§ Mr. Biffen
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the total value of national aids to agriculture paid by each European Community country over the latest available 12 month period and the corresponding value of common agricultural policy payments.
§ Mr. Curry
The Government do not keep comprehensive details of the national subsidies and other state aids available to farmers in other member states, since to do so would not be a cost effective use of resources. All state aids are, however, subject to the provisions of articles 92 to 94 of the treaty of Rome, and member states are required to obtain the Commission's approval in advance for new state aids and modifications to existing aids and to send an inventory of all state aids to the Commission annually. The Government monitor, through their embassies in member states, the introduction of new state aids and modifications to existing aids, and draws any that seem to be of doubtful legality to the attention of the Commission.