EC Budget

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th March 1987.

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Photo of Mr Geoffrey Howe Mr Geoffrey Howe , East Surrey 12:00 am, 18th March 1987

I wish that it was as easy as something that could be solved by reshuffling the institutional responsibilities. The basic reason for the extreme difficulty in securing control over Community expenditure on agriculture is the same as the reason for achieving similar discipline in the United States, Japan and most other industrial countries— the problem of protecting the health of rural communities in a fashion that is compatible with the cash resources that are available. I am afraid that it will be a matter for the whole House, just as for the whole European Parliament and all those engaged in institutions, to seek further and better ways of protecting the rural environment that do not depend upon the production of food surpluses that cannot be sold and can be stored only at great expense.