HC Deb 15 December 1948 vol 459 cc1201-2
60. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps are being taken to prevent German industrialists invoicing exports for less than their worth and so organising a dollar leakage from the pool of foreign money created to pay for imports.

Mr. Bevin

An attempt is now being made to reorganise the Customs and Frontier Control Services of the three Western zones as a whole. This re-organisation should make for a much more efficient and sound service than at present exists and should greatly reduce the opportunities for exchange control evasion.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Can my right hon Friend confirm or deny that the irregularities in this matter cover as much as 60 million dollars, because, if that is so, it is a really serious thing?

Mr. Bevin

I admit it is very serious. It is a very serious case and very difficult to handle. We are reorganising the whole business. I have no knowledge of the exact amount.

Mr. Stokes

Is it not correct that in fact the export prices of all these materials are controlled by J.E.I.A., a joint agency representing the bizone, and that the Germans have little to do with it as far as export prices are concerned?

Mr. Bevin

That is so.