British Policy (Statement)

Oral Answers to Questions — Germany – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1949.

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Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire 12:00 am, 14th December 1949

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what was the purpose of Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick's recent official visit to Dusseldorf; and what was the nature of his address to Ruhr industrialists and bankers on 7th December.

Photo of Mr Ronald Chamberlain Mr Ronald Chamberlain , Lambeth Norwood

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what was the purpose of Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick's official meeting with Ruhr industrialists and bankers on 7th December; and what was the outcome of the meeting.

Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Norfolk Southern

The purpose of Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick's visit was to discuss with the United Kingdom High Commissioner some problems connected with United Kingdom responsibilities in Germany. An announcement to this effect was made from the High Commissioner's Office on 28th November. He took the opportunity to accept an invitation to attend a dinner and to give a statement of British policy towards Germany. I hope that the outcome was a better understanding of British policy.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Can the Minister tell us whether there is any truth in the Press statements that this official met 22 industrialists, bankers, steel magnates and so on, but did not take the opportunity to meet the trade union leaders and the Socialists?

Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Norfolk Southern

I have no doubt that he did meet a number of industrialists and bankers in the course of his visit and I think that the address he gave was entirely appropriate to that audience. As to whether he saw trade unionists or not, I should need notice of that question.

Photo of Mr Ronald Chamberlain Mr Ronald Chamberlain , Lambeth Norwood

In view of the very doubtful history of the Ruhr industrialists and bankers in the last 25 years and the very natural nervousness of the German workers, is it really desirable that a high official of the Foreign Office should have private meetings of this kind with them?

Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Norfolk Southern

Perhaps this kind of person will gain most from that kind of talk.

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that those of us who know his official have every confidence that he did a great deal of good in this talk?

Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Norfolk Southern

I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Mr Thomas Scollan Mr Thomas Scollan , Renfrewshire Western

In view of the fact that so far this House has not been informed of the policy towards Germany, how is it that Sir Ivone is able to go and discuss policy with industrialists in Germany?

Photo of Mr George Chetwynd Mr George Chetwynd , Stockton-on-Tees

Can my hon. Friend ensure that this speech is given to as many audiences as possible in the same terms as on that occasion?

Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Norfolk Southern

I think it has had wide publicity.