HC Deb 12 December 1939 vol 355 cc1013-4
68. Mr. Levy

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that private soldiers are being charged a minimum of 3d. to attend performances given for their entertainment; why is this charge made, and by whose authority; and will he take steps to ensure that soldiers shall be admitted to these shows free of charge?

Sir V. Warrender

The Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes have undertaken the responsibility for this entertainment and have created an organisation for the purpose. The charge of 3d. was authorised by the War Office after consultation with General Officers Commanding-in-Chief of Home Commands, and helps to recover some part of the cost of providing these entertainments. It is hoped to arrange that a proportion of seats in the smaller type of entertainment shall be available at 2d. The general evidence is that the soldier in no way objects to paying for his voluntary attendance at an entertainment.

Mr. Levy

Is my hon. Friend aware that only a few days ago, in a very large camp, the soldiers refused to attend a concert because of the imposition of this charge, and therefore the concert was very ill-attended?

Mr. Macquisten

Is not this just on a level with the overcharge for the soldiers' beer?