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still a structure of research and development which lays down the skills for the British farmer to use to enable him to prosper into the 1990s. It has not been easy and it will not be easy for the next few years, but I am quite sure that the Minister is the right man to take these thoughts forward to Brussels in these very difficult negotiations.

9.23 pm

Mr. John Home Robertson (East Lothian) : Until the hon. Member for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) joined us, we were having a fairly lively debate. I am sorry that he wound it down ; perhaps we can now wind it up again. Certainly it was a well-informed debate, expressing the concerns of farmers and consumers from every part of the United Kingdom. I say that it was well informed because, as my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill (Mr. Davis) pointed out, the hon. Member for Ceredigion and Pembroke, North (Mr. Howells) was so well informed about bovine spongiform encephalopathy that he knew about it 50 years before it existed. This caused some surprise on both sides of the House. If he knew about it, it would have been helpful if he had told us about it.

Mr. Geraint Howells : I stand by what I said. I would never have expected the hon. Gentleman, who is a farmer, to be so dull and ignorant of the facts.

Mr. Home Robertson : I shall enjoy re-reading what the hon. Gentleman said, but I suspect that he would be hard put to find anyone, in the veterinary profession or anywhere else, who would seriously suggest that the disease had existed for so long. The Government have much to answer for after 10 years of the reckless pursuit of free market policies, of cuts in public expenditure and of confused tinkering with the common agricultural policy. Those 10 years of malice and incompetence have taken a heavy toll in the rural and agricultural areas of the United Kingdom, as has been fully confirmed by hon. Members on both sides of the House. I read the correspondence columns in the farming press from time to time and I know of the increasingly harsh criticism of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the Government and all their works, so I am not surprised that a number of Conservative Members have expressed anxiety about the industry. In particular, the hon. Members for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Marland), for Cambridgeshire, North-East (Mr. Moss), for Buckingham (Mr. Walden) and for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) seemed to urge a little caution on the Minister. I take this opportunity gently to remind the farming industry--if it needs reminding--that it always does better under Labour Governments. We should welcome some support and participation from those involved in agriculture in our attempts to get rid of a Government who have taken their loyal rural supporters for granted and have ridden roughshod over the interests and aspirations of rural communities throughout the United Kingdom.

I must say that it is difficult to criticise the Government's agricultural policy--[ Hon. Members :-- "Hear, hear."]--because if it exists at all, it is a closely guarded secret, rather like the annual review of agriculture, which the Minister told us in his opening remarks was published today, although unfortunately hon. Members could not get hold of copies of it.


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Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman : I did.

Mr. Home Robertson : I do not know how the hon. Lady got hold of a copy. It was certainly not available in the Vote Office, so I can only assume that she has an inside line to the Ministry.

We have had four Ministers of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food since the Government were elected in 1979, and during that period we have had no White Paper on agriculture and no guidance for the future of the farming industry. The last White Paper on agriculture, entitled "Farming and the Nation", was published by the late John Silkin in 1979 under the Labour Government.

The industry has a fine record of responding to the policies of successive Governments to meet the changing needs and priorities of the nation. But since 1979, agriculture has been left completely adrift--to stagger from crisis to crisis. Today's debate amply confirms the fact that the industry is in crisis. The framework that helped the industry to respond has been weakened and disrupted--I think in particular of the destruction of the research and advisory system that supported the industry so well for many years. Now there is doubt about the future of the Milk Marketing Board, and it would help if the Minister would take the opportunity of this debate to say what the Government proposed to do about that.

Market forces have driven the industry inexorably towards increased dependence on agrochemicals and intensive practices while the common agricultural policy has continued to distort the industry and generate the costly surpluses about which the hon. Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) rightly keeps telling us.

The Government have evidently recognised the need for radical changes in the CAP, but no one is prepared to explain where those changes are leading us. Surely no one regards the notion of set-aside as a satisfactory long- term policy for farming and the countryside. We have heard a lot about level playing fields in the debate, but there is a limit to the number of golf courses that can be built round the country to take up surplus agricultural land.

Perhaps it was the previous Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, now the Secretary of State for Education and Science, who let the cat out of the bag when he suggested that farmers who were hard up should rely on the social security system. One sad by-product of the Government's neglect of and indecision about the future of British agriculture has been the collapse of public confidence in the industry and its products.

