§ 28. Mr. John Carlisle
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will assess what proportion of the present surpluses in agricultural products in the European Economic Community countries is due to the common agricultural policy and what is due to improved technology, plant breeding, genetic improvement and the like.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
The increase in agricultural production in the Community over the last 20 years, despite the massive outflow of labour from farming, is largely the result of technical improvements. Whether the adjustment of agricultural structure and the uptake of technical progress would have been the same or different in the absence of the common agricultural policy is a hypothetical question on which no reliable assessment would be possible.