HC Deb 23 July 1878 vol 242 cc40-1

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether, under the Anglo-Turkish Convention, Cyprus is to be regarded as a foreign country or as part of Her Majesty's possessions; in whom the ultimate sovereign authority to make Laws for the inhabitants of that Island now resides; what Law Her Majesty's Government propose to administer in Cyprus to the native population, Christian or Mussulman, to British subjects, and to immigrants from foreign States; whether the natives of Cyprus passing into other parts of the dominions of the Sultan will be treated as British or as Turkish subjects; and, whether the authority of the British Government in Cyprus will be exercised under " The Foreign Judrisdiction Act, 1843?"


Sir, I will answer the Question of the hon. and learned Member, though not, perhaps, in the order in which he has put it. Any power or jurisdiction which Her Majesty possesses by Treaty out of Her Majesty's dominions, the Queen may, by the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, exercise in as ample a manner as if Her Majesty had acquired it by the cession or conquest of territory. In conquered or ceded countries which have laws of their own, the laws of the country remain until they are altered, unless, indeed, they should appear to be contrary to natural justice. With regard to the population of the Island generally, law will be administered on this footing — British subjects will have justice administered to them according to their own laws, as they would at present. Natives of Cyprus passing into other parts of the dominions of the Sultan will, it is apprehended, be treated as Turkish subjects. While the Government of Cyprus is administered by Her Majesty, Her Majesty will exercise the right of making such laws and ordinances as are necessary. Cyprus will not become a part of Her Majesty's possessions in any other sense than as an island which is to be occupied and administered by Her Majesty, according to the terms of the Convention.