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Mr. Jack: The number of letters received by Ministers in this Department from hon. Members and peers in January 1995 was 1,127.

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many letters were sent to hon. Members last month by each Minister in the Department.

Mr. Jack: The total number of letters sent to hon. Members and peers by Ministers in this Department in January 1995 was 962. Disaggregated figures for individual Ministers are not recorded.

Rural White Paper

Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the organisations that have (a) sent a submission and (b) indicated that they intend to send a submission for the Rural White Paper; and if he will place copies of all such submissions in the Library.

Mr. Waldegrave: A list of organisations from which my Department or that of my right hon. Friend the

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Secretary of State for the Environment had received written submissions by 20 February and which have not requested confidentiality has been placed in the House Library. A number of individuals have, in addition, submitted their views.

Both Departments expect to receive a number of further submissions. The names of organisations making such submissions who do not request confidentiality will be made known after submissions have been received.

Copies of submissions which we have not been asked to keep confidential will be made available for inspection in the departmental Library in due course. In line with normal departmental practice, a list of those who have up to that point made such submissions will be placed in the House Library.

Agriculture Council

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the

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Agriculture Council held in Brussels on 20 and 21 February; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waldegrave: I represented the United Kingdom at this meeting of the Council.

The main item on the agenda was a proposal to improve the protection of farm animals transported within the Union. I reported on this to the House earlier today. A presidency compromise remains on the table, though it is not acceptable to me in its present form. The Council had a first discussion of the proposals for 1994 95 farm prices. It will return to this item at its next meeting. I advocated that arrangements should be put in place allowing for the leasing of milk quota across national boundaries. This will now be finther considered at official level so that the Commission can decide whether to take the matter forward.

The United Kingdom raised the question of veal crates. The commissioner said that he expected to make an interim report well before the end of the year.

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