HC Deb 06 July 1949 vol 466 c2122
9. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will consider adapting the August Thyssen Works, near Duisberg, which are scheduled for dismantling for the production of prefabricated steel houses, and allowing them to be retained under international control for supplying the housing needs of Europe's homeless population.

Mr. Bevis

No, Sir.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Minister not realise how difficult he is making things for the trade union leaders in this area of Germany, where there are 200,000 unemployed? Does he not agree that it would be far better for these people to be usefully employed than to be drawing unemployment benefit?

Mr. Bevin

I have given many answers on this point. This Government has done more to get Germany established on a reasonable post-war basis than has anyone else concerned. The remaining capacity of 11 million tons is well accounted for. In the beginning we were faced with demands from, I think, Russia for 5 million tons and from America for 5 million tons. We stood out and succeeded in getting 11 million tons for the Germans.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Can my right hon. Friend say whether this is the plant on which 17 million marks have been expended since the end of the war? May I have an answer?