
While films are now benefiting from the freer atmosphere, the state-run television net-work continues to
be a controversial subject because of several recent cases of censor-ship of programs that were considered
objectionable on political or moral grounds. A series of programs by the Spanish playwright Antonio
Gala, who has also run afoul of censors in the theatre, was cancelled, as was a popular program of
irreverent comment by a Spanish journalist named Alfredo Amestory.
Books Are Seized
Habits of the past also continue in bock publishing, al-though it has traditionally been the freest from
official control of any means of expression. Last week, the police seized copies of a book by two Spanish
journalists on events in Victoria last month where five persons died in labor riots. The book was critical
of police action.
Another book containing letters and drawings by children from 6 to 11 years of age and addressed to
"Dear Mr. King" was also seized without explanation. The publisher said he could not understand the
seizure since the book attacked neither the King nor the rnonarchy.
However, a letter from another Juan Carlos, aged 9, said: "In Vitoria, there were three dead and the police
said they fired in the air. On the walls in front of my school they have written ´Elda—a worker
assassinated.´ And also ´Elda—no to the murderous monarchy.´" Elda is a town near Alicante where a
worker was shot by the Civil Guard.
4 Labor Leaders Seized
MADRID, April 26, Reuters— Four leftist labor leaders were arrested in the northern Basque country as
the police sought no forestall trouble on May Day.
The arrests followed the de-tention at the weekend of 54 persons said to be Marxists in the southern city
of Granada. The police said they had been meeting to plan disturbances during the festivities on Saturday.