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Industry (Control And Ownership)

Volume 463: debated on Monday 21 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, under the terms of the Memorandum of the Military Government on the Constitution for a Western German Government, the power to legislate on matters concerning the control and ownership of industry will rest with the Laender Governments or with the Federal Government.

The Memorandum as drafted by the Military Governors allows both the Federal Government and Laender Governments to legislate on matters concerning the control and ownership of industry. The right of the Federal Government to legislate on these matters is limited to those cases where it is clearly impossible for a single Land to enact legislation, or where the legislation if enacted would be detrimental to the rights or interests of other Laender. The right of the Laender to legislate is subject to the overriding validity of federal law, if the Federal Government does in fact legislate. Under the terms of the Memorandum it would therefore depend upon the circumstances of each case whether the Land or Federal Government is competent.

Will the Under-Secretary consider publishing as a White Paper the draft constitution for Western Germany and the Memorandum on it by the Western Powers, as that would make it far easier to follow these things?