§ 17. Mr. Ioan Evans
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on any progress made to reform the common agricultural policy.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
A number of measures have been taken, and that is why under the previous Government, Community agricultural spending increased by over 210 per cent. , while under this Government the increase has only been some 20 per cent:.
§ Mr. Evans
Since it is possible for us to obtain dairy products from other countries more cheaply than we have been obtaining them under the intervention price scheme, what is now the Government's attitude? Are they seeking to abandon the CAP or do they think that they can bring about some real reform in the next Session?
§ Mr. Walker
Many measures and changes that have taken place have resulted in a dramatic improvement in cost savings. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to rely on the cheapest price that he can obtain in world markets for particular commodities, he should not argue in the same breath for full employment and stability. We have a stable food supply and a stable agriculture, and the contribution towards reducing inflation has been considerable.