§ 30. Mrs. Castle
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the difficulties which are holding up the conclusions of an agreement with the Federal Government of Germany over the steps necessary to prevent Herr Alfred Krupp from buying his way back into the coal and steel industries.
36. Mr. H. Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent the agreement reached between the Allied High Commissioners and the firm of Krupps provides for Alfred Krupp to retain control of engineering concerns, locomotive works and shipyards.
§ Mrs. Castle
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a new attempt is being made to infiltrate, by Nazi influence, into the free democratic party in Germany and that the former Nazi officials who are trying to capture this party are backed by money from the Ruhr industries? In view of this great danger of a revival of Nazism in Germany, does the Foreign Secretary not agree that it is urgent to find a means of breaking down the concentration of economic power in the hands of former Ruhr industrialists? Will the right hon. Gentleman make a report soon?
While not wanting to press the Foreign Secretary to give full details of this agreement until the later stage to which he referred, may I ask whether he is aware that statements have appeared in the national Press to the effect that an agreement has been reached, and is he also aware of the very grave anxiety there will be in this country 873 if the Krupp family are able to recover their holdings, particularly in shipbuilding and engineering?
§ Mr. Eden
The right hon. Gentleman must know, because he was a member of the Government at the time, what the extent of my powers is in this matter. I am certainly doing the utmost I can by negotiation, and I shall obtain as satisfactory a document as I can because my desires are exactly the same as those of the right hon. Gentleman, but I could only act within the power that I possess.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
Would it be possible in the course of these negotiations for the Government to suggest to Herr Krupp, in view of the strong feeling that exists in this and other countries, that it would be—I am putting it politely—a gracious act if part of the fortune were to be made available for refugee funds so that some reparation can be made to the many people who suffered as a result of Herr Krupp's actions during the war?
§ Mr. Gaitskell
I am not blaming the Foreign Secretary. I am asking him if he will seriously consider the suggestions I made.