asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the main differences between the land expropriation proposals for the British zone of Germany and those already in operation or proposed for the United States zone.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether consultations have been held with the United States occupation authority and agreement reached as to the principles on which the scheme for land reform in the British zone of Germany is to be based.
The settlement law passed in the United States zone was carefully studied before the issue of the British Draft Ordinance. There has been, however, no official consultation with the United States authorities on land reform. The main difference between the British proposals and the provisions of the United States settlement law is that while the British proposals envisage a fixed limit above which all land shall be expropriated, the United States law establishes a sliding scale of expropriation starting at a low fixed limit.
Does the Foreign Secretary intend to ask the United States Government what is their opinion of land nationalisation in a zone for which they are likely to take an increasing responsibility?
No, Sir. I had not thought of putting that question to them yet.
Could my right hon. Friend say what is the position with regard to this land reform as between ourselves and the Zonal Advisory Council, and what stage has been reached?
The stage which has been reached now is that opinion has been taken through the Zonal Advisory Council, and from different parties who put up different points of view and opinions, and the Commander-in-Chief and his officers, and we have been taking all these into account before reaching a final conclusion.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will give an assurance that responsible organisations in Germany representing agriculture and forestry will be consulted before any decision to expropriate German farmers is reached.
Responsible German opinion has been consulted through the Zonal Advisory Council, which, in examining the British proposals, has employed the services of German agricultural experts.
May I ask the Foreign Secretary whether the responsible opinion which he says has been asked for its advice, is really responsible opinion with agricultural and forestry experience, and not merely the semi-political opinion as represented on the Zonal Advisory Council?
Responsible German opinion has been consulted through the Zonal Advisory Council, but if the hon. Member asks me whether I have taken into account all the farmers organisations, well, that is not so.
Would not the Foreign Secretary think it better that the Zonal Advisory Council should take the opinion of responsible agriculturists and foresters, who are more likely to know about the loss of foodstuffs?
In my experience, I have never found unanimity amongst them.