HC Deb 22 November 1948 vol 458 c849
23. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will give the names of the trustees who will control the Ruhr coal, iron and steel industries.

Mr. Mayhew

I understand that no appointments have yet been made. The names of the trustees will be made public when they are appointed. To remove any misapprehensions I should perhaps explain that the trustees will not "control" the industries. Their function is to hold the physical and other assets (including any profits) in trust until a German Government has settled the question of future ownership. The control of the coal industry remains with the existing Anglo-American Coal Control Group. In the case of the steel industry, control is transferred from British hands to a new Anglo-American Steel Control Group.

Mr. Hynd

Although the trustees have not yet been appointed can my hon. Friend now contradict headlines in the French Press to the effect that we are handing back the industries to the Krupps family?

Mr. Mayhew

That scarcely needs a denial.

Mr. Ronald Chamberlain

As the French reservations and fears do seem to be well founded, will my hon. Friend give an undertaking that these ordinances will not be put into effect until sympathetic consideration has been given to their representations?

Mr. Mayhew

The general subject of the control of the Ruhr is under discussion with the French Government, among other subjects.