HC Deb 19 May 1975 vol 892 cc988-9
4. Mr. Gwynfor Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make representations to secure the right of Welsh national teams in all sports to compete separately in all major international events.

Mr. Barry Jones

The rules about international competition in any sport are matters for the international sports federations concerned. I see no reason for intervening.

Mr. Evans

Is the Minister aware of the growing demand in Wales for full national status in sport? Is he aware that it would be highly desirable to remove the obstacles which now deny the right of Welsh teams to compete in major international events and to ensure for them the kind of freedom they would have if Wales had her own Parliament? Will the hon. Gentleman and his right hon. and learned Friend make representations to those British bodies, which are also English bodies, in control of sport in these countries so that they cease their opposition to allowing Wales the right and freedom to compete?

Mr. Jones

I know that the hon. Gentleman is President of the Welsh Amateur Weightlifters' Association. I had the privilege of seeing the Chinese People's Republic lifting against Wales, and I saw Wales do very well in Cardiff.

This is an unlikely area for Government intervention. It is a matter for the sporting associations and the Sports Council. We do not have, and we do not want, the power to dictate.

Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

Does my hon. Friend agree that the Welsh international rugby team has carried the Welsh dragon even more successfully than the party led by the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Evans)?

Mr. Jones

Yes, Sir, and I think that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister would agree.