There have been some spectacular cock-ups in recent years--starting with the chaotic response to pollution from Chernobyl. We should remember from time to time that, four years on, 758 farms are still subject to restrictions as a result of that incident. Then there was salmonella in eggs, then nitrate in water, and much more recently we have had the crisis of lead contamination in cattle feed. The Minister will be able to confirm that 1,668 farms are still subject to restrictions because of the Government's failure to protect farmers from that imported junk food. Then, as has been well demonstrated during this debate, there is the question of bovine spongiform encephalopathy--a matter to which I intend to return in a few minutes. Now we have the threat to introduce bovine somatoltropin and irradiation. All this is calculated to undermine the position of our farmers and, for the consumers, their produce.


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There has also been the underlying failure to steer the industry in accordance with the developing needs and aspirations of the British people, both as consumers of food and as people concerned about their countryside. It is in that context that I make my point about the Government's failure to produce a White Paper on farming--a matter that I regard as genuinely important.

Mr. Spearing : Is my hon. Friend aware that it would be difficult for the Government to produce a White Paper? Is it not a fact that most White Papers are statements of Government intent? Many of us regard it as a misfortune that the United Kingdom cannot have an agricultural policy ; there is only the common agriculture policy, which is determined in Brussels. Is that not why there is no--and, alas, can be no--statement of Government policy in a White Paper?

Mr. Home Robertson : That did not prevent Labour Ministers from producing White Papers on agriculture. It is only this lot who have so signally failed to do so. It would be useful if, from time to time, Ministers and their officials were to take the trouble to consult the industry and other interested parties with a view to setting down a reviewed framework of policies and priorities, perhaps every four or five years. If they had done that, perhaps things would have worked out very differently for the industry.

Such consultation and consideration would certainly have pointed towards a slowing down in intensification many years ago and, perhaps, to gradual changes in direction, and would have prevented the panic responses to crises that the industry has been experiencing. Certainly they would have ruled out the prospect of the introduction of irradiation or BST.

Mr. Teddy Taylor rose--

Mr. Home Robertson : I am sorry that I cannot give way to the hon. Gentleman. His hon. Friends took up more time than they were meant to, and I want to give the Minister a reasonable time to respond to the debate.

As for BSE, it is always easy to be wise after the event, but since it was known from scientific work back in 1980 that scrapie could be transmitted orally to monkeys, surely it was rather reckless to water down the regulations covering the processing of sheep offal in that very year. I am not saying that those regulations would have prevented the disastrous development of BSE in British cattle, but they might have helped. My hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark) put it to the Minister that those regulations may have been watered down as part of the Government's policy of lifting the burden from industry. Perhaps as a consequence of that decision, the Government have created a far more serious burden. I understand that farmers still have no way of establishing whether compound feeds contain animal residues. Understandably, they are interested in that subject now.

My hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Mr. Martlew) made an important point. He has received information to the effect that full compensation is payable where BSE cattle are found in

slaughterhouses. It would be helpful if the Minister explained how compensation can be available to butchers if not to farmers. The point was well made by my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields--indeed, by hon. Members on both sides of the House--that there is an overwhelming case for the introduction of 100 per cent.


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compensation and for urgent consideration of a slaughter policy to insure the eradication of this very dangerous disease at the earliest possible date.

Obviously we shall soon have an opportunity to debate the Government's Food Safety Bill. It seems to be a cautious step in the right direction, but I fear that it is too little, too late. For our part, we are determined to establish an independent food standard agency to take a grip on matters in the interests of consumers and producers.

As to the current plight of farming, I wonder how Conservative Members of Parliament dare show their faces in their rural constituencies in view of the Government's record in recent years. There has been bad news at every turn. My hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) referred to the impact of the viciously anti-rural poll tax on farm workers in tied accommodation. There is an immediate rural housing crisis. There is the criminal under-funding of vital services such as transport, education and the Health Service. From one end to the other, as Conservative Members know, rural Britain has taken a hammering.

What about farming? Nye Bevan is supposed to have complained that the regeneration of agriculture by the 1945 Labour Government had only made it possible for farmers to pay their subscriptions to the Tory party. I wonder how many of them are still making that mistake today. I expect that many of them are saying that they cannot afford it. If they contrast the record of the post-war Labour Government on agriculture with that of the present Government, they should break the habit of generations and opt for a safer future with the Labour party.

When I was actively participating in farming back in 1978, I was running a mixed farming enterprise and, in common with other people in the industry, I was investing in improvements. That style of management is not possible today because of vicious interest rates and other aspects of Government policy.

