HC Deb 13 December 1950 vol 482 c1135
4. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the new proprietor of the "Neos Democratis" newspaper, Cyprus, has been required to deposit £500 in cash to secure the bond furnished by him under the Press Law, 1947.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The Cyprus Press Law requires a newspaper proprietor to furnish a bond for £500 "with one or more sureties or otherwise secured to the satisfaction of the Colonial Secretary" in order to ensure payment of any penalty or damages payable as a result of proceedings for libel or under the Press Law. In the case of "Neos Democratis" the Colonial Secretary decided that without a cash deposit the bond would be insufficiently secured.

Mr. Driberg

Is it not a fact that sureties were available in this case, and could my right hon. Friend look at it again to make sure that there are precedents for this requirement and that it is not merely an attempt to handicap the paper in some way?

Mr. Griffiths

I understand that it is within the law. I should tell my hon. Friend that the previous record of this proprietor and newspaper has made this necessary. Both of them have been before the courts on more than one occasion.