The December agreement by the Council of Agriculture Ministers produced a further package of measures designed to curb the problem of over-supply in milk. While individual dairy farms continue to face financial difficulty as a result of the imposition of quotas, the dairy sector as a whole in Wales showed a marked improvement in incomes during 1985–86.
I am sure that the Minister would be the first to admit that many dairy farmers in west Wales face financial problems, which many will find it difficult to overcome. To whom does the Secretary of State attribute blame? Is it the Government of the day, the EEC, his colleague the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, or himself?
It is a pleasure to see the hon. Member in his place asking his question, unlike the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnor (Mr. Livsey), who publicised his question in the newspapers but did not come to the House to ask it. The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that, with substantial surpluses being produced in this country and outside, an adjustment of the milk sector is inevitable. I hope that he will not pretend to his electors that such an adjustment can take place without any pain and discomfort.