HC Deb 16 March 1959 vol 602 cc21-3
31 and 32. Mr. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether Her Majesty's Government still adhere to the policy declared in 1951 that under no circumstances would Herr Krupp be allowed to resume either ownership or control of the former Krupp industrial empire;

(2) whether Her Majesty's Government still subscribe to the declaration of policy made by General Sir Brian Robertson, Military Governor in Germany, during his speech to the Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, on 7th April, 1948, concerning the disposal of German industry; and what was the gist of this statement.

Mr. R. Allan

It remains the policy of Her Majesty's Government that the former Krupp industrial empire should be broken up through the machinery of the deconcentration plan of 1953.

The gist of Sir Brian Robertson's statement was that, while we should not allow German industry to remain concentrated in the hands of its former owners, future ownership was, in principle, a matter for the Germans to decide. This was given effect under the Allied High Commission Law No. 27, which remains in force.

Mr. Lewis

How can the Minister reconcile that statement about what General Sir Brian Robertson said, in view of the following words which he said: I can repeat the promise which has been given to you in the past that the British Government will never allow German industry to return to its former owners"? Are not all the big combines going back to their former owners? Is it not a fact that every kind of assistance appears to be given to Krupp's and all these other people to get back to power? If I put down some Questions, will the hon. (Gentleman answer them and tell me where these people are and what they are doing now?

Mr. Allan

The point of Sir Brian Robertson's speech, which was made a long time ago, was simply to refer to the concentration of German industry. Obviously there were minor industrial owners who were going to get their property back. The point of Allied policy has always been to break up the concentration and not necessarily to deprive individual Germans of small holdings.

Sir T. Moore

In this connection and with particular reference to Question No. 31, would my hon. Friend care to comment on the fact that Mr. Khrushchev recently proposed and drank the health of Herr Krupp?

Mr. Speaker

I do not think that is an activity for which the Joint Under-Secretary of State is responsible.

Mr. Lewis

In view of the fact that the Minister answered two Questions together, may I ask two supplementaries?

Mr. Speaker

I think the hon. Member put his point very clearly and at some length in his first question. I do not see what he could add to it.

Mr. Lewis

In view of the fact that my next supplementary will be very short, may I ask it?

Mr. Speaker

I do not think so.

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