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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 87 (April 1947)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. 4-13 PDF (5.9 MB)

Page 7

Morel-lousing Planned in Rulr
Full Scale Programw being Drafted to Care for 100,Q000 additional
Miners Required to Increase Production of Coal to 1948 Goal
AIthough the present housing accommo-
dations available in the Ruhr coal mining
regions are enough to take care of the im-
mediate labor force being recruited from the
combined British and US Zones, MO S. Szym-
cz'ak, Director of the Economics Division,
OMGUS, and R. L. Henry, Chief of the
Building Materials and Construction Section,
announced a full scale program  is being
jointly prepared to provide additional hous-
ing- for Ruhr mijners.
Following completion of a trip to the Ruhr
where they consulted with coal mining offi-
cials on progress of the recruiting campaign
and made a special study of housing con-
ditions, -Mr. Szymczak and Mr. Henry esti-
mated that 100,0,00 additional workers will
be required, 40,000 of whom should be sup-
plied- by September, if production of hard
coal in the Ruhr is to reach its target of
300,000 tons daily by the end of 1947. The
goal for 1948 is 400,000 tons per day.
At the present time the mines can absorb
3,500 men a week. This figure includes, "up-
wards of 1,000" to replace "wastage" - that
is. losses due to retirement, sickness, death
and existing, turnover of labor. Land North
Rhine/Westphalia cannot provide more -than
half of the required manpower from  the
existing population.
They further stated that, in spite of the
devastation and already congested conditions.
1,70() imported workers, if they can be o-b-
tained, need to be housed every week at
present and eventually 50,000 newcomers
will have to be permanently accommodated.
Their statement continued:
"There is still a :small and narrowing
margin of accommodation in miners' camps
amounting at the moment to 2,000 billets.
Two to three hundred beds are vacated
weekly through wastage, providing a further
,small but regular margin. German authorities
are requiring householders wherever pos-
sible to accept miners as lodgers, which is
yielding another 200 or so billets a week.
"The total of accommodation will take care
of the labor promised up to the end of April
by other Laender, including the American)
Zone, i. e., Hesse 500, Berlin 400, Hannover
300, Schleswig-Holstein ;150, Hiamburg/Bre-
men 100.
"When, as must occur, the contributions
from these sources increase progressively
the Ruhr accommodation problem will be-
come correspondingly more acute, with two
aspects. The first is the rapid provision of
additional temporary billets. Upward of
5,000 billets can still be made available in
camps if beds, bedding, 'and furniture can be
supplied. Similarly, the housing authorities
can find very many more billets in private
houses provided bedding, and lockers can be
issued to householders.
"An immediate necessity is to obtain dur-
ing the next two or three Months about
20,000 beds, mattresses, pillows, and lockers,
40,000 blankets and sheets and a large supply
of tables and chairs for the camps.
"There is now a definite prospect of 6,000
beds, bedding lockers, and proportionate
camp tables and chairs ,coming- from, Land
resources by mid-May and even perhaps
another 4,000 for private houses. If another
10,000 sets can be guaranteed from outside
the Land it should be possible to accom-
modate all the imported labor likely to be
offered up to the end of July.
"The second aspect is the long term one.
Stability in the coal mining labor field can-
not be expected until permanent housing and
living amenities are manifestly on the way.
Under Ordinance 57 responsibility lies with
the German Ministry of Reconstruction which
has at its service the Ruhr Regional Plan-
ning Authority, which has -already prepared
detailed proposals for the permanent recon-
struction of the mining community.'5

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