HC Deb 18 December 1945 vol 417 c1294W
Mr. Moody

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what reports His Majesty's Government have received as to the increase of democratic opinion in Germany; and if any conversations have been held with the other occupying powers as to the desirability of holding elections in that country.

Mr. J. Hynd

Three main parties are active, Social Democrats, Christian Democrats and Communists. Other groups are also forming and are seeking recognition. Political leaders are emerging and there is latent democratic energy in the parties, but they are still small. Discussions have taken place between the occupying powers about the holding of local elections. In existing conditions these cannot be held for some time, but work is going ahead as quickly as possible in compiling an accurate electoral roll, a matter of some difficulty in view of the movement of populations.

Mr. Edelman

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will permit local groups of Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, Liberal Democrats and Communists, established within the British zone of Germany, to affiliate themselves with the central bodies of these parties, established in Berlin.

Mr. J. Hynd

It has been the policy in the British zone of Germany to foster the formation of political parties, first on the Kreis level, which is roughly equivalent to that of a borough council, so that subsequent wider groupings would be truly representative of local democratic expression. The three principal parties that have thus emerged in the British zone, namely Christian Democrat, Communist and Social Democrat, are now being encouraged to form zonal committees and if and when these bodies propose to amalgamate with other groups in other zones so as to form central organisations covering the whole of Germany, the British authorities, for their part, will not wish to discourage them.