HC Deb 16 February 1944 vol 397 cc161-2
22. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the restrictions preventing the election of a new archbishop in Cyprus; and whether the Government is now prepared to permit the solution of this question in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people and without Government restrictions and interference?

Mr. Emrys-Evans

So far as the Government are concerned, the Cyprus Church is at liberty to proceed with the election of an archbishop at any time. The initiative rests with the locum tenens of the See, and he has hitherto refused to take any action unless certain laws enacted in Cyprus in 1937 are repealed. These laws prohibit the election as archbishop of a person who has been deported or convicted of sedition or any offence punishable with imprisonment for more than two years, or who is not a native of Cyprus, and they provide that the Governor's approval must be given before an archbishop-elect can enter upon his office. As regards the last part of the Question, it is not considered that the present time is opportune to review these laws.

Mr. Sorensen

Will the Minister have this matter reviewed more carefully, in view of the undoubted discontent in Cyprus over the question of the election of the archbishop?

Mr. Emrys-Evans

I am afraid I cannot add anything to my reply.

Captain Alan Graham

Is it not a fact that a training college for the Cypriot clergy is a far greater need for the spiritual welfare of the islanders than even the appointment of a new archbishop?

Mr. Emrys-Evans

That is another question.

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