HC Deb 02 March 1955 vol 537 cc2054-6
40. Mr. Patrick Maitland

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the number of Greeks and non-Greeks, respectively, who have received visas to visit, reside or work in Cyprus in each year since the war; the number of applications in each category which have been refused; and if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy toward immigration into the island.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

As the reply to the first part of the Question calls for a table of figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The policy is normally to issue visas freely to bona fide visitors, but to restrict the immigration of aliens intending to work, or engage in any trade or profession, which would result in unfair competition with Cypriots. In all such applications, the chief immigration officer is advised by an Immigration Control Board.

Mr. Maitland

Can my right hon. Friend say whether there is opposition in Cyprus to the free immigration of Greeks from the kingdom of Greece, and would he say whether it is part of the policy of Her Majesty's Government to work for absolute freedom of movement between the island of Cyprus and the kingdom of Greece?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

In reply to the first part of that supplementary question, I would say that there is a general desire in Cyprus to see that there is no unfair competition with Cypriots for jobs in their own country, but in practice the number of Greeks who have been let in is far more considerable, in proportion to those refused, than those of any other nationality. In answer to the second part of the question, that is one of the matters which I think time will help to solve. I hope that the sooner we get on with constitutional talks the quicker we can get to discussion of matters of that kind.

Following is the information:


Since bona fide visitors are normally issued with visas without reference to the Cyprus Government, it is not possible to give the number of Greeks and non-Greeks who have received visas for visit purposes to Cyprus during the period stated. The following table shows the number of persons, not being British subjects, who have applied for immigration permits to work or reside permanently in Cyprus.

Year Greeks Other aliens
Approved Refused Approved Refused
1946 23 * 28 *
1947 45 * 31 *
1948 64 * 43 *
1949 34 19 12 4
1950 23 26 4 24
1951 19 13 9 18
1952 61 33 15 54
1953 27 26 6 29
1954 22 16 6 19
318 133 154 148
* No record available
Forward to