§ Mr. Peart
I do not think that it does so at all. Intervention worked in this country in many areas of agricultural production under a Labour Government, when I was Minister previously, and it worked under the great Tom Williams. Intervention is not a new concept. What I have tried to explain to some of my hon. Friends is that we do not regard permanent intervention in the beef sector as a correct method of support. For that reason I negotiated a variable premium system with a limited form of intervention, and it will work.
§ Mrs. Winifred Ewing
In order to reduce the milk surplus in the EEC, will the right hon. Gentleman try to impress upon his colleagues in the Council of Ministers that this might be a very good time to have a milk-in-schools scheme, across the board, in all EEC countries?
§ Mr. Hooson
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that intervention has a part to play, but does he agree that it is a very expensive system? Is there not abundant evidence of a good many rackets in intervention—for example, beef carcases that have been slaughtered in this country going to the Continent and being moved from one country to another, eventually going into intervention in a country far away from their origin? Has that situation been considered by the Ministers when they have met? If so, what do they intend to do about it?
§ Mr. Spearing
I revert to the cost of storage. Will my right hon. Friend tell us whether the proposed storage scheme for protein will be a charge on the Exchequer 1462 or on the consumer? Will he clarify the present position concerning that directive and its costs to the House now?
§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the present system and procedure of beef intervention is highly unsatisfactory for meat manufacturers? Will he give the House an assurance that he will consider the criticisms that are submitted to him by the industry?