By Michael Tracy

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The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture provided one of their experts to work with us: Seiji Shindo. He became one of our best colleagues and also did much to introduce us to Japanese culture. One result was that in 1971 I took extended leave to spend a long summer as a Visiting Professor at Kyoto University, taking my family along. Besides lecturing on European agriculture to staff and senior students, I embarked on a study of Japanese agricultural policy, on which there was very little information in any other language.

In its third attempt, when Georges Pompidou had replaced de Gaulle, Britain accepted the “acquis communautaire” (the whole body of EEC law) subject only to temporary derogations: this succeeded, and Britain 37 A EUROPEAN LIFE – together with Ireland and Denmark – joined the Community in January 1973. The story of Britain’s relations with the European Community is long and tortuous, and has formed the subject of many books; it need not be retold here. Being in Paris between 1960 and 1973, I observed the process as much from the French side as the British.

And I earned some money translating articles from, of all things, a bulletin published by a German cosmetics firm, for which I had to acquire a specialised chemical vocabulary. In the meantime, European integration was making its first tentative steps, and a new opportunity arose. 1 The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 had imposed on defeated Germany both humiliating conditions and punitive reparations, which contributed to the rise of Nazism. At least that lesson of history had been learnt. On the part of the United States, the Marshall Plan was generous but it was also in the US interest that Western Europe should recover as quickly as possible (and that 31 A EUROPEAN LIFE it should not fall to communist revolutions).

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