HC Deb 11 May 1950 vol 475 cc578-9
81. Mr. Marlowe

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that there is unemployment in the theatrical business; why, in the circumstances, permission has been given for 16 American actors and actresses to perform in a play called "Mr. Roberts," shortly to be produced at the Coliseum Theatre, London; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of British artistes in British theatres.

Mr. Isaacs

One permit at present has been granted for the engagement of an American actor for the play mentioned, which deals with life aboard an American Merchant Navy ship during the war. It is understood that applications will shortly be made for the engagement of about another 16. In addition to these there will be about 35 British actors in the cast. The professional association representing British stage artistes has informed the theatrical management concerned that it has no objection to the proposal.

As regards the last part of the Question, I would assure the hon. Member that in considering applications for permits to engage foreign artistes the fullest regard is paid to the interests of British artistes in regard to employment both in British and in foreign theatres.

Mr. G. Cooper

May I ask whether there are completely reciprocal arrangements for British artistes playing in the United States of America?

Mr. Isaacs

I would rather see that Question on the Order Paper.