Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd January 1987.
I remind the hon. Gentleman that some tough steps were taken with regard to the beef sector, which has been costing an enormous amount of money and considerably overreached last year's beef budget. I remind my hon. Friend that as part of the settlement that we achieved in December we managed to obtain a 6 per cent. devaluation of the green pound for beef. By the harmonisation of bull and steer prices, that figure was equivalent to a price rise for British beef producers of about another 3 per cent. The effect of the weakening of intervention, which has always been a system barely used in Britain compared with other countries—2 per cent. in Britain compared with 25 per cent. for beef in Ireland—puts the hon. Gentleman's point in rather better perspective.