HC Deb 25 October 1972 vol 843 cc310-1W
Mr. Judd

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement on the Government's policy towards the tariff policy of the European Economic Community covering the import of fruit and vegetables from associate states and other developing countries.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

The regime applied by the Community towards imports of fruit and vegetables from African States associated under the Yaoundé and Arusha Conventions is dictated by the provisions of the agreements. The United Kingdom will not accede to these conventions in their existing form, but will participate fully in their renegotiation after accession. The Community's Generalised Scheme of Preferences, covering certain processed fruit and vegetables, will be adopted by the United Kingdom on 1st January, 1974.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has received the communication from the hon. Member for West Ham, North, giving details of the costs to the British taxpayer of the higher costs for grain and substitute cattle feedstuffs on Great Britain's entry into the Common Market; and whether he will make a statement in connection with this matter.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

Yes. Higher prices for cereals are expected to lead to some increase in cereal production and at the same time to result in some substitution of cereals by other cheaper ingredients in compound feeding stuffs. This increased production should reduce the need for imported cereals, but it may also result in some home-grown grain being sold into intervention.

The costs of intervention buying and storage and any losses on subsequent sales would be largely borne by the EEC's Agriculture Fund (FEOGA) and not by the British taxpayer.