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Military Tattoo, Berlin

Volume 436: debated on Tuesday 15 April 1947

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20 and 21.

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether he has authorised the preparations now being made in the British zone of Berlin for a Grand Military Tattoo lasting four days to be held in August, 1947; how many man hours of training time will be spent in B.A.O.R. in the next three months in preparation for this event; and how many officers and men will take part;

(2) how many special trains it is proposed to run between Hanover and Berlin for spectators of the Grand Military Tattoo to be held in August, 1947; and how many tons of coal will be needed for this purpose.

I am aware of the proposal to hold a tattoo in Berlin from 11th to 16th August. I have called for the particular information asked for by my hon. Friend and will communicate with him when I have it. The financial proceeds of the tattoo will be devoted to the welfare of German children.

Is not this proposal a gross wastage of manpower and resources? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Will not the Secretary of State reconsider it, and adopt some better policy for the troops in Germany at the moment?

No, Sir. I think it will be conducive to morale and discipline,. and I know from my own experience of the result of a similar tattoo in Austria that not only was it popular with the Army, but it was widely popular among Austrians as well.

Will the Secretary of State deny that it is proposed to run a number of special trains, and to use German rolling stock and coal for this purpose?

I am not in a position to deny that, but it is a piece of information which I will try to ascertain for my hon. Friend.