I cannot accept that. The hon. Member knows that there was an attempt to deal with surpluses, and that has led to the controversy over skimmed milk, for example. In principle co-responsibility has been accepted, but details have to be worked out.
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that one embarrassing result of the review, in respect of milk, is that by not taking into account the recommendations of the stocktaking document the milk powder mountain across the Channel is likely to grow? Will he say what progress is being made with the scheme in this country? Are compounders able to take their money out of deposit? Is the skimmed milk powder available for them to use? Is not the real point that the arrangements made for milk across the Channel will, unfortunately, allow the mountain to remain?
I agree that the mountain is there. It was always agreed in the stocktaking discussions that there should be an attack on these mountains. There is no doubt about that. That is why I accepted the proposal in the package, and felt it right to send skimmed milk for food aid, for example.
Is it not the case that whatever proposals may have been made to deal with the existing surpluses of skimmed milk, other decisions continue to add to the mountain? As for any achievements that we had in the negotiations on the question of a premium system for beef, surely this too is not succeeding, because we are beginning to see a beef mountain developing in this country also?
I am prepared to consider some of the interesting ideas put forward by the hon. Member. It is the first time I have heard this suggestion. I am not treating it in a cavalier way; I shall consider it carefully and bear in mind what the hon. Gentleman said.
Has my right hon. Friend been into a butcher's shop recently, or has his wife, perhaps, told him about the tremendously high price being charged for prime English and Scottish beef, while large quantities of this commodity are going into intervention and storage?
Does he agree that this shows the stupidity of the CAP, which was advocated by right hon. and hon. Members opposite who are now criticising my right hon. Friend?
I have always argued that we should not rely on permanent intervention. I sought to negotiate in the Community something similar to our deficiency payments system. We have got the variable premium, but we have had a little difficulty over intervention. However, I took immediate action and withdrew from intervention meat of a certain category. In other words, intervention will not apply to it. That action has been criticised by other people, but I think it was right to take it. We have achieved success in that respect.