HC Deb 09 March 1949 vol 462 c1164
12. Major Guy Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what amount of goods from the British zone of Germany are being sent to the Russian zone by sea; and why this traffic is still permitted while road traffic has been stopped.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Bevin)

There is no legitimate sea-trade between the British and Soviet zones. This has been stopped since July, 1948. There is, however, some smuggling, which, of course, we try to prevent, and which I do not believe to be considerable.

Major Lloyd

Is the right hon. Gentleman telling the House that there is no traffic at all going by sea? While everyone knows that the land traffic has been stopped, my Question deals with sea traffic. Is it not universally understood that there was considerable traffic by sea, and is that now being definitely denied?

Mr. Bevin

I have answered that there is no legitimate sea trade between the British and Soviet zones.

Sir Ronald Ross

Is the illegitimate trade being stopped?

Mr. Bevin

I have not stopped all the illegitimate trade. I cannot close down private enterprise completely.

Major Lloyd

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that the real grievance is not that this traffic goes to the Soviet zone, which nobody has suspected, but that it is going to Russia?

Mr. Bevin

That is not in the Question. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman makes his Question more accurate next time, I will give him the right answer.

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