§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will raise at the next EEC Council meeting the current difficulties being caused to United Kingdom importers of cereals by the operation of the common agricultural policy;
(2) what representations he has received about the difficulties caused to the United Kingdom grain trade by the current mode of operation of the common agricultural policy for cereals; and what replies he has sent.
§ Mr. Godber
Cereals importers in the United Kingdom, as in many other countries, have been facing difficulties recently. These have largely resulted from the unstable situation on the international grain market caused by past poor harvests, high prices and currency fluctuations.
This instability has made it impossible to forecast world prices and the resultant EEC levies and the Commission has therefore restricted to 30 days the period for which cereals levies may be prefixed. The need for a longer period is frequently reviewed, however, and an extension will I hope be agreed when more stable conditions obtain.
There will shortly be discussions between the Commission and member States on the possible need for prefixing facilities for the accession compensatory amounts.
As far as United Kingdom traders are concerned, the simplified monetary compensatory amount system adopted on 4th June should have eased the problems resulting from currency fluctuations.
I am confident that everything possible is being done to assist United Kingdom importers of cereals given the difficult situation on the world market.