HC Deb 03 November 1947 vol 443 cc1311-2
5. Mr. Somerville Hastings

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why, in view of the necessity of cleanliness for the prevention of contagious disease and the shortage of cleaning material in Germany, he has agreed to the dismantling of the factory of Henckel of Dusseldorf, the largest manufacturers of soap powder in Germany.

Mr. Mayhew

As the soap-making industry produces the glycerine needed in the manufacture of explosives, Germany had built up a capacity far in excess of her requirements of soap. Adequate capacity for soap-making is being left elsewhere in the Anglo-American zone, but production is at present limited by shortage of fuel and raw materials.

Mr. Hastings

Is my hon. Friend convinced that Germany has sufficient cleansing materials for its needs?

Mr. Mayhew

No, Sir, it has not. It is not the production capacity which is short but fuel and raw materials.

Mr. E. P. Smith

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we have had it on very high authority that cleanliness is no longer a prime necessity?

Sir Waldron Smithers

Is it not a great pity that this soap factory cannot be kept open for the sake of the Minister of Fuel and Power?