HC Deb 20 November 1958 vol 595 cc1322-3
45. Miss Burton

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that other governments offer financial grants to make possible the staging of sporting events, and that Great Britain is losing opportunities because of this lack of finance; and if he will now consider making an annual grant to help the development of sport at all levels.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

In recent years several major international sporting events, notably the Olympic Games of 1948 and the Empire and Commonwealth Games this year, have been successfully held in this country without any direct financial support by the Government. As regards sport in general, there are various ways in which the Government give financial assistance to the development of sport both through local authorities and directly to voluntary and other bodies.

Miss Burton

As the right hon. Gentleman will know, the first part of his Answer is exactly the same as the one he gave me last week. [HON. MEMBERS: "So is the Question the same."] May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that a great many countries, including the Scandinavian countries, do give help for the development of sport, and that there is strong feeling in this country that something should be given to assist the local authorities and young people in the provision of facilities?

The Prime Minister

The reason the Answer was the same was that the Question was the same, or practically the same. The Government do, of course, give grants under the Education Act to local authorities, up to 60 per cent. of £3 million which they spend; also grants to local authorities and to voluntary bodies under the Social and Physical Training Grants Regulations, which came to about £200,000 this year; also under the Physical Training and Recreation Act about £400,000 is provided. I think there is a distinction between how to help ordinary sport going on around the country and those particular, great occasions like the Games, which we of course like to have here when we can.