asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress has been made in returning to the German trade unions the property stolen from them in 1933.
A Control Council Directive of 29th April, 1947, provides that approved trade unions may request the transfer of real property belonging to similar unions before 1933. Instructions for implementing the directive are now being worked out; meanwhile, the trade unions have, in as many cases as possible, been granted the use of former trade union property.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any instructions have yet been given to the German legal authorities to ensure that transfers of property between Germans made under racial laws between 1933 and 1945 shall not be recognised as legal.
No such instructions have been given, but property of which persons have been deprived under duress is protected in the British Zone by Military Government Law 52, which proscribes any transaction in such property without the sanction of Military Government.
Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that many forced sales-of property of this type were made under apparently legal cover?
I have no doubt that that factor is being considered.
Can my hon. Friend assure the House that in the considerations about the draft treaty with Germany consideration is being given to embodying Clauses with regard to this matter on the same lines as those contained in the treaties recently signed and ratified?
I could not answer that without notice, I am afraid.