§ 11. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement about the increasingly serious position regarding rolling stock in Western Germany; and whether he will explain the reasons for this and say what steps are being taken to improve it.
The present shortage of rolling stock in Western Germany has 5 come about because German industry cannot provide the materials necessary for current repairs. It is even less able to deal with war damaged rolling stock still awaiting repair. Stocks of materials and of equipment which could be used for cannibalisation are now exhausted and the railways are dependent on current production of materials, so that there has been a decline in the numbers of serviceable rolling stock. There has also been a fall in the number of wagons available in consequence of the restitution of rolling stock to Allied owners. Military Government are fully aware of the urgent necessity for improving the supplies of materials for repairs.
§ Mr. Skeffington-Lodge
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the fact that Czechoslovakia particularly hangs on to the wagons which go over the border, and will he make representations to them that we want these wagons sent back to Germany to ease the position there?
While we have a difficulty with certain Powers, I must say that we have found the behaviour of Czechoslovakia in this matter to be exemplary.
§ Sir Waldron Smithers
Is not the shortage of rolling stock due to the fact that there is a pool agreement, and that Russia has failed to keep her agreement to return the empty wagons?