§ Mr. William Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his refusal to allow the South African Rugby XV to play on service grounds.
§ Mr. Hattersley
As I said in reply to the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) on 5th November, 1969, an informal approach was made to the United Service Sports Club for use of the Portsmouth ground. There was also a requirement that the use of the ground for this fixture should not be made public until the morning of the match. The match was originally planned to be played at the ground of the Oxford University Rugby Club. The change of venue was proposed because of the controversy which surrounded this fixture. I concluded that it would be inappropriate in all the circumstances to agree to the using of a Ministry of Defence ground for this match.—[Vol. 790, c. 140–41.]