§ 3.33 p.m.
§ Mr. Aneurin Bevan (Ebbw Vale)
I beg to move,That this House regrets the failure of Her Majesty's Government. after protracted negotiations, to reach a settlement in Cyprus and, in particular, their action in discontinuing negotiations about the points now outstanding after the major issue of self-determination had been resolved.It had been suggested to us that, as a number of very important actions were taken by the Government after we had tabled this Motion, we should re-word it in harsher language; but, after having considered the suggestion, we rejected it, because it would not be more effective if the language were harsher since, if the Motion is carried, it means that the Government will be killed. It is, in fact, a Motion of censure, and we cannot do anything stronger than that. It is capital punishment, and the only form of capital punishment in which be believe. It might be said, however, that we might have engaged in a little torture of the Government beforehand, but as they seem to be involved in an orgy of masochism themselves there does not seem any reason why we should add to their self-inflicted pain. We therefore decided to leave the Motion as it stands.
388 Before I proceed to the main subject before the House, I want to say a word or two about the way in which the House of Commons has been treated by the Government in this matter. The Opposition, in particular, have been ill-requited for the restraint they have shown over this matter in the last four or five months. We have been asked over and over again that we should not have debates in the House on Cyprus while these negotiations were continuing. We were told from time to time that they had reached a very delicate stage, and that intervention by a debate in the House might adversely affect them. We were told by various reports in the public Press that very few points were outstanding and that there were hopes of a settlement; and in view of all these reports and requests we refrained from asking for a discussion.
The Colonial Secretary last week thanked us and everybody else for the restraint which we had shown and then, before we had had an opportunity of considering what he had done, and the statement which he had made, he proceeded to take further steps which make this debate today almost a retrospective reflection. We consider that to be shabby treatment, and I hope that we shall all bear it in mind as a lesson about what to do in the future.
Last Monday, the Colonial Secretary refused to answer a question of mine as to when it was decided to arrest and deport Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus. There was no real reason why he could not have told us that, but he said that he would not tell us any more than a Socialist Prime Minister and a Socialist Colonial Secretary told the House of Commons on a previous occasion. I have been trying to find out what that was and my investigations show that the last occasion upon which deportations of this sort occurred in Cyprus was in 1931; but it was November, 1931, and, while it is perfectly true that the late Mr. Ramsay MacDonald was the Prime Minister, we should not have regarded him at that time as a Socialist Prime Minister.
As for the then Colonial Secretary being a Socialist Colonial Secretary, were it not for the privilege accorded to statements in the House the present Colonial 389 Secretary would be open to action for libel, because the Secretary of State at that time was Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)
§ Mr. Bevan
I am looking at HANSARD, Vol. 259, col. 677. HANSARD, of course, might be wrong. It says that the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, answered a Question by my late hon. Friend Mr. Rhys Davies about deportations from Cyprus. I know that the noble Lord, I think he is now Lord Swinton, has changed his name on several occasions, not, I understand, disadvantageously, but I did not think that he had changed his politics.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
If the right hon. Gentleman will courteously allow me to say so, the deportations were, in fact, carried out by Mr. J. H. Thomas, who was Secretary of State at the time. The House of Commons was in recess. By the time the voice of the Colonial Office spoke, it was through by noble Friend Lord Swinton.
§ Mr. Bevan
Let us have a look. The statement said:Seven of the persons deported are on ships bound for the United Kingdom.…At that moment they were on ships. They were deported by him, or it took a very long time to go from Gibraltar to Cyprus. The statement went on:Three, including the Bishops of Kitium and Kyrenia, have landed and are at present in Gibratar."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th November, 1931; Vol. 259, c. 277.]So "that moment" about which we are speaking referred to 17th November, 1931, long after the Recess. The fact is that the right hon. Gentleman the present Colonial Secretary slipped up very badly and he may just as well recognise it.
The question of not having a debate beforehand is very serious indeed, because we have grave responsibilities to our Colonies and dependencies. If they are denied democracy themselves, if they are denied the advantages of self-government, the proper guardians of their welfare are in this House. If that guardianship is not exercised, or if it goes by default, if they cannot see that their grievances are voiced here, if they see no opportunity for redress from this House, 390 how can they obtain redress themselves? We have no moral justification to quarrel with what they do if they do not see any redress here.
I should have thought that it would be regarded by hon. Members in all parts of the House that the corollary for having dependent territories of this sort is that they should be able to look to this House for a vigilant regard for their welfare. Surely that is not forthcoming. It cannot be argued that it exists when the Government and the Opposition hold no debate for months, the Government do not report to the House of Commons on the progress being made, break off negotiations, and then take the almost irrevocable stop of arresting and deporting the persons with whom they have been negotiating before this House has an opportunity of considering the matter at all. We must say to the Prime Minister that we are deeply aggrieved that we should have been treated in this way.
