§ 33. Mr. Conlan
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, what progress has been made with the comprehensive inquiry into the future of football and the problems which beset it; if the inquiry will be in public; whether, in addition to the Football Association and the Football League, all bodies and persons interested in the future well being of football will have the opportunity to present evidence; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Denis Howell
The proposed inquiry had to take second place to the problem of organising facilities for the World Cup games, but I am consulting the various football authorities on the desirability of an inquiry and upon its form if one is established. I have not contemplated a public inquiry, which would be unusual in a case of this kind, but all bodies and persons interested in the well-being of football would have the opportunity to give evidence if the inquiry is set up.
§ Mr. Conlan
I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but is he aware that many Association Football clubs are anxious to make representations to such an inquiry, and will he ensure, in spite of the difficulties in relation to the World Cup to which he refers, that there will be no undue delay in instituting an inquiry?
§ Mr. Howell
I am in communication with all the bodies concerned about the possibility and desirability of such an inquiry. I was not aware that a lot of people were anxious to give evidence—one or two have written to me—but, of course, if an inquiry is established, it will be possible for anyone to give evidence who wishes to do so.
§ Mr. James Johnson
There is also the Parliamentary Sports Committee. Could my hon. Friend get in touch with that?
§ Mr. Howell
I am constantly receiving advice from the Parliamentary Sports Committee. Should it wish to give advice also to an independent body, I could arrange for that to be done.