HC Deb 21 December 1938 vol 342 cc2874-5
48. Mr. Mathers

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can now state why the Cyprus newspaper "Proia" has been suspended, and the "Embros" brought under censorship by the Cyprus Government; whether he considers such action necessary in the public interest; and whether he will restore a greater measure of freedom to the Press in the island?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I am not yet in a position to add to the answer which I gave to a similar question by the hon. Member on 14th December. The report which I have asked the Governor of Cyprus to furnish has not yet reached me. I will communicate with the hon. Member when the report is received.

Mr. Mathers

In view of the evidence which I submitted to the right hon. Gentleman of the very trivial alterations that are being made in the newspaper "Embros" by the censor, can he not express an opinion that the interference which is being applied by the Government of Cyprus is overstressing the position and is interference with normal Press freedom?

Mr. MacDonald

It would be a great mistake for me to express an opinion before I have had the full facts from the Governor. As I say, I will communicate with the hon. Gentleman as soon as I have received the report, and I will let him know what the position is.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will the Secretary of State bear in mind that any interference with the liberty of the Press in British territories overseas creates a lamentable impression, especially in the Mediterranean?

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