HC Deb 25 November 1936 vol 318 cc412-4

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make any statement on the measures taken in Cyprus to carry out the recommendations of the Financial Commissioner appointed in 1934; whether the burden of taxation on the agricultural producer has been lowered; and whether steps have been taken to provide water supplies and irrigation and to develop a sound co-operative credit system?


As the hon. Member is no doubt aware, the Financial Commissioner made a great number of recommendations—in fact over 100—and I could not conveniently state in detail in this reply what action has been taken with regard to all of them. I can, however, say that many of the recommendations have already been adopted, whilst others, including those relating to the very important question of agricultural credit, are still under consideration. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative, and to the third part in the affirmative. I am happy to state that a grant has been obtained from the Colonial Development Fund of £30,000 for preliminary work upon the development of the underground water resources of Cyprus and that an officer has already been selected to direct operations. An administrative officer has been appointed Registrar of Co-operative Credit Societies, and the co-operative legislation recommended by the Financial Commissioner is now being prepared.


In view of the urgency of the development still to be undertaken, will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that it will be pursued as speedily as possible


As speedily as the financial resources of the colony will allow.


May we be assured that it will not put up the price of land?


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies for what reasons the editor of the Cypriot newspaper "Kypros" has been refused permission by the authorities to republish articles which had already appeared in his paper with the approval of the censor?


The Governor of Cyprus, in the exercise of his discretion under powers conferred upon him, held that the republication of a series of tendencious articles designed to reopen issues which in the past have led to violence and disorder was contrary to the interests of peace and good order in Cyprus, and I can see no reason for my intervention.


Does not the Minister think it strange that articles which at the time of difficulty could pass the

Railway Construction in East Africa, 1931–35.
Dependency and Railway Line. Method of Financing. Grants or Loans from Imperial Government.
1. Kenya and Uganda Railway. Yala-Butere Extension (10.75 miles). Loan funds raised by Kenya Government on behalf of the Kenya and Uganda Railway. None.
2. Tanganyika. Branch Railway from Manyoni to Kinyangiri (93.58 miles). Loan funds raised by Tanganyika Government. Free grant of £30,000 from the Colonial Development Fund to cover interest charges for two years.
3. Nyasaland Railway from Blantyre to Salima (160 miles). Sums advanced to Nyasaland Railways Limited by Nyasaland Government from Nyasaland Loan Funds. A grant of £500,000 was made from the Colonial Development Fund to meet interest charges on Nyasaland Guaranteed loans for a period of years.
(Total length of lines constructed = 264 miles.)

censor, should now under better conditions fail to do so?


Not at all. The hon. Member will remember that when these articles appeared Government House was burned down and reinforcements had to be sent to the colony. I have no desire for this anti-British campaign to be reopened.