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Volume 893: debated on Monday 9 June 1975

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, since common agricultural policy wheat prices have been increased by 45 per cent. in the last five years, if he will now propose the ending of levies on cheaper imports from third countries.

Since 1970 prices for most of the wheat we import, namely the North American strong wheats, have more than doubled, but prices for wheat under the Community's common agricultural policy have increased by 31 per cent. For most of the time since the United Kingdom's accession, no levies have been charged on our imports of wheat.

asked the Minister of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food what world prices have been used by the EEC in calculating levies on hard wheat.

My hon. Friend has already explained in his answer to a previous Question from my hon. Friend on 23rd May—[Vol. 892, c. 724–5.]—how levies on common wheat are calculated. Common wheat includes those varieties known as hard wheat. A separate threshold price and c.i.f. offer prices for durum wheat form the basis of import levies for durum wheat which is a separate species, but the system of calculation is basically the same.