HC Deb 31 October 1945 vol 415 cc415-6
49. Mr. Pickthorn

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is happening in Eastern Germany as regards the redistribution of land.

Mr. J. Hynd

Reports have been received to the effect that a land reform scheme has been introduced in Saxony, Thuringia and Mecklenburg. Under this scheme the land property of active Nazis and war criminals is being confiscated; also all inherited property of over 100 hectares. No compensation is being paid. The confiscated land is being redistributed in lots of five to 10 hectares to agricultural workers, small tenant farmers and refugees.

Mr. Pickthorn

Can the hon. Gentleman tell us under what principle or provision of international law it is the right or duty of an occupying Power to change social and economic arrangements in this way?

Mr. Hynd

The administration of Germany is under the control of the Allied Control Commission. In the individual zones, certain steps are taken, generally by agreement on the Control Council. In this case the action was taken by a German administration set up bythe Russians in their zone.