HC Deb 14 December 1955 vol 547 cc1193-4
52. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the qualifications and experience of the recently appointed assistant Press officer in Cyprus; and what is the salary.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

In order to deal quicker with constant Press inquiries being received at all hours by the Cyprus Government Information Office, a day and night news desk was set up from 11th December. To staff this the Governor created two temporary emergency posts of Assistant Press Officers at £85 a month. So that this arrangement could start at once, Lord Lumley, who was in Cyprus, agreed to accept one of these appointments for a limited period. In the Governor's opinion the most important qualifications for these posts are intelligence and knowledge of Cyprus.

Mr. Hamilton

Does the latter qualification, a knowledge of Cyprus, mean that the appointee should speak Greek? Is it not a fact that he is only 23 years of age and that there were severe strictures in the Press last week, not only about this appointment but several other appointments in Cyprus? Can the right hon. Gentleman confirm or deny one statement in those strictures, that of the 180 British officials in Cyprus only six speak Greek?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

We certainly desire to see more people who speak Greek working in the Cyprus Information Service, but I am satisfied that in this appointment which was made locally the Governor—as in everything else he does—acted wisely and with discretion.

53. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Press officers or assistant Press officers below the age of 25 have been appointed by him in the last four years.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

None, Sir. These appointments are frequently filled by local recruitment, and normally recruitment from this country is confined to cases in which suitable candidates are not available locally. Particulars of local appointments are not available here, but it is known that Assistant Press Officers under the age of 25 have recently been appointed in two Colonial Territories.

Forward to