• Short Summary

    THE QUESTION OF POSSIBLE BRITISH ENTRY INTO THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY IS AGAIN BEING THRASHED OUT BY COMMON MARKET MINISTERS AND IS AT THE FORE OF POLITICAL DEBATE IN BRITAIN.

  • Description

    THE QUESTION OF POSSIBLE BRITISH ENTRY INTO THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY IS AGAIN BEING THRASHED OUT BY COMMON MARKET MINISTERS AND IS AT THE FORE OF POLITICAL DEBATE IN BRITAIN. BUT BRITISH ENTRY NEGOTIATIONS FACE A SERIOUS THREAT FROM THE COMMUNITY'S FAILURE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF AGRICULTURAL SURPLUSES.

    IN DAIRYING ALONE, THE COMMUNITY HAS A STOCKPILE OF BUTTER, APPROACHING THE 400,000 TON MARK. FARMERS WHO HAVE BETWEEN TWO AND TEN COWS AND ARE PREPARED TO HAVE THEM SLAUGHTERED WILL RECEIVE GBP83 A COW, PROVIDING THEY UNDERTAKE NOT TO BEGIN PRODUCING MILK AGAIN. THE SAME AMOUNT WILL BE PAID TO FARMERS WITH MORE THAN 10 COWS, WHO AGREE TO USE THEIR BEASTS SOLELY FOR BEEF AND VEAL PRODUCTION.

    BUT THERE ARE PROBLEMS IN OTHER AGRICULTURAL FIELDS. ITALIAN AND FRENCH TOMATOES ARE MEETING FIERCE COMPETITION FROM THEIR DUTCH COUNTERPARTS. THE ITALIANS, WHO CAN PRODUCE THEIR CROP MOSTLY UNDER CONDITIONS PROVIDED BY NATURE AND ARE THEREFORE SEASONAL ARE COMING UP AGAINST DUTCH COMPETITION. THE DUTCH PRODUCE THEIR CROP ALL YEAR ROUND UNDER GLASS-HOUSE CONDITIONS.

    MANY ECONOMISTS FEEL THE AGRICULTURAL PROBLEM LIES WITH THE COMMON MARKET POLICY OF A GUARANTEED PRICE. THEY'RE ADVOCATING A CHANGE TO THE BRITISH, AND GENERALLY UNIVERSAL, SYSTEM OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND.

    THE COMMON MARKET MINISTERS HAVE ALSO BEEN HANDED ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH THE REVALUATION OF THE DEUTCHSMARK. AS WITH THE FRENCH DEVALUATION, THE GERMAN DECISION HAS DEALT A SERIOUS BLOW TO THE SYSTEM.

    E.E.C. RULES DEMAND THAT WEST GERMANY'S AGRICULTURAL PRICE BE REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF THE REVALUATION. THE GERMAN FARMERS HAVE DEMANDED ISOLATION, AS WITH THE FRENCH MARKET IN AUGUST, WITH PRICES LEFT UNCHANGED.

    BUT AT A MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY'S COUNCIL OF MINISTERS IN LUXEMBOURG IT WAS AGREED THAT GERMAN AGRICULTURAL PRICES WOULD BE REDUCED IMMEDIATELY. THE MAIN HAGGLE WAS OVER WHAT LEVEL OF COMPENSATION, IF ANY, WOULD BE PAID TO THE GERMAN FARMERS OUT OF THE COMMON FARM FUND OF THE SIX.

    THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY GUARANTEES HIGHER PRICES TO FARMERS THAN THOSE THEY WOULD RECEIVE IF THEY HAD SUBJECTED THEMSELVES TO THE "BLIND" LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND. THIS RESULT IS REACHED BY FIXING MINIMUM PRICES AND BUYING UP AT THESE PRICES ANY GOODS WHICH FAIL TO ATTRACT BUYERS.

    MEANWHILE, THE VOLUME OF SURPLUSES GROWS ANNUALLY, AND THE COMMUNITY IS FACED WITH THE PROSPECT OF SELLING THE PRODUCE AT CHEAP PRICES ON THE OPEN MARKET. BUT AGAIN THIS SYSTEM IS EXPENSIVE AND CAUSES SOME CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF ANNOYANCE TO OTHER MAJOR EXPORTING COUNTRIES WHICH ARE ALSO GOOD CUSTOMERS FOR E.E.C. INDUSTRY. LATEST ESTIMATES OF THE COST OF SUPPORTING THE MARKET ARE AROUND THE 2,000 MILLION DOLLAR A YEAR MARK.

    THERE HAVE BEEN AN INCREASING NUMBER OF DEMANDS FOR THE PROTECTIONIST APPARATUS, BEHIND WHICH THE E.E.C. PRICES ARE KEPT AT A HIGH LEVEL, TO BE DROPPED IN FAVOUR OF LETTING PRICES FIND THEIR OWN LEVEL. THIS MEANS THE CALL IS FOR THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO ADOPT THE BRITISH SYSTEM, INSTEAD OF FORCING BRITAIN TO ACCEPT THIS SYSTEM, IF BRITAIN JOINS THE SIX.

    MORE THAN FOUR AND A HALF A MILLION PEOPLE HAVE LEFT THE LAND IN THE COMMUNITY SINCE 1958, AND UNDER A RECENT PLAN, THIS EXODUS IS TO BE SPEEDED UP.

    SOME HAVE RECOMMENDED ADHERENCE TO THE AMERICAN SYSTEM OF DEFICIENCY PAYMENTS TO FARMERS, TO REDUCE CULTIVATED ACREAGE AND -- EVENTUALLY -- THE HUGE SURPLUS OF PRODUCE. THE ADOPTION OF THE DEFICIENCY PAYMENTS SYSTEM WOULD MAKE THE MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL POLICY MUCH LESS INVOLVED -- PRICES WOULD FIND THEIR OWN LEVEL ON AN OPEN MARKET -- AND MAKE MUCH OF THE BRUSSELS BUREAUCRACY REDUNDANT.

    THE SIX MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY HAVE NOW ESTABLISHED A PARITY AS FAR AS FOOD PRICES ARE CONCERNED AND MANY E.E.C. ECONOMISTS ARE BLAMING THIS FOR THE TRADING SLUMP IN SOME AREAS. WITH THE GUARANTEED PRICE SYSTEM FAMILIES NO LONGER CROSS BORDER POSTS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SLIGHTLY CHEAPER PRICES OFFERED IN NEIGHBOURING COMMUNITY MEMBER COUNTRIES. MANY SMALL TRADERS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO CLOSE THEIR DOORS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4DZRLOSOP22DKL2SOE7ALXROI
    Media URN:
    VLVA4DZRLOSOP22DKL2SOE7ALXROI
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    31/10/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:10:41:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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