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Overseas Entertainment

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 2 November 1943

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34.

asked the Secretary of State for War what increase there has been in recent months of mobile cinemas available for the entertainment of the Forces serving overseas?

Since 1st July, 52 additional mobile cinemas have been provided by the Army for showing entertainment, educational and training films to the Forces overseas. A further 50 will be provided before the end of the year.

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, might I ask whether there is not some difficulty by reason of divided responsibility between E.N.S.A. and the Army entertainment service? Would it not be better to bring the whole thing under the control of the Army?

That matter, as I said in reply to other hon. Members, is engaging my attention. Not only is there divided responsibility at present, but there are many divided opinions.

Would the suggestion of the hon. and gallant Member not lead to waste of man-power? Is there any lack of co-operation on the part of the Army in this matter?

On the last part of the Question, which is the relevant one, the answer is quite definitely, No.

35.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is satisfied that E.N.S.A. and similar organisations are providing the maximum of entertainment possible for the Forces serving overseas; and, if not, whether he will take steps to improve the position?

38.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of criticism of the arrangements by E.N.S.A. for the entertainment of the troops overseas and the fact that many professional stars are giving little or no assistance, he will investigate the possibilities of improvement in their programmes?

The War Office and the other two Services are doing all that they can, in conjunction with E.N.S.A., to secure the improvement for which my hon. Friends look.