§ MR. O'GRADY (Leeds, E.)
To ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that a large number of professional civilian musicians are out of employment as a result of the competition of military bandsmen; whether he is aware that, in London alone, 400 civilian musicians are thus deprived of earning a livelihood; and, having regard to the fact that no other branch of the service is permitted to neglect their military duties to enter into competition with civilian ratepayers, and in view of the hardship arising from these circumstances, whether he will issue an order that the regulations respecting military duties shall apply equally to bandsmen as to other parts of the service.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Haldane.) I have no means of testing the accuracy of the figures mentioned in the Question, but, as I explained on the 14th June last in answer to a Question put by the hon. Member for South Belfast,† the existing rules have been devised to prevent unfair competition, and I do not propose to make any change in them.