HC Deb 14 February 1972 vol 831 c15
13. Mr. Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action was taken by the British Ambassador in Madrid to find employment in Spain for the British matador, Mr. Henry Higgins.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Anthony Royle)

In the course of conversation on a social occasion with the Spanish Minister of Tourism, the Ambassador mentioned that he had heard that Mr. Henry Higgins was having some difficulty in obtaining engagements in Spain and he expressed the hope that there was in this no discrimination against a British subject as such.

Mr. Lipton

Is it not the duty of a British ambassador to project British attitudes and the British way of life? How is it that, either officially or unofficially, our man in Madrid should go out of his way to find for a British subject work which is illegal in Britain?

Mr. Royle

There is no inference to be drawn of the sort which the hon. Member has just drawn. The ambassador was simply interested in helping a British subject who was encountering difficulties in his profession. Bull fighting is not illegal in Spain. As I have said, the ambassador was simply interested in helping a British subject.

Mr. Jeffrey Archer

Would my hon. Friend agree that Mr. Higgins' talents would be better spent in this country fighting the bull that comes from the Opposition Front Bench?

Mr. Royle

I have no doubt that Mr. Higgins would certainly enjoy doing that very much.

Mr. Lipton

As I am not a member of the Opposition Front Bench and in view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment.

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