HC Deb 24 February 1920 vol 125 cc1460-1
11. Mr. JESSON

asked the Secretary of State for War if he proposes to take any action to prevent Army bands and bandsmen, who are paid for out of the taxes, from accepting private engagements at summer resorts and other places, having regard to the fact that, while their playing is a side line for the Army bands, they are throwing civilian musicians out of employment at Eastbourne, Hastings, Bath, and other places, and that such civilians, many of whom are discharged and demobilised service men, draw unemployed pay from the State?


I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to his question on the 4th November last, in which I stated that it was not proposed to alter the existing Regulations. As regard individual bandsmen, the Regulations do not interfere with the spare time of a soldier.

13. Mr. JESSON

asked the Secretary of State for War if, in view of his undertaking that Army bands would not be allowed to undersell civilian bands and musicians, he will give the substance of the Report he received from the Eastbourne borough accountant in reference to the employment of Army bands and state whether he made any inquiries from the musicians' trade union concerned; and if he will give a list of the various sums paid to the individual bandsmen, so that hon. Members may be in a position to judge and to express an opinion as to whether the Fair-Wages Clause of the Eastbourne Corporation has been violated by the employment of Army bands to the detriment of civilian musicians?


The report from the Eastbourne Borough Accountant disproves the suggestion that Army bands have been engaged at Eastbourne because they can be obtained more cheaply than civilian bands; the figures show that Army bands have been paid higher rates. I shall be pleased to show the hon. Member the report, should he care to see it.