Coarse Fishing

Oral Answers to Questions — National Heritage – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd March 1993.

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Photo of Mr Eric Clarke Mr Eric Clarke , Midlothian 12:00 am, 22nd March 1993

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what support his Department gives to the sport of coarse fishing.

Photo of Mr Peter Brooke Mr Peter Brooke Secretary of State for National Heritage

Most Government funding of sport is made through the Sports Council. In 1991, the Sports Council paid grant of £20,000 to the National Federation of Anglers, the governing body for course fishing. The grant paid so far for 1992 is £15,000, but final levels of grant for that year and this are likely to be decided in May.

Photo of Mr Eric Clarke Mr Eric Clarke , Midlothian

The Secretary of State will be aware that his right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is setting up the Environment Protection Agency—[HON. MEMBERS: "Reading."] Yes, I am.

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. That is just the sort of confession for which I have been waiting. The hon. Gentleman knows that during Question Time hon. Members do not read.

Photo of Mr Eric Clarke Mr Eric Clarke , Midlothian

Will the Secretary of State ask his right hon. and learned Friend to confer with the 4 million anglers—it is the most popular sport in Britain—about the work of the proposed agency so that we can ensure that it benefits both the environment and the anglers who enjoy that most popular sport?

Photo of Mr Peter Brooke Mr Peter Brooke Secretary of State for National Heritage

The hon. Gentleman makes what appears to be a wholly unexceptionable request. I will certainly talk to my right hon. and learned Friend.

Photo of Mr John Marshall Mr John Marshall , Hendon South

Does my right hon. Friend not find it slightly ironic that the cheers in favour of angling and fishing come from those who, on every other occasion, are against any form of blood sport?

Photo of Mr Peter Brooke Mr Peter Brooke Secretary of State for National Heritage

That particular contradiction has been remarked on by others. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for mentioning it again.