HC Deb 07 December 1949 vol 470 cc1859-60
24. Mr. Walter Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in view of the vital interests of Malaya in rubber production, to what extent his Department was consulted about the proposed level of production of synthetic rubber by the West German Republic.

Mr. Rees-Williams

I understand that the manufacture of synthetic rubber in the German Federal Republic is still prohibited. The question therefore does not arise.

Mr. Fletcher

As the dismantling of synthetic rubber plants in Germany has ceased, is it not certain that the question of their producing synthetic rubber will arise? Will the hon. Gentleman make certain through the Colonial Office that the interests of Malaya are safeguarded?

Mr. Stokes

Before my hon. Friend answers that question, may I ask him whether it is not a logical sequence to preventing the Germans from producing a sufficient quantity of the kind of things they normally produce, such as steel, that we should allow them to produce synthetic things like rubber in order to balance their budget?

Mr. Rees-Williams

The last supplementary question was of a rhetorical nature. As to the first supplementary question, I will inquire into the position in view of what the hon. Gentleman has said. I know that dismantling has stopped, but it does not necessarily follow that the plant will be used to manufacture synthetic rubber.