Sunday Entertainment, Newark.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 3rd February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will again review the urgent need for more entertainment on Sundays for men and women in the Services in the Newark area; whether, in view of the present attitude of the owners of public places of amusement, and the demand in the Services for more entertainments, be will employ his requisitioning powers to use certain cinemas on Sundays, and request Entertainments National Service Association to arrange for a regular series of entertainments exclusively for men and women in the Services?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

Entertainment is provided in Newark every Sunday night in the Corn Exchange either by Entertainments National Service Association, by Service concert parties or by voluntary concert parties. Besides this a free film show for the Services is provided every Sunday by voluntary effort, and I believe there is also a great deal of private hospitality. I am satisfied that the military authorities with the assistance of the local population have done their utmost to provide a reasonable amount of entertainment for the troops on Sundays. Requisitioning powers are only employed when premises are required for full-time use by the military. It would therefore not be appropriate to invoke requisitioning powers to obtain part-time use of a cinema.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

While appreciating that explanation, which was also given in the answer which I received last week, will my hon. Friend send a competent welfare officer to Newark to see the position for himself and obtain, if possible, an impartial report upon the whole circumstances?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

We already have a competent welfare officer in that area, and he has already reported to the War Office to the effect that a great deal too much is being made of this matter.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Will the hon. Gentleman accept a proposal that three Members of Parliament should visit the area on a Sunday night to go round and make a report upon this position?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I shall be glad to have any further information from the hon. Member.

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

Who was the welfare officer who made the statement to which the hon. Gentleman has referred? Was it the command welfare officer or the county welfare officer?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I have not got that information with me.