Class X

Part of Orders of the Day — Civil Estimates and Estimates for Revenue Departments, Supplementary Estimate, 1946–47 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th February 1947.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Bucklow 12:00 am, 28th February 1947

I was only demonstrating the point that we have not attained anything more as a result of this increasing expenditure in maintaining the Control Commision, and that a steady deterioriation has, in fact, set in. I should like to draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that, even from May last year until the beginning of this year, there has been an increase in the staff of over 4,000; over 4,000 members of the Control Commission have taken up jobs between May and the beginning of this year. Every observer in Germany is prepared to state that there are too many people on the Control Commission. Everybody knows except the Chancellor of the Duchy. He is rather emulating the Minister of Fuel and Power. Everybody knew that there would be a fuel crisis, except that Minister. We are entitled to more information from the Chancellor as to what will be done. General Sir Brian Robertson said, yesterday, that the German Government had taken over a good deal of work. We are entitled to ask what reduction of staff will take place as a consequence of the Germans taking over administration in our zone. So far as I can see, we shall get a continuous increase in the number of staff, and 1 would like the hon. Gentleman to let us know how many people are working in mammoth palaces like Norfolk House, and tell us what on earth they are doing. It seems to me that they are pushing pieces of paper to each other, without any clear idea of what they are supposed to be doing.

I would like the hon. Gentleman to clarify the position as regards the bi-zonal offices. On top of our already complicated mechanism for controlling Germany, we have established four or five bi-zonal offices, and we have made their work even more difficult by scattering them over the British and American zones, so that they have no contact with the Governments with which they are supposed to deal. Why are we compelled to pay more money because of this lack of foresight? Why should these offices be scattered over the entire British and American zones, with no contact one with the other?

Finally, I want to refer to items G and H. We are involved, as everyone knows, in finding an immense amount of money for reparations in reverse. It is desirable that we should reduce that expenditure. What has been done in our zone in that respect? Over 12 months ago, the Americans were taking practical steps to put raw cotton into their zone so that it could be spun on the machinery there. How far have we gone towards sending similar material to Germany? How far have we attempted to cut our losses by utilising the machinery and skill which exists in our zone. I suggest very little indeed. We may have started now, but that is 12 months after the Americans One would think that we were the people who had dollars to spare, and had immense resources, and that the Americans were our poor friends, whereas, in practice, the reverse is true. I want the Chancellor to tell us what he is doing to utilise the productive capacity of Germany.