§ 4. Mr. Elfyn Llwyd (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy)
What discussions he has had with (a) ministerial colleagues and (b) the National Assembly for Wales on the implementation of the report "Farming and Food: A Sustainable Future", with particular reference to modulation; and if he will make a statement. 
§ The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Paul Murphy)
I have regular meetings with ministerial colleagues and the National Assembly for Wales in which a wide range of farming issues are discussed.
§ Mr. Llwyd
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that reply which, bearing in mind the fact that he had a month's notice of the specific question, is rather pathetic.
695 Does he agree with the Farmers Union of Wales and the National Farmers Union Wales that flat-rate modulation would be ruinous for the smaller and medium-sector Welsh farmer? It is included in the report on England, which also says that it should happen in Wales. If the right hon. Gentleman is truly batting for Wales, when will he stand by the crease?
§ Mr. Murphy
I think that the hon. Gentleman would agree in principle with modulation. After all, his party voted in favour of it in the National Assembly not so long ago. I am sure that he would also agree with what his colleagues in the European Parliament say as members of the European group. They want astep-by-step reallocation of the European Union budget for the CAP from surplus management to an integrated rural development policy".That is all about modulation. The hon. Gentleman's party in Europe and the Assembly wants modulation.
The hon. Gentleman is right that discussions on the details are still taking place between the National Assembly and the Government. Of course we will look carefully at those. He knows that there is a distinction between the Welsh farming community and the farming community in England, and we will consider those issues. However, his party is in favour of modulation in principle, and so is mine.
§ Mr. Win Griffiths (Bridgend)
Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is a shame that the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Mr. Llwyd) introduces a critical and sallow note to the farming debate, especially as there is general agreement throughout Wales and in the hon. Gentleman's party that my Assembly Member, Carwyn Jones, has done a great job in leading the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Department? Is it not good that "Farming and Food: A Sustainable Future" contains a blueprint that all people from rural communities in Wales fully support so that we can develop the food industry in Wales to maximise profits for our rural communities?
§ Mr. Murphy
I agree with my hon. Friend. Although I expect ignorant criticism of the Welsh Minister for Rural Affairs from Members who represent English constituencies, I would not expect it from a Welsh Member of Parliament.