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Volume 415: debated on Thursday 1 November 1945

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asked the Lord President of the Council whether the National Services Entertainments Board have now considered a request for an inquiry into E.N.S.A.; and whether he has any statement to make.

The National Service Entertainments Board are of opinion that there is no need whatsoever for an independent public inquiry into E.N.S.A.'s activities. I have also consulted the Service authorities concerned, who consider that the scope of the task undertaken by E.N.S.A. and the enormous difficulties which they have had to face in bringing entertainment to the Forces all over the world have been insufficiently appreciated. It is natural that there should have been local failures and criticisms, but, viewed as a whole, the work of the organisation has been highly commendable. The complaints may perhaps be seen in a better perspective if it is mentioned that between the outbreak of war and the 8th May, 1945, E.N.S.A. performances to the troops and factory workers numbered over a million, and the attendances exceeded 318,000,000.

May the House take it from that answer that the Government are perfectly satisfied that there has been no misdirection of public or N.A.A.F.I. funds in connection with the management of E.N.S.A.?

I have no information to that effect. Certainly the reply may be taken to indicate that the Government see no prima facie case for a Governmental inquiry.