Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the total will probably be 600,000 tonnes by the end of the year? What will he do with the surplus? Is he aware that our top 5,000 farms produce 30 per cent. of the butter that is produced in this country and receive approximately 30 per cent. of the subsidies? Is he further aware that most of those farms belong to millionaire farmers? Have they the support of the Tory party? Why does not the right hon. Gentleman do something about that?
The hon. Gentleman's analysis of the dairy industry is wrong. He is mixing cereal production with dairy production, and the figures for dairy production are very different. At present we have 54 days' supply of butter. I do not share his view on estimates for the end of the year, because a range of imponderables could vary production and consumption performance.
Yes, Sir. I shall also encourage them, as I already have, to increase consumption in Europe. That is why I am glad that the butter subsidy is now double what it was when the Government came to power.
Is it not disgraceful that the Common Market is selling butter to the Soviet Union at three times the subsidy at which that butter is available to the British housewife? Does the Minister agree that, as milk production has increased, despite price restraint in recent years, stronger measures are needed to reduce milk production?
As a result of the much tougher stance of the Government, the intervention price of milk has decreased in real terms by 17 per cent. since 1979. I am glad to say that for almost two years we have stopped exports to Russia altogether. We are waiting to see the Soviet Union's tender, but both the British and German Governments remain opposed to such exports.