E.N.S.a. Artistes.

Oral Answers to Questions — Military Service. – in the House of Commons on 26th February 1942.

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Photo of Sir John Crowder Sir John Crowder , Finchley

asked the Minister of Labour the number of men of military age who are employed by Entertainments National Service Association?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

The information is not immediately available. I am having inquiries made and will communicate with my hon. Friend as soon as possible.

Photo of Sir John Crowder Sir John Crowder , Finchley

Does not the Minister think that it would be much more satisfactory if these men went into the Army and were then used, when fully trained, to entertain the troops; and is he further aware that in many cases the troops do prefer soldier concert parties to performances by E.N.S.A.?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

There has been a good deal of controversy over this matter, probably raised on insufficient information, or inaccurate information, and in view of the unsettlement that has been caused, both in the factories and outside, I propose to consult my right hon. Friends in order that we may look into the whole question.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr District of Burghs

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of these men are doing most valuable work in the Home Guard?

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

When the right hon. Gentleman gets his information will he publish it in the OFFICIAL REPORT, so that other Members can see it as well as the hon. Member for Finchley (Mr. Crowder)?

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the subject raised in this House last week had nothing to do with E.N.S.A., and that none of the persons concerned worked for E.N.S.A.?

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

May I ask that the right hon. Gentleman should not interfere with civilians entertaining the troops, which they can do very acceptably?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I do not propose to interfere with anybody, but I am aware that the controversy has raised disquiet in the Forces and also raised great disquiet outside, and I think that entertainment plays such an important part in maintaining the morale of the people that it is better to get things on a proper footing, and for that reason I think that inquiries ought to be made.