Borrowings by agriculture have trebled from £3.4 billion in 1978, when Labour was in power, to about £10 billion in the current year. Interest payments are up more than five times in the same period, from £184 million to a crippling £948 million. That is a grim burden. It is unlikely to get better so long as the Government pursue their present policies, which have driven farmers' overdraft interest rates up to 18 per cent.

We also have the continuing effects of high inflation on input costs, while output prices are constrained by the 18 per cent. distortion of the green pound, which has been mentioned by hon. Members on all sides, but particularly by my hon. Friend the Member for Clwyd, South-West (Mr. Jones). That must be rectified ; I am glad that the Minister acknowledged that point.

The industry is in real trouble. That must spell danger for the rural economy, and particularly for the hills and uplands. The disadvantages far outweigh the long-delayed adjustment in hill livestock compensatory allowances for sheep which the Minister announced last week. He conveniently did not comment on his failure to increase HLCAs for cattle, which is particularly important because the cattle industry is going through a difficult time. We must maintain the diversity of grazing enterprises in the hills and uplands.


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The consequences of the Government's policy have been grave for the rural economy. The hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) referred to statistics published by the National Farmers Union of Scotland about employees on farms in Scotland. In five years, the total has fallen by 23 per cent., from 19,100 to 14,771. The industry is left with a dwindling and aging work force, and inadequate training and career prospects for young people. There has been a dramatic cut in investment in maintenance, buildings and the replacement of collapsing land drainage systems. All that is hitting rural employment. It also means that agriculture will be ill prepared to compete in Europe after 1992. That distortion of our trading position must be another burden on Britain's disastrous trade balance, as we tax food exports and subsidise food imports.

Mr. Lord rose--

Mr. Home Robertson : No. I must be fair to the Minister. It is important that he have a proper opportunity to reply to the debate. We are literally subsidising imports. I understand that Irish beef imports coming into Britain at present get a built-in advantage of £60 a head. That cannot make sense, but that seems to be the general policy of the Government towards our trading partners. They sell and we buy and, to add insult to injury, we have to buy eggs contaminated with salmonella from the Netherlands whether we like it or not. The Minister really should do something about that.

We see no sense in prolonging the green pound discrepancy and we welcome the Minister's assurance that he will do everything possible to eliminate it. The green pound is a mechanism that has outlived any possible usefulness and now is the time for it to go.

For our part, when we come to power in the not so distant future we will introduce economic policies to encourage investment and enterprise, which will be good for farming as well as other industries. We will adopt rural policies to regenerate the rural communities. We will introduce a green premium to encourage extensification on farms and we will establish an independent food standards agency to restore confidence in British food.

Meanwhile, we have to leave the Minister to his own limited devices, which are well illustrated in this week's edition of Farming News. This is what it says about the Minister :

"Nothing to do with me, said junior farm Minister David Curry, as he abdicated any MAFF responsibility for the lack of Government popularity with farmers.

Before beating a speedy retreat from his audience of Essex farmers back to the confines of Westminster, Mr. Curry pleaded for realism in judging the Ministry's efforts on the green £, co-responsibility levies, GATT talks and even strawburning.

I don't claim that everything is under control,' he said. But in those areas for which we do have responsibility we are making as great an effort as we can

Times are difficult for farmers and I am not here to pretend that that is not the case,' the Minister said."

Well, heaven help the farming industry, because the Minister clearly cannot.

9.41 pm

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. David Curry) : I imagine that Labour Membersmust have been most anxious to keep their agricultural policy under wraps pending the epoch-making speech that their leader is to


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make to the National Farmers Union annual dinner. It will be the first time he has ever addressed himself to agricultural questions and, if what we just heard is a curtain raiser to that, I hope that the NFU invites him to speak before the soup so that he can leave before it is served, because that will be the only thing he has to offer.

In the last 15 seconds of the speech of the hon. Member for East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson), we heard the Labour party agricultural policy. They are going to do something about the economy and to green things generally. For most of the rest of his speech, the hon. Gentleman was complaining that my right hon. Friend does not spend his time swimming up and down the Bristol channel preventing contaminated feed from Holland arriving in the United Kingdom, and was accusing him of being responsible for the explosion of a Soviet nuclear power station in the Ukraine. My right hon. Friend has many talents and his writ runs a long way, but we regard that as something of a Socialist action and not one for which we claim responsibility. I should have thought that in all the interventions from the Opposition there might have been a hint--a whisper, just a clue--about what farmers might expect if Labour were returned to power. But all that we were told by the hon. Gentleman was that the time had come to get rid of the green pound. We all know how well qualified he is to press for that and how good that advice is, because when the Labour party was in government and the bottom point of its inflation was almost as low as the peak of ours, it deliberately maintained the biggest green pound gap in the history of the British agricultural industry.

