Oral Answers to Questions — Germany – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1949.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent the technical problems resulting from the recent changes in the dismantling programme are under urgent review; whether the dismantled equipment still lying in the premises of steel plants is to be removed; and what decision the Security Board has reached in regard to those recently spared synthetic oil plants which, if turned over to peaceful production can, by reason of the processes employed, be very quickly reconverted for war purposes.
In accordance with the Petersburg Agreement, equipment at the plants concerned which had been dismantled by 24th November will be removed. The only technical problem resulting from this decision which has come to our notice is at the August Thyssen Works at Hamborn, and experts are now examining the problem there. The Military Security Board has not been required to take any decision regarding the synthetic oil plants in consequence of the recent Agreement. The position at these plants is as stated in reply to my hon. Friend's Question on 30th November, and it will be the Security Board's responsibility to ensure that no prohibited items are produced.
Has there not been a great deal too much delay in dealing with all these problems of dismantling and, as a result of that delay, is my hon. Friend aware that a real opportunity is being provided to the Germans to agitate and indulge in propaganda of a most undesirable nature?
I should have thought that quite recently we had made very great progress in clearing up the whole matter.