Lost and Found in translation
This letter from our Chairman appeared in the Derby Telegraph
Like Percy Brown (7 March), I found a certain humour in the idiocies of the European Common Agricultural Policy which created the wine lakes, beef, butter and grain mountains. Previously we had a very common sense policy which allowed the food of the world to come here without customs duties. Suddenly the taxpayer and the housewife were made to spend far more to make food dear than we had previously spent to keep it cheap.
Nobody could tell me where this strange policy originated and I did not get a definitive answer until 2002 when I received a copy of a German book from the Forties, called “European Economic Community” where the framework and principles were set out concerning the new neighbourly Europe in the making. It was a compilation of papers by very senior people in law, diplomacy, industry, politics and economics.
With great effort, I translated the two key papers – a difficult job because the introduction was in very stiff academic language and the lead paper in a more popular journalistic style.
More recently I met Lord Walsingham, who had been in the German Department of the Foreign Office in 1950 during the Attlee government when the European Coal & Steel Community was formed. I recorded an interview with him. He told me that British Intelligence was well aware that the Community treaty between France & Germany contained secret clauses that each would subsidise the other’s heavy industry to knock out Britain and assume dominance of Europe. It seems to have worked rather well.
“European Economic Community” was published in Berlin in 1942 and the lead paper was delivered by Reichsminister Walther Funk – Minister for the Economy and Post War Planning.