§ 13. Mr. THORNE
asked the Home Secretary whether he has yet received any information about the British Union of Fascists flying corps section; if he has any information about the display at a disused aerodrome in the Gloucestershire area on Sunday, 20th May, when five airplanes took part under Air Staff Officer Neale; if he is aware that the pilots have to report to the area commander on the suitability of each member for further air and flying instruction; and if he intends taking any action in the matter?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I have received a report from the Chief Constable of Gloucestershire, who informs me that on the 20th May last a flying meeting was held at a disused aerodrome in that county which was attended by about 250 Fascists of both sexes, most of whom arrived in chars-a-bancs. The object of the meeting, as announced by the gentleman in charge, a Mr. Godman, who styles himself Commander, was to give members of the Fascist movement, especially the ladies who had any intention of qualifying for an air pilot's certificate, a chance to become acquainted with aircraft. Five aeroplanes were present and instruction was given by a qualified pilot. A number of Fascists availed themselves of free flights, but it would not appear that the aeroplanes were there especially for the benefit of the Fascists, since many other members of the public were present and were taken for flights for which they paid. The police have no information to support the suggestion that the pilots 1876 have to report to the Area Commander on the suitability of each member for further flying instruction. On my present information, and as I am at present advised, there does not seem to be need for any action on my part.
§ Mr. THORNE
Does the right hon. Gentleman not recognise that the potential dictator must have a private army at his command, or otherwise must worm his way into the Army and Navy in this country?
§ 38. Lieut. - Commander AGNEW (for Mr. RUTHERFORD)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, with regard to the meeting organised by the British Union of Fascists, and held at Olympia on Thursday evening, 7th June, tickets of admission were sold for this meeting; and whether Entertainment Tax was paid upon the tickets?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)
The term "entertainment" as defined in Section 1 (6) of the Finance (New Duties) Act, 1916, includes:any exhibition, performance, amusement, game or sport, to which persons are admitted for payment,but I am advised that political or propagandist meetings cannot be held to come within any of these descriptions of entertainment, and consequently the question of the payment of Entertainments Duty in respect of the meeting to which my hon. Friend refers did not arise.
§ Lieut.-Commander AGNEW
Is it not a fact that there was a semi-military procession right up the whole length of the hall with people bearing standards; and could not that be said to bring it within the definition of an entertainment?