HC Deb 23 February 1922 vol 150 cc2093-5

asked the Prime Minister whether he has information that officers of the Allied Military Commission of Control recently discovered at Spandau Arsenal two rooms stored with documents which the German Government had declared to be non-existent or lost, constituting a Return of the armament establishment of Germany at the date of the Armistice; whether the officers arranged with the German authorities that a guard should be mounted over these documents pending their inspection by the Control Commission the next day; whether, when the Control officers returned, they found that the whole of the documents had been removed by order of the superior German authorities; and what His Majesty's Government proposes to do in this matter?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Lieut.-Colonel Sir R. Sanders)

I have been asked to reply. I am unable at present to confirm or deny the accuracy of the reports referred to. Enquiries are still being made.


asked the Prime Minister whether the German Government have adopted a system of fictitious leases to so-called commercial companies of remount depots, motor transport services, army clothing factories, and powder magazines, being services which, under the Treaty of Versailles, it is bound to suppress; and whether the effect of these fictitious leases is to reserve to the German Government the right to terminate them at any moment and to re-enter into possession?


The Report of the Inter-Allied Military Commission of Control of the 11th February to the Allied Military Committee of Versailles states that the German Government proposes to let a certain number of former administrative establishments, such as clothing factories, supply depots, etc., to limited liability companies for a period of 60 years. The German Government might hold a controlling interest in these factories. The Inter-Allied Military Commission of Control are at present engaged in examining the question as to whether these transfers are genuine or not, and a report will be submitted in due course.


Is the right of reentry preserved in other cases?

49. The hon. Member asked the Prime Minister whether he has any information to the effect that in late November or in December 600 howitzers were discovered by the Allied Military Commission of Control hidden at the works of Herr Rockstroh, at Heidenau, in Saxony, and that these howitzers had been manufactured at Heidenau after the Armistice under the personal supervision of a German Government representative at the works; whether invoices have been discovered endorsed with instructions from the German Government to keep the howitzers in the factory, thus proving the direct connivance of the German Government in this breach of the Treaty; and whether the total number of howitzers of this class allowed to the German Army under the Treaty was 84?


I have been asked to reply, and I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley on the 14th instant. The number of complete 10.5 cm. howitzers discovered was 343 besides 242 inner tubes and a number of other parts, and it has now been established that work was done upon these weapons after the Armistice. The allegation that a German official was a party to this very serious case of concealment is being rigorously investigated. The answer to the last inquiry in the question is in the affirmative.