§ Mr. Burden
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he had been informed by 16th January, when the O'Brien. Report was debated, that the EEC Commissioners were to sell 85,000 tons of subsidised beef to the USSR that day as part of a sale of the Community's stockpile of unsold beef to reduce it from 360,000 to 230,000 tons.
§ Mr. Strang
The facts are not as the hon. Member has stated them. No beef has been sold to the USSR by the EEC Commission. The Commission estimate that, out of a total of 130,000 tons of intervention beef sold to traders within the Community in the course of 1974, some 85,000 tons were subsequently exported to the Soviet Union. It has been known for some months that private sales to the Soviet Union were taking place. The Commission's estimate for the whole year was announced on 16th January, and I was not aware of it at the time of the debate on the O'Brien Report that day.