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Economic Reconstruction

Volume 415: debated on Wednesday 31 October 1945

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51.

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether, in order to make a reality of the 1943 Moscow Conference declaration on future Austrian independence, any steps are being taken by His Majesty's Government to urge the Soviet Government to stop creating inflation in Austria and to co-operate with His Majesty's Government and the U.S. Government in the rebuilding of Austrian economy.

The re-creation of the Austrian economy in accordance with the Moscow Declaration and the prevention of inflation in Austria are matters to which His Majesty's Government attach great importance. The British representative on the Allied Council for Austria is fully instructed as to the views of His Majesty's Government in these matters, which have also been conveyed by His Majesty's Representative in Moscow to the Soviet Government.

In view of the fact that the buck has been passed back to the hon. Gentleman by the Foreign Secretary in this little hangover from last week's Question Time, will he bear in mind that it was economic rather than political reasons which were the main cause for Austria being drawn into Hitler's orbit in 1938, thereby consolidating Germany's position for a world war; and will he do everything in his power to secure that Britain and other nations responsible do their utmost to rebuild Austrian prosperity?

The buck has not been passed. The question of inflation was raised as part of an omnibus supplementary asked last week which involved other matters. That question is being dealt with by the Control Commission, and, as I mentioned, it is being pressed by our representatives on the Commission in accordance with our policy that Austria should be dealt with as an economic unit.