§ Mr. BAKER
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the continued serious depression in the entertainment industry as a result of which a large number of the members of the Musicians' Union are totally unemployed, and that the practice of permitting the regimental bands of His Majesty's Forces to accept private employment which takes them away from their normal duties is in effect unfair competition; and whether he will issue instructions that service bands must not accept private engagements to the detriment of civilians
§ Mr. GWYNNE
Military bands are allowed to accept private engagements only on the understanding that their702W normal military duties are not interfered with, and that the fair rates charged by civilian bands in the same locality are not to be undercut. Before accepting engagements commanding officers are required to satisfy themselves that this principle is rigidly observed. I do not think that the employment of military bands on these conditions involves unfair competition.