HC Deb 24 May 1962 vol 660 cc652-3
11. Mr. P. Noel-Baker

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether a National Sports Council will now be appointed to administer the money furnished by the Exchequer for the carrying out of the recommendations of the Wolfenden Report on Sport and Physical Recreation.

4. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now make a statement about the proposed formation of a National Sports Development Council.

Mr. Brooke

No decision on a National Sports Council has yet been taken. My right hon. and learned Friend's statement of 8th May only concerned additional resources to be at the disposal of my right hon. Friends the Minister of Education and the Secretary of State for Scotland, and local authorities, for expenditure on sport and physical recreation for which they are responsible.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will the Chief Secretary represent to the Chancellor that, while I have expressed gratitude to him on behalf of the Parliamentary Sports Committee for keeping the Wolfenden Report alive and providing money for a modest start, the chief recommendation of the Wolfenden Report, made unanimously by. a body of great authority, was that a Sports Council should be set up, because that would mean greater efficiency, and, therefore, greater economy?

Mr. Brooke

I shall certainly bring what the right hon. Gentleman has just said to the Chancellor's attention.

Mr. Denis Howell

Is the Chief Secretary aware that the House debated this matter exactly fourteen months ago, when the Government spokesman said that the subject was actively under consideration? Why has it taken the Government another fourteen months to consider the matter without reaching any conclusion?

Mr. Brooke

Because the Government do consider these matters very carefully.

Mr. Chataway

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that while the role of the Council in regard to public expenditure might be very difficult to decide, such a Council as this could be of great value in distributing the funds, both capital funds and those for maintenance, that are to go to voluntary organisations?

Mr. Brooke

I am sure that the Chancellor will consider what my hon. Friend has said, but my hon. Friend will realise that I am not in a position to say anything further today.

Mr. Bellenger

The right hon. Gentleman may be aware that, although many of us interested in these matters are grateful for the Treasury contribution, the Government are only half completing the work if they do not appoint a Sports Council which will have an overall supervision of the distribution of those funds.

Mr. Brooke

Frankly, I think that the important thing is that the amount authorised in this connection for this year will go up by £5½ million, and that an additional £200,000 will be made available to the voluntary bodies.