§ 2.35 p.m.
My Lords, I beg to ask Her Majesty's Government the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) whether, under a plan agreed with the allied authorities in Germany and promulgated on March 4, 1953, Herr Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach agreed to dispose of an estimated 74 per cent. of his property—steel, iron and coal-producing assets—through disposition trustees; (2) on what date the five-year period under the disposition procedure ended; (3) whether an extension of the period has been granted, and, if so, what is the wording of the "extension" statement communicated to Herr Krupp; and (4) whether the implementation of the 1953 deconcentration agreement will continue to be urged in accordance with Law 27.]
THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS (THE EARL OF HOME)
My Lords, the answer to the first part of the question is Yes. As regards the second part, the 2 dates were different for each company to be sold. For those as yet unsold, the dates are February 1, 1959, and March 16, 1959. As the noble Viscount will have seen from the statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in another place on February 4, a Mixed Committee is to be set up under the provisions of the Bonn Settlement Convention to consider applications for an extension of time. Mean-while, Allied High Commission Law No. 27 remains in force.
My Lords, may I thank the noble Earl for his Answer, and take this opportunity to welcome him back on his return from his successful mission to Malaya? Then the House may take it that the efforts of Her Majesty's Government will be directed to seeing that the deconcentration agreement is carried out?
§ LORD HENDERSON
May I pursue the noble Viscount's question, and ask whether it is still the agreed policy of the three Western Governments that Law 27 and the agreement under the Bonn Contract should be carried into effect?
THE EARL OF HOME
My Lords, I take it that that is so. Certain difficulties have arisen about timing, and I think that is the reason why, as I have said, this Joint Committee is to be set up. Perhaps we could wait to see what the Joint Committee's findings are, and if the noble Lord, or any other noble Lord, then wishes to pursue matters I will give the information.