HC Deb 26 March 1941 vol 370 cc570-1
30. Captain Cunningham-Reid

asked the Minister of Information why dances are permitted every Saturday in the building of the Ministry of Information?

Mr. Cooper

Because it is the policy of the public service to give reasonable facilities for recreation on official premises for those who under present conditions must remain on the premises over a long period such as a week-end, provided the facilities do not interfere with hours of duty or involve a charge on public funds.

Captain Cunningham-Reid

I am all for dances occasionally to help forget the war, but would it not be possible for these dances to be held outside the building? In view of the fact that there are men and women supposed to be working day and night at the Ministry of Information, is it very conducive to good work and concentration that a dance, where there is liquor, should be in progress in the same building?

Mr. Cooper

I do not think that the suggestion of the hon. and gallant Member that dances should be held outside the building is very useful. The only reason for the dances being held in the building is that people are compelled to remain in the building.

Mr. Vernon Bartlett

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these dances cost nothing at all to the State, that in anvcase the lights are on, that the orchestra is provided by a gramophone, and that the questioner is either ill-informed or very mean?

Mr. McGovern

Can the Minister state whether pacifists are allowed to dance?