Skip to main content

Krupp's Works Essen (Dismantling)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 7 July 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why Krupp's works at Essen are to be blown up instead of being dismantled in such a way as to conserve the large amount of steel used in its construction.

Some parts of the Krupp's plant are earmarked for reparations. Only those parts of the works will be destroyed which are useful for warlike purposes exclusively—that is Category I plant. Destruction will, so far as possible, be by dismantling. Blowing up will only be used as a last resort in order to complete the process by the date laid down by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

On this question of conservation of any large amounts of steel, is it not better to postpone the date and save the steel, than to keep to the date and lose the steel?

We are doing everything we can to save the steel. It is not only a question of getting it through by the date, but there is also the fact that sometimes it is more economic to destroy the steel by blowing it up, than to use manpower to dismantle it.

In view of the fact that the steel is to be used for reparations, will the Under-Secretary state to which country it will be sent?

That will be a matter of allocation by the Inter-Allied Reparations Agency.

Is the Foreign Office satisfied that in this and other similar cases there is no unnecessary destruction or waste?

We will take every possible measure to prevent such waste. That is all I can say.

Have every possible means of turning wartime production into peacetime production been explored, such as converting tank production into tractor production? Can I have an assurance on that?

I can give the assurance that the only plant destroyed is that used exclusively for war purposes.

Who takes the decision whether plant is to be destroyed and used for reparations, and on what authority are Russian personnel in the Krupp's works?

To what extent have German workers refused to dismantle the works upon which they are dependent for their livelihood?

There is a natural reluctance on the part of German workers to dismantle their own factories.