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By Michael Tracy

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Without discussion). But sometimes there is a doubt as to what the Council intended, and in such cases a member of the Secretariat who was present in the Council chamber may be called upon. The most difficult problems arise when the texts on which the delegations agreed say different things: it is not unknown for a Council President, in desperation, to push through an agreement knowing full well that some countries have different interpretations. The Secretariat’s worst nightmare is when such an issue cannot be resolved and must be referred back, probably to the SCA in the case of agricultural policy matters, otherwise to the COREPER.

In October 1956 the Hungarian people rose against their Communist regime. After some hesitation in Moscow, Soviet tanks were sent in; there was fierce fighting in the streets of Budapest; some 20,000 citizens were killed. The international community reacted feebly. Britain and France were absorbed with their fruitless invasion of Suez; American media seemed at one stage to encourage the revolt, but no help was forthcoming. As the repression continued, many Hungarians fled into Austria, some into Yugoslavia.

In each country I was also on a recruiting mission for a staff member for my Agricultural Policies Division, and in Australia found an excellent candidate who joined us soon afterwards and made a valuable contribution to our work. The accession of Japan had already brought a most interesting new dimension to our work. 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.

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A European Life: From War to Peace by Michael Tracy


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