HC Deb 17 February 1949 vol 461 cc1333-4
35. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the Minister of Health for what reasons he sanctioned contributions from local authorities, amounting to —1,201 towards the expenditure of the Henley Olympic Regatta; and why, in view of the fact that some —900 of the expenditure involved was on account of providing dinner to competitors and officials, arrangements were not made for some proportion of the expenditure to be borne by the State.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Aneurin Bevan)

I am not able to identify the figure mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member, but in respect of the Regatta I sanctioned payments totalling £460 as contributions by the local authorities to a voluntary fund in view of their interest in its success. Questions of Government hospitality are not for me.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is this not a national rather than a local responsibility; and could it not have been, and should it not have been, appropriately charged to the Government Hospitality Fund?

Mr. Bevan

I have answered that: Questions of Government hospitality are not for me.

Mr. Wilson Harris

In view of the amount of money this event brings into the immediate neighbourhood, in one way or another, is it not very reasonable that the local authority should make some contribution?

Mr. Bevan

It was because I thought the initiative and interest of the local authority were reasonable that I sanctioned the payment.