HC Deb 07 April 1948 vol 449 cc142-3
12. Mr. Blackburn

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action His Majesty's Government propose to take in consequence of the impediments being offered by the Soviet authorities to the free passage of British persons from the British zone of Germany to Berlin.

Mr. Bevin

I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement on this subject which I made yesterday in reply to a Question by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill).

Mr. Blackburn

Will my right hon. Friend make it plain that this issue is being handled with a proper sense of its gravity under his direction in view of the loss of 14 British lives, and that it is not being left for some dinner party discussions with Marshal Sokolovsky which Field-Marshal Montgomery is today reported to have described as great fun and very friendly?

Mr. Bevin

I cannot, of course, know what Field-Marshal Montgomery is reported to have said. In this country these matters are dealt with by the civil Government and not by generals.

Mr. Platts-Mills

If my right hon. Friend should find it possible to inquire into this sort of thing any further, will he himself consider making it possible for members of the British public, including Members of Parliament, to travel through the British zone when they wish to go to Germany and reach that country? Will he consider the same question from the point of view of Greece and Palestine, among other countries?

Mr. Bevin

I have over and over again made offers towards facilitating completely free movement throughout Germany. This has been resisted with great bitterness and vehemence by the Soviet Government.