§ Sir Peter Mills
asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether the Commission has found that the recent agreement between the French Government and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the supply of French agricultural and food products is incompatible with the treaty of Rome; and what action is being taken.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
The Commission, whose responsibility it is to ensure that the treaty is observed, have thoroughy examined the exchange of letters signed in Moscow on 15 October 1982 between the French Minister of Agriculture and the Soviet authorities, which provides for the supply of agricultural and food products of French origin to the USSR during the period 1983–85 at world market prices. They have concluded that the exchange of letters concerned is a breach of the treaty and of a specific Council decision of 1969 but before reaching a final decison on what steps to take they have written to the French Government requesting further information.
I have made clear to the Commission my concern about the damaging consequences which unilateral undertakings of this kind by a major exporting member of the Community, if allowed to stand unchallenged, could have for the operation of the common agricultural policy. We look to the Commisssion to exercise its full responsibility in this matter in a clear and impartial fashion.