HC Deb 08 August 1889 vol 339 cc768-9
MR. FENWICK (on behalf of Mr. CREMER)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether a reply has been sent to a memorial from the Archbishop of Cyprus and other members of a deputation now in this country, dated 19th July, respecting reforms in the administration of Cyprus; and, if so, whether he will inform the House as to the purport of that reply; whether Her Majesty's Government is prepared to act on the suggestion of the High Commissioner as regards the conversion of the tribute to Turkey, by which it is expected that considerable economies may be effected in the annual payments charged on the Cypriote or the English taxpayers; whether the recommendations of Her Majesty's Treasury, transmitted last year to the High Commissioner for Cyprus, as regards reductions in the Civil Service, have been acted upon; and, whether the Government will give favourable consideration to the appeal of the Cypriote deputation for utilisation and encouragement of the agricultural resources of the island, and for lessening the additional burdens laid on the inhabitants since the occupation of their island for Imperial purposes?


No definite reply has yet been sent to the Cyprus deputation, as their repre- sentations are still the subject of discussion between them and the Secretary of State, with whom they are to have a further interview on the 15th inst. Her Majesty's Government are anxious to commute the tribute, and have the subject under consideration; but the matter, being an international one, is of much delicacy, and presents many serious difficulties. Economies were effected this year in the Estimates of the current year to the extent of £1,075, and it is contemplated that further economies will be effected as time goes on, with a view to carrying out the wishes of the Treasury. As regards the last paragraph of the question, Her Majesty's Government are giving their best consideration to the suggestions of the deputation on all subjects affecting the welfare of the island. Papers have been laid on the Table, and will be distributed as soon as possible, dealing with the different questions raised by the Memorial; but with reference to the concluding words of the question, I may state that since the British occupation there has been a large remission of taxation.