§ 7. Mr. Hollis
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether steps will be taken by the occupying Powers in Western Germany to issue a West German currency in the immediate future.
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that when the Select Committee on Estimates was in Germany last October this question of the lack of a new currency was represented to us as being by far the most important problem affecting the administration? Can delay be justified in the terms of possible collaboration with Russia, as the Foreign Secretary did the other day?
§ Mr. Mayhew
I can assure all Members that my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary appreciates both the importance and urgency of this matter. Nothing in what I have said should leave any Member to assume that delay is involved—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Nothing in anything I have said today should be taken to mean that any further delay is involved, but, at the same time, I think it would be helpful if, on this subject, no statement was made at present.
§ Mr. Skeffington-Lodge
Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that currency reform in itself will not do very much to put things right in the western zones of Germany, and that it is important to bear in mind that the Germans want to see goods in the shops—
§ Mr. Hollis
Is the Under-Secretary aware that I was not asking him to prejudge the course of events? I asked him whether steps could be taken by the occupying Powers in Western Germany to issue a West German currency in the immediate future?
§ Mr. Mayhew
The time limit has now expired for quadripartite discussions on this matter, but I am not in a position to make a further statement today.