HC Deb 12 December 1945 vol 417 cc406-7
49. Major Wilkes

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether, in view of the restoration of normal conditions in Austria, he will make a statement as to when it is proposed, to withdraw the U.S.S.R., British and U.S. Army groups from that country.

Mr. J. Hynd

I am not, of course, in a position to answer for the United States, Soviet and French Governments. Normal conditions have not yet been established in Austria and whilst the recent elections mark an important stage in development I am afraid I cannot yet say when the complete withdrawal of the British Forces of Occupation will be possible. My hon. and gallant Friend will have noted from the reply given by the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to the hon. and gallant Member for Waterloo (Captain Bullock) on 25th November, that we are consulting with the other Governments concerned about a reduction in the size of the occupying Forces.

Major Wilkes

Would my hon. Friend bear in mind the declaration of Dr. Renner that in the present grave state of the Austrian economy, the presence of such a large number of troops is putting the greatest difficulties in the way of the Austrians in achieving economic recovery?

Mr. Hynd

We have that point very fully in mind, and it should be appreciated that the initiative in this matter has been taken by His Majesty's Government's representative. We are very anxious to see the whole of the occupation Forces of the four Powers reduced as speedily as possible.

Captain Crowder

Could the hon. Member give us the number of Russian, British and American troops concerned?

Mr. Hynd

I should like to have notice of that question. We are not aware of the details of the troops in the other zones. Information has not yet been given to us.

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