It appears that the Government have not been able to make up their mind what they wish to do about Cyprus. They have not been able to decide what the problem is. There has been confusion as to whether the affair is a purely Cypriot-British affair or whether it is an international affair. For example, in another place the Marquess of Salisbury, on 15th December last, said:If Cyprus today is not an international question, which might have incalculable effects on the relations of other nations in the Eastern Mediterranean, in my view that is simply because we British are there.That is a remarkably optimistic statement in view of present circumstances. The noble Lord also said:So long as that situation continues, so long as we remain there, while the international position is as it is—however unpleasant it may be for us; and it is extremely unpleasant and extremely expensive—it will be the direct concern only of Britain and Cyprus."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 15th December, 1955; Vol. 195, c. 251.]This was after a tripartite conference had been called, including Turkey and Greece.
The Colonial Secretary, on 21st December, did not quite see eye to eye with his noble Friend. The right hon. Gentleman said:I can say that were it not for the fact that Turkish interests were involved, and that this was more an international than a colonial problem, a way out of this difficulty could 391 have been found long ago."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st December, 1955; Vol. 547, c. 2034.]So the Government themselves have never been quite clear as to what the problem really is.
Furthermore, it has been very hard to discover whether the Government are anxious to have Cyprus as a base, or a base on Cyprus. In some respects that goes to the very heart of the matter, because if it is a fact that the Government wish to have Cyprus as a base the negotiations with the Archbishop have been dishonest from the beginning. It was assumed that there was a possibility, after the Archbishop had set aside union with Greece as a primary consideration, which he did, after having got over that first and most formidable hurdle—after the Archbishop had decided not to accept the declaration of the British Government, but not to quarrel with it and to see how far they could go with negotiations—that we were supposed to be negotiating about a base on Cyprus.
If we had been insisting all along on having Cyprus as a base, the negotiations with the Archbishop would never have started. So we want to know from the Prime Minister at the very outset what it is the Government have in mind. Are they, in fact, saying that they wish to have Cyprus as a base, or do they want to have a base on Cyprus? There has been some admitted difficulty about union with Greece. During his broadcast in January of this year, Sir John Harding said, with the full approval of the Colonial Secretary at the time:One of the difficulties about union with Greece arose from the fact that we might desire to use the base on Cyprus for military operations in the Middle East in which Greece was not directly associated and concerned.I would ask the House to note very carefully the implications of that statement. It has been clear from the beginning that if there had been union with Greece, N.A.T.O. bases would not have been denied. In point of fact, we could have had bases on the Greek mainland and on Cyprus as one of the N.A.T.O. Powers, but it was not sufficient, in the mind of Sir John Harding, that we should have bases merely as a member of N.A.T.O. It was essential that we should have Cyprus as a base, or a base on Cyprus—we must be clear which the 392 Government want—in order that we may be able to use it for military operations in the Near East, or in the Middle East, with which neither N.A.T.O. nor Greece would be directly concerned. That was one of the reasons, so we are given to understand by Sir John Harding, why union with Greece would not satisfy the strategic necessities of Great Britain.
That being the case, we are clear about it, but what we are not clear about are the further steps. Sir John Harding then proceeded to have negotiations with the Archbishop, the Archbishop having made the first concession to the difficulties I have just outlined and said that all he wished to do was not to accept—because he could not possibly do so and keep faith with his own people—the rejection of union with Greece, but rather to proceed to consider whether agreement could be reached about the constitution, or self-government for Cyprus itself.
I should have thought that hon. Members in all parts of the House would agree that a classic assumption underlying the beginning of negotiations of that sort is that there would be Cypriot self-government with a military base on Cyprus. Or are we to understand that one of the reasons why agreement was not reached was because it was always in the mind of the Government that they wished to have Cyprus as a base and never seriously intended carrying the negotiations to a successful conclusion?
This is not a case—this is why it is so astonishing, and why the world cannot understand it—where there is a real conflict, or where, at first, there was a real conflict, between Great Britain's strategic interests and the desires of the Cypriots for self-government. That is not the case. It would be unfortunate if that collision had arisen. It would be unfortunate for all concerned if the desire for union with Greece or for Cypriot self-government clashed fundamentally with the strategic interests of Great Britain. If it did, I hope that we would have taken the nobler course. But that is not the case.
