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Germany

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 13 April 1949

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War Plants (Dismantling)

9.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what agreement has been reached on the German war plants scheduled for dismantling.

I assume the hon. Member is referring to the result of the discussions on the Humphrey Committee's report, about which an announcement was made on 31st March. The dismantling of war plants was not under discussion and no new agreement was reached on this subject.

Does my hon. Friend remember that his right hon. Friend at Potsdam, and on a number of occasions in this House, gave the most solemn assurances that the countries which were ravaged by the Nazis would be assisted in their restoration and reconstruction by reparations from German capital equipment, and can my hon. Friend tell the House whether the change in attitude which is now shown by keeping this heavy capital equipment in Western Germany is due to pressure from Wall Street or the Conservative Central Office or from both?

I think the hon. Gentleman is confused. The recent agreement does not refer to war plants at all.

Milk Supply (Children)

10.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if it is now possible for children in the British zone of Berlin to be given fresh liquid milk instead of the dried hitherto supplied.

The three Western sectors of Berlin are fed as one unit. Children up to one year of age in all three sectors receive fresh milk which is produced locally. Considerations of space in the airlift and of hygiene have prevented the supply of fresh milk to older children.

Have the Russians been asked whether they would be willing to relax the blockade for the provision of fresh milk for children, and if they have refused, can we do what the Americans are doing and bring fresh milk every day from Sweden in the interests of the health of the children?

I cannot recall if a formal request has been made to the Soviet Government, but the need for this has been made plain by us before.

In regard to considerations of air lift space, would it not be just as economical to take the same bulk of fresh milk powder rather than the skimmed milk powder?

In so far as fresh milk is obtained from the Russian zone, is it not the case that Berliners in Western Berlin can obtain fresh milk without hindrance in the Eastern sector of Berlin?

I know that we are prevented by the blockade from obtaining sufficient milk for children in the Western zone of Berlin.

Will the hon. Gentleman consult his right hon. Friend and see if representations can now be made to the Russians to relax the blockade to allow the entry of fresh milk for children only?