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Ilo (Participation)

Volume 465: debated on Monday 16 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps have been taken in drafting the Occupation Statute, Clause 2 (c), to ensure that Western Germany under a Western German Government will not be debarred from full participation in the International Labour Organisation.

Careful consideration was given in the drafting of the Occupation Statute to the desirability of facilitating Western Germany's participation in the International Labour Organisation and other Specialised Agencies in relationship with the United Nations. My hon. Friend will appreciate the necessity for reserving to the Occupation Authorities powers in the field of foreign affairs, including international agreements and conventions. Subject to this, it should be possible for Western Germany to participate in the work of the I.L.O. to the fullest extent consistent with the Constitution and the established constitutional practices of the Organisation.

Does that mean that Western Germany would only be represented by the Occupation Powers in the I.L.O. when she becomes a member, and does not my hon. Friend agree that it is unfortunate that there should be any sweated labour in Germany? In the interests of British and other competitors with Germany, is it not equally important that there should be equitable conditions of employment, and, therefore, costs in Germany, and will he ensure that Germany is directly represented as quickly as possible?

I can assure my hon. Friend that Germany will be represented as quickly as possible, but we have the transition stage to go through, and I have to take account of the constitution of the I.L.O. I am trying to take every possible step to associate the German people with the International Labour Organisation, but the acual steps that have to be taken will be rather tentative at the beginning.