asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the cost to the United Kingdom of supplying oil to the bizone of Germany; and if any of the synthetic oil plants in Germany are now working or expected to be in production again in the near future.
The answer to the first part of the Question is nil. Since 1st October, 1947, the cost of supplying oil to the bizone of Germany has been borne exclusively by the United States. With regard to the second part of the Question, the position is that the production of synthetic petrol and oil in Germany is prohibited. At the present time two plants using the Fischer Tropsch process are producing primary materials for the manufacture of fatty acids and synthetic detergents for the soap and washing powder industry, and permission has been given for two plants originally erected for the hydrogenation of coal by the Bergius process to be used to a limited extent for the hydrogenation of residues obtained from the initial refining process of imported crude oils and also for the production of synthetic ammonia.