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German-Occupied Countries (Occupation Costs)

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 9 November 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare the total amount in sterling which Germany has received from the countries she has occupied since the beginning of the war to the latest available date; and the approximate annual sum in sterling which she is at present collecting from occupied countries in respect of so-called occupation costs?

As I informed my hon. Friend the Member for The High Peak Division (Mr. Molson) on 26th October, the total amount levied on the occupied countries in Europe by the Axis Governments up to 30th September, 1943, whether by occupation costs or other charges is estimated at over £3,200,000,000. The amounts levied by Axis countries other than Germany have been comparatively small, and are almost certainly less than £50,000,000. It follows that the German share has been approximately £3,150,000,000. As regards the second part of the Question, it is difficult to give a precise figure, since no recent information is available in respect of Greece. My Department estimates, however, that the approximate annual sum which Germany is at present collecting from all the occupied countries is in the neighbourhood of £1,300,000,000. If account is taken of balance of exports received by Germany and paid for only in blocked marks, the approximate figure is £1,700,000,000.

I am much obliged to my hon. Friend for that information. Is it not a fact that in connection with the last war Germany paid only about £7,500,000 a year, and squealed all the time about paying it and finally defaulted on grounds of inability to pay?