§ Mr. Marten
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why there is to be any EEC levy on lard imported from non-EEC countries, when the total lard requirement of the United Kingdom cannot be met from EEC sources; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Bishop
Lard is a product of pigmeat production and, like other pig products, imports from outside the Community are subject to the Community system of levies. The application of monetary compensatory amounts and, until 1st August, of accession compensatory amounts, significantly reduces the levy on United Kingdom imports and, for prolonged periods, has resulted in the payment of import subsidies. Nevertheless, I am conscious of the need to avoid the application of unnecessarily large levies on our imports of this product and my officials have had discussions with the trade interests on how this might be achieved.