HC Deb 21 June 1948 vol 452 cc927-8
35. Mr. M. Philips Price

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will consider discussions with the six Powers who took part in the London Agreement on Western Germany with a view to defining more clearly the proposals for the international control of the Ruhr industries and the rôle of the German directors in those industries.

36. Mr. Ronald Chamberlain

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has considered the reservations in the matter of control of the Ruhr industries made by the French National Assembly in approving the Six-Power Agreement; and whether it is his intention to re-convene the conference of the six Powers to give further consideration to this matter.

Mr. McNeil

The French Government has now informed His Majesty's Government of their acceptance of the recommendations of the London talks on Germany and have drawn our attention to the reservations made by the French National Assembly. The question of re-convening the conference does not arise. Further discussions concerning the Ruhr will be carried out in accordance with Article 12 of the agreement.

Mr. Philips Price

Are we to understand from that, that conversations will shortly commence on this issue?

Mr. McNeil

As I understand it—I am not sure what my hon. Friend means by "conversations"—the French Government have instructed their Military Government to proceed with the next step which was contemplated in the recommendation. Further conversations will take place as provided for in Article 12 relating to these precise issues of the Ruhr.

Mr. Chamberlain

Does my right hon. Friend agree that serious and important considerations are involved here, and that whereas a great number of us believe that international supervision is good, the international management for which the French have now asked is a horse of a different colour?

Mr. Warbey

Will my right hon. Friend take into account not only the French observations on the Ruhr but also the Assembly's suggestion that there should be a renewed attempt to reach Four-Power Agreement on the unification of Germany, and will my right hon. Friend suggest to his right hon. Friend that renewed efforts should be made in this direction?