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Friedrich Berg (Charges)

Volume 436: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what firearms and other prohibited or restricted goods were found on the premises of Fritz Berg, Altena, when they were recently searched; with what offences he has since been charged and why he is still in possession of two motor cars and in control of his factories.

Friedrich Berg was found to be in possession of three sporting rifles, a Mauser automatic pistol, and quantities of ammunition. A large amount of rationed food, both Allied and German, and Allied spirits and cigarettes were also found. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit an offence in connection with purchase of cutlery; possession of excess quantities of rationed foods; unauthorised possession of property belonging to the Allied forces; unauthorised possession of fire-arms and ammunition; corruption of a person acting under authority of Allied forces; and two offences under the Military Government Notice of Control and Allocation of Consumer Goods dated 7th April, 1946. The two motorcars said to be in his possession are his private property. He is no longer in control of his factories, as he was removed from office on 3rd March, 1947, under the denazification regulations.

Is it really satisfactory that he and his wife should be driving about in these two motorcars, including periodically attending hearings before this trial?

The hon. and learned Member will note that my information is that he is in possession of motorcars, but I have caused most immediate inquiries to be made whether he is entitled to use them. If there is any reason why he should not use them, I will take care to see that he does not.

Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire particularly into the fact that every time he comes up for another hearing he drives away in one car and his wife in another?

Am I right in thinking that the possession of firearms is a capital offence in Germany, and can investigations be made into how a person charged with a capital offence was allowed bail?