The British Minister of Agriculture Peter Walker urged France on Wednesday (5 March) to remove all restrictions on imports of British lamb and to abide by the ruling of the European Court of Justice.
GV EXTERIOR Paris streets Arc de Triomphe in background
SV Sign "Entre de Conference Internationale"
GVs EXTERIOR Delegates arriving for conference (2 shots)
GV INTERIOR President of the Commission and other officials seated in conference hall
SV PAN Delegates from Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal and New Zealand (Peter Walker of UK at 29 FT/8.8 MTS/46 SECS)
SV PAN Norway, Japan, Italy, Iceland and Ireland, Greece, France and Finland
SV PAN Delegates from Spain, United States and Denmark
SV Delegates from Austria and Australia
GV Delegates seated at table
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Background: The British Minister of Agriculture Peter Walker urged France on Wednesday (5 March) to remove all restrictions on imports of British lamb and to abide by the ruling of the European Court of Justice. He told reporters at the Paris Agriculture Show he hoped it would be possible for it to do this at the next summit conference of the EEC (European Economic Community) because the 1980s would probably be the ten most dangerous years of this century in Europe. Mr Walker was also present that day at a conference of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Development) in the French capital.
SYNOPSIS: The OECD was formed in 1961 and meets at regular intervals, usually at the organisation's headquarters in Paris. Most of the EEC's agriculture ministers are also members of OECD. This was one of the major conferences of their annual calendar when they discussed the conflicting agricultural policies of some of the twenty-four member countries.
The current deliberations of the OECD agriculture ministers have centred on the French reluctance to remove import restrictions on Britain's primary produce. Britain is presently involved in EEC disputes over lamb, fishing policy, farm prices and the Budget contribution. Speaking to newsmen that day Mr Walker said Britain would not withdraw from the Common Market even if the problem of its very high contribution to the EEC budget is not solved.
Mr Walker said that EEC Commission President Roy Jenkins had not yet received a reply to a letter to President Giscard D'Estaing on the lamb war. France, he said, is defying a European Court ruling by turning away British lamp exports because Britain is against introducing a broad Common Market sheepmeat policy which would benefit French farmers.
President Giscard said recently that only a package solution to all disputes between Britain and France would be acceptable to France at the forthcoming summit.