HC Deb 22 November 1948 vol 458 cc847-8
16. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on what grounds permission has been given for the association of German exiles recently established at Hanover to include officials alleged to be representing German interests in Hungary, and other Balkan States.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Mayhew)

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend on 15th November. It was stated then that the licensing and control of all German refugee associations in the British zone was now a German responsibility.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Does my hon. Friend not realise that to allow associations to be established, which have as one of their objectives revision of the existing arrangements for the frontiers of Germany, is highly unsatisfactory, and that they must be made to concentrate on the job of looking after refugee problems if the position is to be helped?

Mr. Mayhew

If my hon. Friend has any evidence of revisionist propaganda, I will look into it, but so long as these associations confine themselves to their proper aims, I think they can do a very useful job.

Mr. Bramall

Are we to understand that, for whatever purpose these associations were licensed, the Allied authorities have no control over them?

Mr. Mayhew

No, Sir. The Military Governor has over-riding powers.

17. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will give the names and political antecedents of those Germans representing the territories and populations in Eastern Europe comprised in the association for exiles recently established at Hanover.

Mr. Mayhew

As has already been explained, the licensing of these organisations is a matter for the German authorities. If my hon. Friend has information regarding the political antecedents or present activities of any of the persons concerned, which he thinks should be in the possession of the Foreign Office, I shall be glad to examine it.

Mr. Bramall

Is my hon. Friend aware that the solution of the refugee problem in Western Germany is being seriously held up because this refugee organisation is bringing pressure to bear on the German Governments not to seek a solution, because they feel that that would jeopardise their propaganda that the only solution is to send these refugees back to Eastern Europe, where they came from?

Mr. Mayhew

I have no information to that effect, but I agree that it is an important subject and I should be very willing to consider any evidence which is sent to me.

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