Beef and Veal (Imports)

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th May 1976.

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Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Wandsworth Battersea North 12:00 am, 6th May 1976

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he proposes to allow the free import of beef and veal into this country from Australia, Argentina and other beef-producing countries outside the EEC.

Photo of Gavin Strang Gavin Strang , Edinburgh East

The European Commission has produced proposals for a new system of variable import levies of beef, which, if implemented, would allow early resumption of normal trading between the Community and third country beef suppliers. It is intended that the Council of Ministers should reach a decision on these proposals before the summer break.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Wandsworth Battersea North

As the Government are opposed to import controls, would not it be sensible to start by removing altogether what is a virtual ban on the import of an essential food from the main exporting countries of the world?

Photo of Gavin Strang Gavin Strang , Edinburgh East

My right hon. Friend will probably welcome the fact that we are to see a resumption of trade in beef with those countries. But I do not think that we could possibly contemplate a situation in which there was no protection for our home industry.