HC Deb 28 April 1971 vol 816 cc413-4
24. Mr. Charles Morrison

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will name the governing bodies of sport that have been received by the Minister with special responsibility for sport since 18th June last.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

Since 18th June last I have met some 60 different sporting organisations, including 19 governing bodies.

Mr. Morrison

I congratulate my hon. Friend on his activity since last June. In the light of his meetings with the various governing bodies, has he been able to draw any conclusions about their views on the future of the sports council? Can he say when he will be able to make an announcement about the future status and powers of the Sports Council?

Mr. Griffiths

I shall take carefully into account in making recommendations to my right hon. Friend about the future of the Sports Council all the views of all sporting bodies with which I can make contact. I hope very much that we shall be able to make an announcement about the future of the Sports Council before very long.

Mr. Ashton

Did the hon. Gentleman give any advice to the Football Association before it played its match against Greece last Wednesday? Is he aware that it was daft enough to play it on the fourth anniversary of the take-over by the Greek colonels, that it was conned into playing the match on that anniversary for political purposes in Greece? Does he not think that he should take more interest in the political connections of sport overseas?

Mr. Griffiths

I believe that the great majority of sporting organisations in this country are adult and responsible bodies perfectly capable of making their own decisions. I would not welcome Government intervention on this ground. I attended the Greek match myself and also the East German match. I encouraged our players to go to China. I am glad that we have wide sporting exchanges with countries of all kinds.