By Hugh D. Clout (auth.)
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De la Mahotiere, Towards One Europe (Harmondsworth, 1970), p. 144. covering the period up to 31 December 1968, shows how the contributions and receipts for market support were distributed among the Six, with France receiving by far the greatest support and Federal Germany being the largest contributor. A rational but highly expensive protectionist policy was implemented at the expense of the consumer to cushion the large, and hence politically important, peasant-farming population of the Six and at the same time to allow large and efficient farmers to reap a considerable profit.
High guaranteed prices have encouraged even greater production of unsaleable goods. Money has been poured into the Farm Fund to prop up domestic prices, to destroy surplus fruit and vegetables, to store butter and subsidise agricultural exports. In 1969 the Community had to budget for some $2·3 billion to buy, store or dump unsaleable supplies as a means of internal market support. The Cbmmunity's wheat surplus in 1969 alone was 4 million tons (12 per cent of normal production) and the accumulated surplus at the end of that harvest was 12 million tons.
This would involve removing 56 from agricultural use an area greater than the total land surface of the Benelux countries. The Vedel report on French farming has recently suggested that far more than 5 million ha should be withdrawn from farming. The long-recognised underdeveloped parts of the Common Market (southern France, the Massif Central, Corsica, southern Italy and the islands) would probably bear the brunt of this reduction, whatever its magnitude. Mansholt suggested that one-fifth of the liberated agricultural surface should be used for creating national parks and other recreational areas.
Agriculture by Hugh D. Clout (auth.)