HC Deb 26 January 1949 vol 460 cc914-5
35. Mrs. Leah Manning

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware of the revisionist activities of such organisations as the Interessengemeinschaft der Ostvertriekenen within the British zone of Occupation in Germany; and what steps the authorities are taking to make clear to these organisations that their subversive political activities will not be tolerated.

Mr. McNeil

Responsibility for licensing and controlling all German refugee associations in the British zone has been handed over to the German authorities. The stated aims of such organisations as that mentioned in the Question do not appear to conflict with Military Government policy and, on the basis of the evidence at present available, my right hon. Friend sees no justification for intervening. I am nevertheless willing, as has been stated in replies to Questions on this subject by my hon. Friend, the Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeffington-Lodge), to examine any evidence that these organisations are indulging in undesirable political activities.

Mrs. Manning

Has not my right hon. Friend already received ample evidence that this organisation is indulging in revisionist activities, is he not aware that if this is allowed to go on we shall reach very great difficulties later, and would it not be better to put a stop to it now while it is young?

Mr. McNeil

I cannot agree that I have had evidence, or at least ample evidence. However, following a Question put by the hon. Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeffington-Lodge), my noble Friend did cause representations to be made to one of these organisations urging great care upon them.

Mr. Bramall

Is it not a fact that in evidence which the hon. Member for Bedford and I sent to my right hon. Friend there was included a statement by this organisation itself, that it was revisionist.

Mr. Molson

As regards the central revisionist propaganda, it is still the case, is it not, that the British Government do not regard as permanent the existing frontier of Eastern Germany?

Mr. McNeil

I do not see how that arises. It is true that the British Military Government have a policy, and it would obviously be stupid to permit propaganda tending to destroy that policy.