HC Deb 15 December 1954 vol 535 cc1752-3
43. Mr. G. Longden

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he is taking to counter the effects of the subversive and hostile broadcasts from the Athens radio to Cyprus.

Mr. Hopkinson

Every effort is being made to counteract the effects of these broadcasts in Cyprus by supplying the public there with full and accurate information about the real conditions in the island. This is done by means of local broadcasts, pamphlets and Press communiqués. The Cyprus Government's Information Services have recently been reorganised and strengthened.

Mr. Longden

Whilst thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask if he would not agree that the important thing is to put across in Cyprus, first, a reassurance to the Cypriot Turks that we are not going to leave them in the lurch; secondly, a reassurance to the Cypriot Greeks that their best interests lie in remaining in the British Commonwealth; and, above all, the same sort of statement as that which he made this afternoon about Gibraltar?

Mr. Hopkinson

As regards the Turkish community, I think Her Majesty's Government have made their understanding of their position quite clear. As regards the Greek Cypriots and the whole population of the island, we hope that they will now come forward and help to work the Constitution, more particularly as a first step was taken yesterday towards the rejection of the Greek initiative by the Political Committee of the United Nations. So far as the future of the Colony as a whole is concerned, Her Majesty's Government have made their position perfectly clear.

Captain Ryder

Is it not a fact that, in contrast with the irresponsible conduct of the Greeks, the attitude of the Turkish-speaking minority has been one of outstanding dignity, restraint, and loyalty to this country? Will my right hon. Friend bear their interests particularly in mind?

Mr. Hopkinson

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Follick

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell me if in his broadcasts he lays sufficient stress on the fact that once Cyprus becomes separated from this country all Cypriots in this country will become aliens, subject to the same legislation as other aliens in this country?

Mr. Hopkinson

I think that is certainly the case; and, of course, it does concern a large number of Cypriots living in London. Incidentally, if they became Greek they would become liable to Greek military service, with all the inhabitants of Cyprus.

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