HC Deb 20 June 1972 vol 839 cc224-5
7. Mr. Moate

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to announce compensation terms for growers of apples and pears affected by entry into the European Economic Community.

Mr. Peter Mills

This matter is still under consideration. My right hon. Friend will make an announcement as soon as he can.

Mr. Moate

Does my hon. Friend agree that it is now more than two years since the promise of compensation was first made to growers whose livelihood would suffer from the subsidised surpluses of the Common Market? We still do not know the basis on which the scheme will operate. Nor do we know the levels of compensation that will be paid. Indeed, we do not even know the compensatory levies to be applied from next year in theory. This continuing uncertainty can hardly help the industry. Will my hon. Friend urge that an early statement be made?

Mr. Mills

I understand my hon. Friend's concern. There have been a number of meetings between the National Farmers Union and my officials. My right hon. Friend is now considering the results of those meetings. We are all concerned about it, and my hon. Friend will have an answer.