23. Miss Ward
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will give an assurance that no decision will be finally come to with the German Federal Government over the future of the captured German documents without a statement on the outcome of the discussions at present proceeding.
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Douglas Dodds-Parker)
I regret I can give no such general assurance, but I can state that the usual procedure will be followed. My hon. Friend will appreciate that there are many kinds of captured German documents, and it may well prove desirable to deal with them in different ways, but I cannot now anticipate the decisions which will eventually be reached.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the captured German documents to which I am referring have been the subject of negotiation for two years, and if it takes as long as that to come to a decision does that not indicate something rather peculiar about the negotiations?
§ Mr. Dodds-Parker
There are an enormous number of captured documents of many different sorts and the greatest expedition is being used in sorting them out.