HC Deb 26 March 1979 vol 965 cc17-8
14. Mr. Michael Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy towards Welsh sports teams touring South Africa.

Mr. Barry Jones

In accordance with the spirit of the Gleneagles agreement, my right hon. and learned Friend's policy is to discourage Welsh sporting teams from touring South Africa.

Mr. Roberts

Does the Minister believe that it is reasonable to assume that the lack of strident criticism of the intention of three leading Welsh rugby clubs, Newport, Cardiff and Llanelli, to tour South Africa is a recognition that the Welsh rugby fraternity is as opposed to apartheid as he and his hon. Friends are?

Mr. Barry Jones

I hope that the hon. Member will look at the answer given by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 19 March. I stress that there is no room for complacency. Progress has not been as great as many people have made out.

Mr. Kinnock

Is my hon. Friend aware that Phil Bennett and the other two players who went to play in Northern Transvaal played for mixed-race teams? Although this will not succeed in wiping out the apartheid policy, it means, nevertheless, that on the issue of selection by race the rugby fraternity in Wales will continue to show its view that this is the most obnoxious and divisive attitude known in politics or sport.

Mr. Barry Jones

The Government believe that apartheid in sport is repugnant. My right hon. Friend the Minister with responsibility for sport put forward the Government's view in a written answer on 9 March.

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