Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fertiliser Subsidies.

79.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries the position of fertiliser subsidies in the EEC.

The position still is as stated in my reply to a similar question by Deputy Hogan on 22nd July last. I might add that in an enlarged Community our fertiliser subsidies like our other State aids would fall to be examined by the Commission under Article 93 of the Treaty of Rome.

May I ask the Minister is it probable that these subsidies will be abolished under EEC conditions?

The answer to that would probably be best ascertained by reference to Articles 92 to 94 of the Treaty of Rome, which refer to aids of a social character granted to individual consumers without discrimination as to the origin of the products concerned, and aid in relief of natural disasters and like occurrences. In addition, the Treaty states that the following types of aids will be allowable, depending on the circumstances of each case: aid to promote the economic development of underdeveloped regions; aid intended to promote an important project of common European interest; aid intended to facilitate the development of certain activities of other economic regions; any other type of aid authorised by the Council of Ministers. This is a matter which has not been determined yet but which seems to us to give us scope for negotiation in that in our particular position it is possible to make a case for discussion.