HC Deb 02 November 1938 vol 340 cc190-2
17. Mr. Paling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when the annual report on the progress of Cyprus for 1937 will be issued; and whether he can arrange that the report for 1938 will be issued in the spring of next year?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The report for 1937 was published on 22nd September. I hope that it will be possible to publish the report for 1938 at a much earlier date in the coming year.

Mr. Paling.

Will the right hon. Gentleman take some definite steps to see that these reports are published? We are always behindhand when discussing Colonial affairs.

Mr. MacDonald

That is a very proper request, and I will do what I can.

18. Mr. Paling (for Mr. Mathers)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will arrange for a copy of the scheme of the Government of Cyprus for a central station for generating electricity to be placed in the Library for the information of Members before any contract is entered into?

Mr. MacDonald

The Governor informs me that the Cyprus Government have no scheme in contemplation for a central electricity generating station. If the hon. Member could give me more precise details as to the information that he seeks, I should be happy to make further inquiry in the matter.

19. Mr. Paling (for Mr. Mathers)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the application from the Government of Cyprus for a grant from the Colonial Development Fund for a scheme of improved water supply has been referred to the Development Fund Committee; and whether he will arrange for a copy of the application and scheme to be placed in the Library, so as to be available for inspection by Members of the House?

Mr. MacDonald

The Colonial Development Fund is financing an exploratory investigation in Cyprus by a water engineer. This engineer has now submitted a number of water supply schemes, the financial details of which are being worked out by the Cyprus Government. When this has been done, I understand that application will be made for assistance towards the schemes from the Colonial Development Fund. It would be contrary to practice to make public such applications, and I know of no reason for making an exception in the present case.

Mr. Paling

Is it not necessary that Members of the House of Commons should have some knowledge of the things that are going on in this Colony, in view of the fact that it is practically a dictatorship and that this is the only means by which we can get information?

Mr. MacDonald

The hon. Member suggests that an application that is pending to the Colonial Development Fund should be made public. I think that is premature.

Mr. Paling

Does that mean that at a later stage we shall have the information laid?

Mr. MacDonald

I will consider whether there is any way to meet that point, but I think that the principle I have laid down is a perfectly sound one.

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