HC Deb 20 March 1946 vol 420 cc369-70W
89. Mr. J. Foster

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that it is a criminal offence for persons in this country to communicate with persons in Germany and that postal communications between Germany and Switzerland have been resumed, he will amend the Trading with the Enemy Regulations so that persons with a legitimate interest, such as persons with relatives or property in Germany, may send letters to Germany, thus bringing the British and American zones into line with the territory of Germany occupied by Poland, with which regular postal communications from this country exist.

Mr. Belcher

I am informed that regular postal communications between Germany and Switzerland have not been resumed. The Control Commission has announced that it is hoped to introduce a restricted international postal service to and from Germany by the beginning of April, but I understand that, in order to avoid a heavy immediate strain on the censorship organization and the security and financial controls, correspondence will be limited to personal and domestic matters, and that communications on property and business matters other than those mentioned below will not be possible until a later date. No useful purpose would, therefore, be served by licensing persons in the United Kingdom to correspond on such matters with Germany at the present time. Meanwhile, particulars of property owned by United Kingdom persons in Germany, as registered in the Trading with the Enemy Department, have been sent to the Control Commission with a view to steps being taken for its preservation, and information concerning it is communicated to the owner as and when received. Special arrangements have also been made to enable nationals of the United Nations to obtain information about their banking accounts held in Germany, and to enable relatives in the United Kingdom to send letters of invitation to distressed persons in Germany who are eligible for admission to the United Kingdom.