HC Deb 05 May 1949 vol 464 cc1206-7
67. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the attempt of the Musicians' Union to prevent military bands from playing in uniform at civil entertainments; and what action he proposes to take on behalf of the military bands.

Mr. Isaacs

I have no authority to intervene but I understand that the particular case which arose last week was settled between the parties concerned.

Mr. Keeling

Would the Minister tell us what the settlement was; and is he aware that the British public will never tolerate any interference with martial music, which is one of the few tonics they get today, apart from drugs?

Mr. Isaacs

I accept the opinion of the hon. Gentleman in the second part of the supplementary question. As to the first part, as I have no authority to intervene I have not poked my nose in to get information.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Is it not a fact that the question of the military playing in uniform is a matter entirely for His Majesty's Government, and not for an outside body such as the Musicians' Union?

Mr. Isaacs

I would submit that questions relating to the operations of members of His Majesty's Forces ought to be put to the Secretary of State for War.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the case which gave rise to this Question there was no question of under-cutting prices or rates, and that the principal objection raised by the Musicians' Union was to the band in question playing in uniform? Can that be right?

Mr. Isaacs

I can only say that it may be, but as I had no authority in the matter I did not intervene.

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