Mudcat Café message #660664 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #44831   Message #660664
Posted By: The Shambles
01-Mar-02 - 11:33 AM
Thread Name: USA- HELP Where is Dr Howells?
Subject: RE: USA- HELP Where is Dr Howells?
From the House of Commons debate 27 Feruary 2002

The Minister for Sport (Mr. Richard Caborn): I congratulate the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) on raising these issues tonight. A few weeks ago, he put a question on the matter to the Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting, my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd (Dr. Howells), who unfortunately cannot be here this evening. He is in the United States, battling for Britain by arguing that it is a good tourist destination for Americans, and by promoting our hospitality and leisure and tourist industries in this golden jubilee year.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not true that all that my hon. Friend wanted to do was get away from "Wurzelgate". I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman had anything to do with the door-stepping of my hon. Friend when he visited the west country on the Friday after the question was asked. My hon. Friend was confronted with the Wurzels, who presumably got a tremendous amount of free publicity out of the incident. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport told me that she had to attend the folk singing awards to smooth troubled waters, as it were.

Mr. Heath: The Minister might like to know that the Western Daily Press ran a headline stating, "Wurzelgate: the row that is rocking the Commons." It is true, therefore, that his hon. Friend has a certain notoriety .

Mr. Caborn: As I said, my hon. Friend was door-stepped.

Jim Knight: I wonder whether my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd (Dr. Howells) is promoting British folk music while he is in the United States. He would be interested to know that my local paper, the Dorset Echo, has published correspondence from Americans who say how much they look forward to visiting this country to listen to folk music, what nonsense the two-in-a-bar rule is, and that they are now fearful of joining in with such music.

Mr. Caborn: I have no doubt that they will enjoy it, and I shall text my hon. Friend across the pond to ensure that he mentions the matter in his speech to the Americans in the next day or so.-

Anyone know if he has mentioned it yet or where the Minister who thinks '3 Somerser folk singers are Hell', might be?