§ 7. Colonel DAY
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many 1294 young English girls are being engaged as dancers and chorus girls for foreign tours; principally in South America, by bogus managers who are sometimes the paid agents of the headquarters of the white slave traffic in those states, and that on arrival there these girls are left stranded, with dishonour the only alternative to starvation; and will he give instructions to have a stricter and more thoroughly adequate supervision of passports issued to all girls accepting a theatrical engagement in a foreign country?
§ Mr. McNEILL
The number of cases of theatrical artistes stranded abroad which have been reported is very small. In the case of all applications for passports from theatrical artistes special precautions are taken and passports are not issued unless the contracts and conditions of employment are recommended as satisfactory by one of the recognised bodies such as the Actors' Association or the Variety Artistes' Federation. His Majesty's Consuls abroad have instructions to take similar precautions in the case of applications made to them. The care thus taken to safeguard women and girls from the dangers referred to is so stringent that it does not appear feasible to make it more complete; but I would gladly consider any suggestion that the hon. and gallant Member may make for additional precautions of a practical nature.
§ Colonel DAY
Will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence to get an early passage through this House of the Theatrical Managers' Registration Bill, which will stop these nefarious practices?
§ Mr. McNEILL
I do not think that arises out of the question, and in any case it should be addressed to the Prime Minister.