HC Deb 20 July 1955 vol 544 cc371-2
31. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will transfer to the Maronites in Nicosia, for purposes of worship, a building, of which the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion, has given him details, now used for storage by the Cyprus Museum.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The Vicar General of the Maronites mentioned this matter to me during my recent visit to Cyprus. There was no time for me to discuss it further, but I understand that there are difficulties, in that the Cyprus Museum has spent money on preserving this ancient building and adapting it for the display of mediaeval antiquities. I will, however, ask the Governor to consider again whether there is any way of meeting the wishes of the Maronite community.

Mr. Teeling

Is my right hon. Friend aware how very poor the Maronite community is, and how very grateful these people will be for any assistance given to them? Does my right hon. Friend realise that the sum of money involved in dealing with this building is not more than about £2,000?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

This is not exclusively a matter of money. I am indeed aware of the position of this very loyal and historical community in Cyprus. There is a certain amount of dispute whether this building has a secular or ecclesiastical history. That is one of the matters which is now under consideration.

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