HC Deb 16 February 1893 vol 8 cc1559-60

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Secretary of State has come to any decision respecting the suggestions contained in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General for the better administration of Cyprus, as the result of his official visit to that island in 1891, which in the opinion of the Committee ea Public Accounts, vide Report, May, 1892, raise questions of great importance to that island and to the credit of British administration; and whether, seeing that the Committee of Public Accounts call the special attention of the House to the Comptroller and Auditor General's Report in the hope that the whole subject may receive consideration, the Secretary of State will cause a nominal sum to be placed on the Estimates under Grant in aid to Cyprus, to enable the said Report to be discussed in Committee of Supply, in the event of the usual Grant in Aid being unnecessary, or indicate some other method by which the suggestions as to reform of the present system of taxation in the island may be adequately considered by Parliament?


The suggestions made by the Comptroller and Auditor General as to the administration of Cyprus have been carefully considered, and some steps have been taken upon them, as will be seen from Papers which, I believe, will be laid before the House in connection with the Appropriation Accounts. As regards the taxation of land, the whole subject has been elaborately inquired into by a Local Commission and the Executive Council, and is How being considered by the Secretary of State; and it can only be said at present that the points mentioned by Sir C. Ryan will receive full attention. It is not anticipated that a Grant in Aid will be required for Cyprus this year, and Her Majesty's Government would not therefore consider it proper to place any sum on the Estimates. But doubtless the hon. Gentleman will be able to raise any question in connection with the matter that he desires on the Colonial Office Vote in Committee of Supply in connection with the question of my salary, and if he moves to reduce that I hope he will be merciful and do so by a very small sum.