HC Deb 10 April 1946 vol 421 cc1918-9
45. Mr. William Shepherd

asked the Prime Minister what arrangements exist for securing essential raw materials and minerals from Germany; which Department is responsible; and whether it is intended to allow private firms to import on their own account.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The Control Office for Germany and Austria is the Department responsible for arranging any exports from Germany to this country and for keeping the British element in Germany informed about the needs of the United Kingdom for the raw materials and minerals which Germany can provide for export. The availability of such goods is at present necessarily restricted by fuel and transport conditions in Germany. The arrangements are made with the Control Office by the Supply Departments responsible for imports of the various commodities. So long as the need continues for maintaining in each of the zones a strict centralised control over production and transport in Germany, trade with Germany must continue to be conducted on Government account.

Major Peter Roberts

Will the Prime Minister put an end to the regrettable delay in securing potash fertilisers from Germany which would materially increase food production of our land at this time?

The Prime Minister

We are trying to get all we can, but I am sure the hon. and gallant Member knows the difficulties.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Will the Prime Minister bear in mind that unduly to denude Germany of her raw materials and minerals would ultimately lead to a lower standard of civilisation for Europe as a whole?

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