HC Deb 27 November 1946 vol 430 cc1596-8
30. Mr. A. Edward Davies

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether a decision has been made to dismantle the firm of Messrs. Imhausen. Witten, in the British zone.

Mr. J. Hynd

No decision has been made to dismantle this factory, which is being reactivated to produce synthetic industrial fats for soap and other essential needs.

31. Mr. A. Edward Davies

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether a complete survey has now been made of the firms, factories, machines and harbour works to be dismantled in the British zone; and how far the work has progressed.

Mr. J. Hynd

The survey is not yet complete; the list of plants to be declared available as reparations has not yet been finally settled and in the great majority of the cases already listed as surplus to German peace economy, an inventory has still to be prepared and a valuation agreed between the four occupying Powers. As for the progress made with dismantling, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 20th November to the Hon. Member for the High Peak (Mr. Molson).

Mr. Stokes

May I ask my hon. Friend why there has been this interminable delay? Why it is not possible for us to follow the Russian example and merely declare that the factories belong to us and continue to work them with German workers? That is what the Russians are doing in their zone.

Mr. Hynd

One of the reasons for the delay is the very fact that we have not been able to get one of the first conditions which the British element laid down in connection with the level of industry in the reparations agreement that there should be a unitary Germany.

Mr. Gammans

How many factories have been dismantled and brought to this country, and how many have been taken to Russia?

Mr. Hynd

The answer is none in both cases. The actual number of factories that have been dismantled or are in course of dismantling—and I think they are all in course of being dismantled—is seven, of which five are allocated to the East, and two to I.A.R.A. in Brussels for allocation among the Western Powers.

Mr. Benn Levy

Will the Minister undertake to announce at an early date the ultimate limits and details of the dismantling programme in order to remove this quite paralysing uncertainty?

Mr. Hynd

I should be only too glad to give such an undertaking, but the House should understand that we laid down the very definite condition that the level of industry agreed upon in March, 1946, was dependent upon the acceptance of central administration and of a common economic unity in Germany, that that has not yet been achieved and that the probability is that the level of industry will have to be completely reviewed.

Mr. R. S. Hudson


Mr. Speaker

We cannot remain on one Question for ever.

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