HC Deb 18 April 1957 vol 568 cc2093-4
45. Mr. Lipton

asked the Prime Minister whether he will appoint a Minister of Sport.

Sir E. Boyle

I have been asked to reply.

No, Sir. Having taken the duty off sport, the Government do not consider that it is necessary to impose a Minister on it.

Mr. Lipton

Leaving jokes on one side, is the hon. Gentleman aware that, in view of the disclosures about Sunderland Football Club, the time is ripe for a clean-up of professional football and some other sports, including sham amateurism? Could not that best be achieved, if not by having a Minister of Sport, by having an independent advisory body, appointed by the Government, which could keep sport and various governing bodies under review?

Sir E. Boyle

Perhaps at the appropriate time we could have a debate in this House on sham amateurism. The hon. Member has all the sport he needs without there being a Minister to look after it.

Major Legge-Bourke

Will my hon. Friend give an assurance that the reluctance of the Prime Minister to appoint a Minister of Sport does not mean that there is not still a place for an outside right even in a party team?

Mr. Gaitskell

In congratulating the Parliamentary Secretary on his "promotion" and the wittiness of his reply, may I ask him to bear in mind that there is a strong case for assisting sport and that his own Department could do a great deal more in that direction?

Sir E. Boyle

Of course, it is the policy of my noble Friend, the Minister of Education, to foster physical education in schools, and local authorities use their powers under Section 53 of the Act to provide physical and other forms of recreation. I was prepared for that one.