If that is to be the precedent, I do not think that the sort of remarks that the hon. Gentleman has made here will be considered very credible. Farming News, unfortunately, does not always get it right, especially since I ceased to write for it. And, of course, I did not flee to Westminster--I flew to Dengie to look at green crop industry, because we try to keep abreast of innovation. So they got their geography wrong, apart from anything else. However, I will forgive them in return for the past enjoyment of writing for that very singular newspaper.

We look forward to what the Leader of the Opposition has to say about Labour's agricultural policy when he addresses the NFU, and will examine it with the closest attention. I have no doubt that the Opposition agricultural spokesman will wish to examine it as well, because his view must differ substantially from that of his right hon. Friend or it will not make sense.

A series of themes were raised in the debate and I shall address them. No one failed to mention the green pound. The level playing field was mentioned so often that I wondered whether I had been translated to the post with responsibility for sport and recreation. The position is simple, and my hon. Friend the Member for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) set it out straight. My right hon. Friend the Minister does not just pick up the telephone, ring Ray MacSharry and say,"By the way Commissioner, we would like 15 per cent. or 10 per cent. off the green pound." We cannot take unilateral action on the green pound. It would be utterly futile to demand a White Paper, because agricultural policy is determined in the Community and, increasingly, in the wider international community as the GATT talks indicate.

Dr. David Clark : Labour had one in 1979.


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Mr. Curry : Not before we were a member of the European Community. The hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing), who follows these constitutional matters with more expertise than the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark), put him straight on that.

As for the green pound, we have made it clear that we wish to reach the target of zero by 1992 to which the Community is committed. That means that we must take a substantial chunk this time round. We have recognised that the agricultural community believes that this is essential, and we share that view. The Commission has proposed a cut of one third.

No hon. Member should think that it is a doddle to get that third. We have to persuade the other Ministers in the Council of Ministers. As I am sure hon. Members know, there are only two ways in which a Commission proposal can be changed--either a compromise is put forward by the presidency which the Commission accepts as its own, or there is a unanimous vote by the Council members to compel the Commission to change its proposal. That is the constitutional arrangement and we cannot change it. We have to use persuasion and pressure to try to get the best we can out of the negotiations.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell- Hyslop), who made an extremely important point. He warned us not to get caught up in contradictory objectives because if interest rates were to come down and, as a consequence, the pound was to decline in the foreign exchanges, the green pound gap would open up again. Therefore, there is some complementarity between our policies, which matters to farmers.

Many Members raised the issue of the co-responsibility levy. We have made it clear from the beginning that we dislike it and we shall do all we can to get rid of it. I would not be honest if I suggested to the House that we shall find that easy. It was encouraging that when we were round the table in Brussels, a number of Ministers said that they wished to see further progress towards the dismantling of the co-responsibility levy system. We subscribe to that because we think it is a pretty silly system, which penalises farmers without benefiting the consumer. We are completely opposed to it, but here again, we are locked into a majority voting system. We shall do whatever we can every time we try to remove what we regard as a silly system.

Many hon. Members raised the subject of BSE and I shall try to deal with the principal points raised. The first concerned rendering. The temperatures needed in rendering depend on the type of machine, the size of the particles and the period in the oven. I have looked at the criteria that most EC countries apply to the process. They apply a range of different criteria, but all have the objective of making the product safe-- the same rules as we apply in the United Kingdom. I have heard hon. Members speak of the need for 100 per cent. compensation for BSE. I have great sympathy with farmers whose herds are afflicted, particularly when they find that there is more than one incident of BSE on their farms. If there is a case for adjusting compensation, it must be based on the grounds of fairness to the agricultural community. I do not accept that there is a case on the grounds of public health. We have taken an ultra-cautious approach and gone way beyond what we were recommended to do. We have had the feed and offal bans. We look at the matters on a virtually daily basis


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because we have an obligation to do so. We can say that those products are safe for the consumer to eat. Every jot of research we have done shows that, and it has been published. There has been no secret about it.

