HC Deb 08 April 1925 vol 182 cc2224-5

asked the Minister of Labour on what date permits were granted to two American bands, named Vincent Lopez, with a band of 17, and Ted Lewis, with a band of eight, to perform at the Capitol Theatre in the Kit Cat Club; to whom the permits were issued; whether the person to whom they were issued was the actual employer; if not, who was; whether any conditions were attached to the permit by the Ministry of Labour as to the dismissal or suspension of British musicians then employed at the said theatre; and whether these conditions have been, in fact, observed?


Permits for the bands have not actually been issued, but arrangements have been made to issue them, on certain conditions, to Foster's Agency, Limited, acting on behalf of the employers, the Capitol Theatre and the Haymarket Kit Cat Club. The two bands are not both to be in this country at the same time, and among the conditions imposed is a stipulation that the entry of the Vincent Lopez Band does not result in the suspension or dismissal of the British bands employed on the 10th March, that the number of British musicians employed is not decreased or their salaries adversely affected, and that an additional British band, of not less than 10 performers, is engaged to play concurrently with the Vincent Lopez Band, this band being retained to play also with the Ted Lewis Band, which will enter after the Lopez Band has left. As the permits have not been issued, the question of the observance of the conditions does not yet arise.


Is the Minister aware that on the 9th March 12 members of the existing band were given notice and have since been discharged?


Yes, I think it is quite true that the existing band was reduced about the time mentioned by the hon. Member, but I am inclined to think that he is under a misapprehension in thinking that the new band was brought in to take the place of the band to which he refers. I rather think the band to which he refers played in the orchestra and the new band is to take a turn upon the stage.

Colonel DAY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Musicians' Union used to be consulted by previous Governments before these permits were issued, whereas now these bands are allowed to enter and the Musicians' Union is notified afterwards?


I think notice ought to be given of that question.