§ Lord Plowden
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they agree with the conclusions in the 9th Report (Session 1982–83) of the European Communities Committee on the Beef Regime (H.L. 108); and, in particular, whether they will:
- —press vigorously for an alteration to the existing arrangements for financing the variable slaughter premium, which discriminate against the United Kingdom;
- —review their present policy of intervention buying, which deprives the consumer of some of the best quality beef;
- —press the Commission to investigate whether the administrative problems involved in the use of the variable slaughter premium for other member states could be overcome; and
- —urge the Commission to undertake a study into the needs of the meat manufacturers.
§ The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (The Lord Belstead)
The Government congratulate the committee on its excellent report and note its endorsement of the main lines of the Government's policy on beef.
All forms of aid to beef producers in the Community are being reviewed by the Commission, which is due to make a report to the Council relatively soon. The support arrangements for beef will no doubt also be considered in the review of the common agricultural policy following the Stuttgart Council. In these contexts, we will ensure that the committee's findings are drawn to the Commission's attention.