This film is part of Free

Ulster v. Eire: The Unification Question

‘March of Time investigates the bootleg baby racket, visits the vineyards of France and reports on a Loyalist victory in Northern Ireland’s elections.

Anthology 1938 19 mins


Tempted to buy a baby? An infant, procured from a baby farm, could have been yours for as little as $850 in 1938, when only one couple in thirty was successful in their applications to adopt a child. The condemnation of baby farming, along with a positive portrayal of a modern approach to the science of childcare in the USA characterises a typically campaigning story, which, in this issue, is bookended by a tour of French vineyards and a view of the elections in Ulster.

A mixture of genuine documentary footage, archive material, re-enactments, and campaigning journalism - combining a progressive approach with a provocative style - characterises this issue. The French wine story, which was made for the British edition and not shown in the USA, should be seen in the context of the post-Prohibition years when Americans were buying their wine from California and French exports were suffering as a consequence. The Ulster v Eire story focuses on Lord Craigavon and Eamon De Valera and while there is some attempt at even-handedness - the pros and cons of joining Eire are described - there is no reference at all to the wishes of the North’s Catholic population.