8 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 2

Entertainment in War Time

The closing of all theatres and other places of public entertainment at the beginning of the war was perhaps a necessary precautionary measure, and in London and other evacuation areas it was obviously wise at the first stage of the emergency. But it is as clear as can be that such a ban on entertainment could not possibly remain general without an incalculable loss to the good spirits and morale of the nation. In the last war in areas not far behind the Front Line and not free from danger of shells and bombs the troops were allowed to congregate for concert-parties and similar amusements. Such relief was invaluable to their spirits. It would be a grave mistake not to make all the use we can of actors, variety artists and musicians who have the will and the skill to take our minds off the pressing disquietudes of the war. In reception areas at least there should be no hesitation in providing facilities for such recreation. "Equity" has for some time been organising its members with a view to the provision of repertory companies, etc., for tht provinces or wherever they may be needed. Mr. Basil Dean has made the excellent suggestion that an entertaining authority (possibly under the chairmanship of Lord Esher) should be set up as part of the Civil Defence Administration.