HC Deb 03 November 1966 vol 735 cc639-40
20. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has yet completed his consideration of the suggestion of the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North, that he should organise a national festival to honour Great Britain's achievements in swimming and other field sports as demonstrated in international sporting competitions in 1966; and if he will make a statement.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Denis Howell)

I am glad to pay tribute to Britain's achievements in international sport, but it would not be appropriate for the Government to organise a national festival for this purpose.

Mr. Hughes

Why should not British sport have a national festival when other features of British life have national festivals? Does not the Minister agree that there is too much unpatriotic pessimism about the splendid achievements of British athletes in the past year?

Mr. Denis Howell

I do not believe that any festival could crown the glory of England winning the World Cup. The proper festive atmosphere in sport is to be found in achievement on the field of sport.