HC Deb 03 March 1921 vol 138 cc2010-2
45. Colonel C. LOWTHER

asked the Prime Minister whether he could lay upon the Table of the House a paper showing the amount of German field guns, machine guns, rifles, aeroplanes, motor transport wagons, army horses, and ammunition actually surrendered to the Allies since the Armistice; whether during the period I of surrender of these instruments of war any post-war weapons have been constructed; and, if so, to what extent?


As the answer to this question is long and detailed I will, with the permission of the House, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. It will not, therefore, be necessary to lay a paper upon the Table, as my hon. Friend suggests.

The following is the answer referred to:

1. The following table shows the amount of German guns, machine guns, rifles, motor transport wagons, army horses and ammunition surrendered by the Germans since the Armistice up to 24th February, 1921.

(a) Guns.
Surrendered under the terms of the Armistice 5,000
Surrendered to Inter-Allied Military Commission of Control up to 24th February, 1921 37,313
Total 42,313
NOTE.—Included in this total are 6,000 guns under construction which have been destroyed.

2. With regard to construction of arms since the Armistice, no exact figures can be given, but the amount is so small as to be practically negligible.

3. The number of aeroplanes and sea planes surrendered to the Inter-Allied Military Commission of Control since the Armistice is 15,368.

No military machines have been constructed during the period of surrender, but 59 aeroplanes designed for civil purposes have been manufactured.

46. Colonel LOWTHER

asked the Prime Minister whether the disarmament of Germany, as stipulated by the Treaty of Versailles, has been duly carried out; whether he can state the number of German soldiers and sailors disbanded since the Armistice; if there is any late census return showing whether these masses of disbanded men have found industrial employment; and how many have drifted into bellicose bodies who, under the guise of police, reichswehr, cadetten corps, or Russian Reds, or other subtle misnomers, would, at a critical moment, form the nucleus of a redoubtable army?


With regard to the first part of the question, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to previous replies upon this subject. The estimated strength of the German Army at the date of the Armistice was 5,000,000; its present strength is approximately 100,000, and the number of sailors disbanded is about 156,000.

The present strength of the—
Reichswehr 100,000
Uniform Police 150,000
Plain Clothes Police 30,000
Gendarmerie 17,000

Is the Prime Minister going to make a statement some time to-day with regard to the conference which is now taking place?


Yes. I propose to make a statement after questions.

47. Colonel LOWTHER

asked what steps have been taken by the Allies to curb the future military equipment of Germany, with a view to mitigating the danger of a German-Russian alliance?


In the view of His Majesty's Government, ample safeguards have been taken by the Allies in the Treaty of Versailles and by provision of Article 213 of the Treaty.