HC Deb 04 December 1946 vol 431 cc322-3
20. Mr. Gammans

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he is yet in a position to make a statement regarding the removal to the U.S.S.R. of German civilians in Berlin and other parts of the Soviet zone.

Mr. J. Hynd

This matter was discussed, on British initiative, at the Control Council in Berlin. It proved impossible to agree the terms of a statement on the policy of employing German labour abroad or to ascertain the conditions under which workers had been transferred to U.S.S.R. The Russian representative stated, however, that it was not proposed to make any further removals of skilled workers to Russia. Allegations have appeared in the German Press that the British authorities have deported large numbers of scientists from Germany and forced them to work for us against their will. This is not so and I must state formally that it is not, and never has been, our policy to bring scientists or workers to this country except of their own free will.

Mr. Gammans

Does this mean that those Germans who were taken away forcibly, as opposed to those who went away voluntarily, to Russia, have not been returned and are still there?

Mr. Hynd

We have not been able to substantiate the fact that any number of workers were removed forcibly to the U.S.S.R. As stated in the answer, we were unable to obtain a clear indication of what had happened.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Will the Minister say what form of persuasion or inducement is used by the Soviet authorities?

Mr. Gallacher

The same as the Americans—the almighty dollar.

Mr. Stokes

Is the Minister aware that though he has not got the information, there are plenty of people at present in this country who can give him precise details?