HC Deb 09 March 1955 vol 538 cc436-7
41. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies on what evidence he reached the conclusion that the riots in Cyprus last December were Communist inspired.

Mr. Hopkinson

As my right hon. Friend explained in his reply on 20th December to the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale), the Centrial Committee of the Cyprus Communist Party played a leading rôle in organising the one-day general strike which set the scene for these riots. As my right hon. Friend also said, the rioters were mainly secondary school students in the beginning, but they were afterwards joined by hooligans, some of whom were undoubtedly Communists or who had been instigated by Communists.

Mr. Grimond

Has any concrete evidence come to light indicating that the mainspring of the riots were Nationalists? Is it not largely due to the Government's policy of refusing even to contemplate any possible self-government in Cyprus that the Communist Party has such power as it has?

Mr. Hopkinson

No. The general strike was largely organised by the Communist Party. Of course, we know that Nationalists also took part in those riots, but there was reason to believe that the Communists played a very large part.

Mr. S. Silverman

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that he does a very poor service indeed to democracy all over the world by these constant endeavours to make people believe, what is certainly not true, that the Communists are the only supporters of good causes all over the world?