HC Deb 07 May 1952 vol 500 cc370-1
38. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how much money has been spent since 1945 on re-educating the Germans.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The "re-education" of Germans was carried out in prisoner-of-war camps in the United Kingdom and the Middle East until repatriation was effected during 1947 to 1948. The approximate cost of this work from April, 1946, to the end was £310,000.

Since the end of the war representatives of Her Majesty's Government have worked closely with the German authorities in the re-establishment of a democratic educational system in Western Germany and the restoration of educational and cultural contacts between the two countries. The sterling cost of this work to the British taxpayer from January, 1946, to the end of the last financial year was approximately £1,800,000.

Mr. Hughes

Having spent this £1,800,000, are the British taxpayers now to understand that we are going not through the process of re-educating the Germans but of de-educating the Germans and cancelling out our previous reeducation? Has the Minister come into contact with the new word that has been published in the German Press—the word "reducarmament"?

Mr. Lloyd

The whole purpose of the arrangements which the Government are seeking to make now is to draw Germany into the free Western world, and this work of cultural and educational contacts between the two peoples seems to me to be of very great value towards that end.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman really believe that the quickest and the surest way of persuading the masses of the German people that Hitler was wrong is to tell them now that without their help Western civilisation cannot be defended?