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Central Europe (Germans, Expulsions)

Volume 416: debated on Monday 19 November 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has yet any report from the Ambassadors in Russia, Poland and Czechoslovakia, with regard to the expulsion of Germans from Central Europe to Western Germany.

I assume that my hon. Friend is asking whether His Majesty's Ambassadors in the Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia have yet made any report concerning an alleged agreement between the Governments of those three countries to transfer 4,500,000 Germans, at the rate of 30,000 a day. if this assumption is correct, the answer is "Yes, Sir." It has now been confirmed that no such agreement or decision was ever made.

In view of the reply, can the Minister state the basis of the statement of Field-Marshal Montgomery that several millions of refugees would have to be expected in the British zone in the near future, and can he explain why information possessed by Field-Marshal Montgomery is withheld from His Majesty's Government?

I would not like to accept the proposition that the Field-Marshal has information which was withheld from H.M. Government. In view of the Debate later this week, when, no doubt, the matter will be dealt with, I think I had better not add to what I have said.

The reply of my right hon. Friend was very ambiguous. Does he mean that the expulsions from Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary have stopped

As far as I am able to judge, there have been very few expulsions from Czechoslovakia in recent times, and certainly the number from Poland has very greatly diminished.

In view of the very great harm that is done by rumours being spread about these expulsions, will His Majesty's Government make inquiries as to the sources from which these rumuors come?

Does the answer mean that no agreements in the terms set out in the Question have been made, but that some similar agreements may have been made?

No, Sir; as far as I can make out, the whole thing was without foundation. There was another rumour that the Russians were going to expel a great number from their zone to ours, and that proved to be equally without foundation.