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Free Germans (Repatriation)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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21 and 24.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether, when he reached agreement with the Soviet Government that the repatriation of all German prisoners of war would be completed by the end of 1948, he was given an assurance that the Free Germans under the command of General Paulus would be repatriated by this same date;

(2) whether, when he promised the Soviet Government that the Dienstgruppen in the British zone of Germany, of which the Soviet Government had complained would be disbanded at the end of the year, he received assurances that the Soviet Government has not been keeping, and will not keep, any of her ex-enemies under arms or give such people military training of any kind.

When the Allied Control Council in Berlin were preparing their report for the Council of Foreign Ministers, Marshal Sokolovsky stated that there were no Germans serving in the Soviet Armed Forces either in the Soviet zone of Germany or in the Soviet Union. This statement was repeated by Monsieur Molotov in the Council of Foreign Ministers in Moscow.

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with this assurance? Can he confirm whether the Free Germany Committee, which was said to have been disbanded in August, 1945, has in fact, been replaced by the Military Committee for the Renovation of Geramny? Will he say whether the maintenance of German armed forces in the U.S.S.R. would be wholly contrary to the Yalta and other agreements

If it was happening it would be, but I must take the word of other Foreign Ministers, as I expect them to take mine.