French Supplies (German Acquisition).

Oral Answers to Questions — Economic Warfare. – in the House of Commons on 24th February 1942.

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Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

asked the Minister of Economic Warfare whether he has taken steps to check the accuracy of the German estimates of the sums of French securities, foodstuffs, including the greater part of the French wheat, potato, sugar and other crops, and cattle, which have been removed to Germany, as well as the greater part of motor-vehicles and other war supplies produced in France since the armistice, in view of the effect upon our blockade of Germany of such a spoliation of France?

Photo of Mr Dingle Foot Mr Dingle Foot , Dundee

I do not know what estimates my hon. Friend has in mind. The German authorities are not in the habit of revealing the extent of their depredations. Taking the rate of exchange at 176 francs to the pound sterling, the value of the industrial products removed by the Germans from France between the date of the armistice and the end of 1941 is approximately £200,000,000, while the value of foodstuffs so removed may be anything between £150,000,000 and £250,000,000. As regards securities, the information I have received is not sufficient to enable me to give a figure.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that all these various particulars, which were taken from German published returns, were set forth in a recent issue of the "Soviet War News," and would it not be advisable to get into touch with these things in the same way as I do, as it is very important that we should know what supplies have been taken?

Photo of Mr Dingle Foot Mr Dingle Foot , Dundee

We endeavour to keep check of all figures published from Germany. I will, however, consider the statistics to which my hon. Friend refers.