§ Mr. Hargreaves
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress there has been on payments to the European Community by member states under the milk quota scheme.
§ Mr. MacGregor
We have pressed from the first for full details of implementation of dairy quotas in all member states to be made available. As a result of a request in July, the Agriculture Commissioner made a report in September on the general legislative and administrative progress made in other member states. A list of the main legal instruments adopted was given in reply to the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) on 31 October 1984. Details of the progress made in cutting back milk product ion were given in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) on 19 November 1984, at column 76.
We continued to insist on the importance of dairy quotas being implemented fairly and equally throughout the Community at the October Agriculture Council, and at the Agriculture Council on 12–13 November we asked the Commission to take immediate steps if the arrangements for charging levy in November were not being properly applied in particular member states. In discussion it became clear that the French Government were not ready to collect levy in November.
The Commission decided as an interim measure to delay by 10 days the dates for the collection of the first payments under the supplementary levy arrangements. After further consideration the Commission is now adopting a measure which will require the levy for the first six months to be collected within 75 days after 30 449W September. The Commission has also said that it will immediately open infringement proceedings against any member state not applying the system or not applying it properly. We shall continue to insist that these arrangements are respected.