Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 23rd November 1992.

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Photo of Mr Michael Heseltine Mr Michael Heseltine President of the Board of Trade 3:30 pm, 23rd November 1992

The hon. Member asks me to go further than I went in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Central (Mr. Lord). We all realise the pressures, applied on the agricultural industry as a result of the CAP reform, but it is the view of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food that the agreements reached last Friday are compatible with the CAP reforms announced earlier. The CAP reforms contain measures, particularly agri-environmental measures, designed to help the sort of people to whom the hon. Member for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) referred.

The wider issue of the balance of trade is a matter of concern. The position in terms of the manufacturing industry has been deteriorating for most of the post-war period. It is a profoundly important issue, but not one to be discussed in this context.