HC Deb 21 January 1948 vol 446 cc194-5
29. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he is taking to lighten the burden of the occupation in the British zone of Austria.

Mr. McNeil

My right hon. Friend indicated to the House on 18th December last that he would do what he could to alleviate the burden imposed on Austria by the continuance of an occupation which His Majesty's Government have made it clear they wish to see terminated. Although we are not yet able to say what precise steps can effectively be taken, I can assure my hon. Friend that this question is now being carefully examined.

Mr. Warbey

While this question is under examination, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the possibility of decontrolling broadcasting stations, hotels, theatres and other buildings and property which are in the occupation of our Forces, as a result of which great restrictions are placed on the freedom of action of the Austrian people?

Mr. McNeil

The question of decontrol consistent with our occupational obligations is being examined.

Professor Savory

Will the right hon. Gentleman not consider a possible reduction of the civilian staff while, of course, fully maintaining the Army for the protection of the Carinthian frontier?

Mr. Thurtle

Does my right hon. Friend think that the burden of the British occupation of Austria presses more heavily upon the Austrians than the burden of the Russian occupation of Austria?