The hon. Member for South Shields asked about the export of feed products. We have already decided that we must tackle that problem. The chief veterinary officer is writing to his opposite numbers informing them of the bans that are in force in the United Kingdom, so that there can be no suggestion that recipient countries are not aware of any restrictions placed upon the product in the United Kingdom. We are already tackling that problem.

I have checked on what the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Martlew) said, and I am confident that 100 per cent. is paid only when an animal is suspected of having bovine spongiform encephalopathy, but is subsequently found to be clean. We do not have a policy of paying 50 per cent. on animals that are found to be free from the disease.

Mr. Ron Davies : Now that the Minister has acknowledged that there is a problem with contaminated feed, can he explain why, since the Government have banned the use of contaminated feed for ruminants, he has continued, knowingly, to export some 12,000 or 13,000 tonnes of feed per year? Can he explain why, as late as yesterday, he acknowledged in a parliamentary answer to me that he has continued to allow the export of contaminated feedstuffs, particularly to the Third world, without any warnings, negotiation or discussion to indicate to those countries the dangers inherent in the products that they are importing?

Mr. Curry : The hon. Gentleman must realise that there has been extremely wide publicity for these matters in the United Kingdom, and we have taken steps to inform other countries. It is up to them to decide whether they wish to import the product and whether they judge it to be safe. We have taken all reasonable steps to inform them of the situation in the United Kingdom. I am not prepared to see exports take place on any misrepresented basis, and we have taken steps to ensure that there is no possibility that that can happen. Several of my hon. Friends mentioned the egg industry and egg imports. It is true that the industry, with the assistance of the Government, has cleaned up its act considerably. We can now say that British eggs are safe and that we have eliminated a great deal of the risk to the consumer. It was not always thus. In the initial stages, the industry was not forthcoming or willing to apply itself and to take fairly radical measures, but we are through that stage now. However, it is still a fragmented industry, and it would help greatly if it could get its act together, and if it could be represented by fewer organisations. Frankly, that would make it an easier partner to deal with.

Many hon. Members have asked why we do not ban imported eggs. Under Community regulations, we do not have the legal power to do that. The risk to health from imported eggs is not sufficient to give us the legal means to ban them. We are not prepared to take actions which we reproach other countries for taking with other products. We regard that as wholly inconsistent and wrong. We must have Europewide regulations, and there is no point pretending that that will happen tomorrow, because we know of the delays, and the time scale of the Community.


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My right hon. Friend raised that issue at the last Agriculture Council meeting, and the Commissioner said that he would expedite work on the matter and that working groups would get down to business as soon as possible. We hope to have some proposals on the table around the middle of this year.

Dr. David Clark : Does not the Minister appreciate that we have taken action against domestic egg producers because

salmonella-contaminated eggs are a public health risk? If that is the case, surely salmonella-contaminated eggs from Holland are an equal public health risk. Therefore, why will the Minister not invoke article 36 of the treaty of Rome, which specifically gives him the power he needs?

Mr. Curry : The answer is very simple : our legal advice is that it cannot be used in these circumstances. If it could be used, we would not hesitate to use it. Let me also remind the hon. Gentleman that, at the height of the salmonella crisis, not a single country declined to accept eggs exported from the United Kingdom.

A number of hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton (Mrs. Winterton), asked why we do not stamp the British lion on our eggs. The industry has informed us that stamping the lion on individual eggs is likely to detract from the image of freshness, so it is not an open-and- shut case--although there is nothing to prevent us from stamping the packs to indicate United Kingdom origin.

Hon. Members have asked about the future of the Milk Marketing Board, which I agree is an important issue. Let me make it clear that there is no hidden Government agenda. The board has already circulated its producers a number of times on the subject of its future status and the direction of its policies, because it knows that with the advent of the single market and increased competition the present position may not be sustainable. It wishes to derive the maximum benefit from prices for its farmers, and it knows that there have been problems with milk allocation, especially in parts of the manufacturing sector.

The Milk Marketing Board has embarked on an evaluation of its position. It enjoys a statutory monopoly and a special relationship with the Dairy Trade Federation, which receives the particular protection of European legislation. If the goal posts were shifted, there would have to be a general discussion about the relationship between the two sides of the industry and the future of milk marketing in the United Kingdom. We believe that it is up to the board to take the initiative--to come up with its own ideas, and to tell us whether it needs our assistance. We have no prescription for its future direction. We recognise its importance to producers, especially in rural areas : in my constituency, and those of many other hon. Members, they need the security of a market for their products.

