21 AUGUST 1936, Page 3

Protectionism in the Arts Protectionism has shown itself in its

least attractive form in the ban imposed by the Ministry of Labour on the season of ballet which was to be given by M. Rene Blum's company in Glasgow. The effect. of the ban is to close a theatre which would otherwise be open and to deprive Glasgow of . the pleasure of watching ballets composed and produced by a choreographer of genius, M. Fokine. The reason given is that the visit of M. Blum's company might injure the season to be given later by our own Vie-Wells Ballet. But it is certain that the effect of seeing one ballet is not to decrease but to increase the desire to. see more. A few years ago there was no ballet in London ; now, owing to the enthusiasm aroused by the Ballets Russes, the metropolis supports several companies, and each profits by the existence of the others ; the gain in appreciation of ballet is, of course, enormous. And the ban is unfortunate because, though ballet is not a native art, it has made its home in England, and we may reasonably. hope to see a flourishing school of ballet established here ; the prohibition of competition will certainly not encourage that.