The hon. Member for Wallsend (Mr. Garrett) made an interesting speech, in which he broadened the horizon to include the position in eastern Europe. In a domestic context, he mentioned set-aside. Clearly, we cannot change the rules in the middle of the game, but I am reviewing the set-aside programme to see whether it can be made more environmentally effective, and whether any change is needed. As I have told the House before, if I had absolute truth at my disposal I would have decided to go into the Church


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rather than the Ministry--if I may put it that way. As things are, I am willing to admit that change and improvement are possible, and I am prepared to embark on the process ; I am sure that the House will understand that that process is not always a reflection of governmental processes.

The right hon. Member for Strangford (Mr. Taylor) mentioned pigmeat, and I know that that sector has experienced particular difficulties. We did not accept the Commission's proposals to chop the import levies : the industry had clawed its way back from a difficult position, and we were not prepared to let its feet be kicked from under it. The Commission recently took remedial action to help the industry, and we supported it in that. We advocate a reform of the pigmeat regime based on free-market principles, but I have taken to heart what the right hon. Gentleman said about the need to find stability in a marketplace--although he will no doubt agree that heavy intervention and heavy regimes will not achieve that.

My hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) had a catalogue of complaints about the effectiveness of CAP measures. We are now engaged in GATT talks, and Ministers know that there is no escape : we are locked into the process. It means what it says--a progressive and substantial reduction in farm support. We cannot tell the industry that the pressure will be off. We cannot say, "Don't worry--we have got through this patch." We all know that the dairy sector still has problems, and that it has not been stabilised effectively, despite the quotas. We know that the cereals sector needs only a decent harvest in all the major producing countries to be landed with a significant surplus problem. The pressure cannot be relaxed, but it is now being exercised through GATT as well as through the EC's own mechanisms.

I realise that my hon. Friend has an honourable record of complaint, but we have progressively taken action. He has only to go into the countryside to find out that it is hurting and it is effective. Of course we will do our best to combat fraud and to save the knackers, because we appreciate their role in rural industry.

Our policy is to defend farming and to support that which gives value for money to the farmer, to the taxpayer and to the consumer. We have to see farming in the wider context of social aspects and of the environment. Farming must become more market-orientated if it is to deserve the credibility and the justification of that continued support. We intend to defend those interests in Brussels for the Community and for the United Kingdom. We have done it successfully in the past and we intend to continue that success in future.

Mr. Speaker : I must now put the Question on the amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Thanet, South (Mr. Aitken)--

Mr. Teddy Taylor : On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I beg to ask to leave to withdraw the amendment.

Hon. Members : No.

Mr. Speaker : In that case, I am afraid that I must put the amendment.

Question put, That the amendment be made :-

The House divided : Ayes 29, Noes 182.


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Division No. 66] [10 pm

AYES

Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)

Beggs, Roy

Benn, Rt Hon Tony

Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)

Bradley, Keith

Callaghan, Jim

Campbell-Savours, D. N.

Dalyell, Tam

Dixon, Don

Duffy, A. E. P.

Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth

Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)

Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)

Golding, Mrs Llin

Hinchliffe, David

Leighton, Ron

Lewis, Terry

Livingstone, Ken

McCartney, Ian

Mahon, Mrs Alice

Meale, Alan

Pike, Peter L.

Redmond, Martin

Ross, William (Londonderry E)

Rowlands, Ted

Spearing, Nigel

Taylor, Rt Hon J. D. (S'ford)

Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)

Wardell, Gareth (Gower)

Tellers for the Ayes :

Mr. Dennis Skinner and

Mr. Bob Cryer.

NOES

Alexander, Richard

Allason, Rupert

Alton, David

Amery, Rt Hon Julian

Amess, David

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)

Beith, A. J.

Boswell, Tim

Brandon-Bravo, Martin

Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)

Buck, Sir Antony

Burns, Simon

Burt, Alistair

Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)

Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Chapman, Sydney

Chope, Christopher

Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)

Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)

Colvin, Michael

Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)

Cran, James

Currie, Mrs Edwina

Curry, David

Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Devlin, Tim

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Durant, Tony

Emery, Sir Peter

Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)

Fallon, Michael

Favell, Tony

Fenner, Dame Peggy

Fishburn, John Dudley

Fookes, Dame Janet

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Forth, Eric

Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman

Franks, Cecil

French, Douglas

Fry, Peter

Gale, Roger

Garel-Jones, Tristan


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