Here is a case where both march together. Turkey and Greece are members of N.A.T.O. Here is a situation where, it appeared to everybody who tried to look at it dispassionately, the limited ambitions of the Cypriots could be all satisfied within the framework of the 393 Western Alliance's strategic necessities. So, for the life of us, we cannot understand how these negotiations have failed.
Furthermore, it had been known to Sir John Harding—he said so in the statement he made when Archbishop Makarios was arrested and deported—that Archbishop Makarios had been engaged in close association with those responsible for disorder on the island. He knew that; he said so. He did not, therefore, break off negotiations because of the Archbishop's alleged illegal conduct, because he knew all about that before. There was no evidence that the Archbishop had recently committed any more culpable offences. So that the reasons why the Archbishop has been deported were reasons that were present before the negotiations started. In fact, it is obvious to everybody who has studied events of this sort that only by a close identification of the Archbishop with those who were demanding full nationhood for Cyprus would he have any influence at all with the people of Cyprus. In fact, his view would have been useless for us had it not been closer to them than to us.
Neither is it of any use to say that there must not be negotiation with people who have been associated with violence. It really is absurd when we consider the history of national movements throughout the world—the history of Ireland, of the Gold Coast, where a person was elected Prime Minister when he was in gaol, and of India. Why does the Tory Party keep on deceiving itself that it can take an original line in these matters?
What is this assumption that we cannot negotiate with people who have been seditionists or terrorists? I will not use the language of the Daily Mail or the rest of them. We have always done it. It has always been proved to be necessary in the event to do so. But always we get the same sort of language on every occasion—we "grasp the nettle"; we stand here, and we will not move from it.
In 1942, for example, the then Mr. Leopold Amery broadcast about India:By their prompt and resolute action, the Government of India have saved India and the Allied cause from a grave disaster.…There may yet be a certain amount of trouble. But I believe it will not be trouble that cannot be dealt with by the Government of India through the police and the courts.394 Of course, all the Congress leaders had been arrested.
The Times, on 10th August, 1942, said:For the past two or three weeks, the Congress Party has had plans under way for disturbing communications and public utility services, organising strikes, and interfering with defence measures.…With the arrests, the Government may be said to have lopped the head off the mass movement before it had begun.On the 16th, the Daily Telegraph—even then, apparently, capable of a certain feminine capriciousness—said:Indian bitterness is growing as a result of clashes between rioters and British troops and Government police. Few can see much hope in a negotiated settlement not participated in by Gandhi.…The riot front meanwhile has grown quieter on the Bombay sector but has boiled up in Madras and Calcutta. Total arrests throughout India already run into thousands.Of course, we eventually negotiated with the Indian leaders who were then in gaol, and exactly the same language was used in the House of Commons, by Members of the Conservative Party in particular, about the Congress leaders, the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) describing Gandhi as "that naked fakir."
§ Mr. Julian Amery (Preston, North)
I take the right hon. Gentleman's point about the experience of India in the 'forties, but would he not agree two things: first, that the arrest of the Congress leaders did, in fact, lead to a restoration of law and order in a relatively short time in a very critical period, and secondly, that it did not prevent an agreed solution later on with the very men who had been in gaol? The restoration of law and order and the fact that we were firm made it easier rather than harder to negotiate subsequently.
§ Mr. Bevan
The main point I am making is that it is always essential, in matters of this sort, for us to remember that the persons whom we look upon here as terrorists are looked upon by their fellow nationals as patriots. It really is not good enough to use language of that sort, because we always have to swallow it afterwards. It is far better if we try 395 to recognise the justice of the other man's case. If not, we shall never be able to reach any agreement on these matters.
Therefore, I make my first point that we were perfectly well aware of the culpability of Archbishop Makarios, that he had not done anything more recently than he had done before and that, therefore, there was no justification whatever for his deportation before this House had an opportunity of discussing the situation. That step, almost irrevocable, ought not to have been taken until a debate took place.
I now want to speak about the matters on which the negotiations are alleged to have broken down. They are alleged to have broken down on three points, and I hope that the Colonial Secretary, in particular, will tell us what he meant by his statement that after one point had been settled the Archbishop always raised others. I can see no evidence of that in the letters that have passed between them. I went through this correspondence very closely and tried to find what sort of case the Government had, but it is very hard to find it in these letters. Through this correspondence the Archbishop emerges as the easy victor. He is clear from the beginning.
On the other hand, in fundamental matters the Government never change their position. The Tripartite Declaration, for example, says of the constitution:The constitution would provide for an assembly with an elected majority, a proportionate quota of seats being reserved for the Turkish community.The Archbishop says in his letter:Representation in the Assembly will be proportional to the composition of the population.There is no wide difference in those two statements. They are speaking the same language.
The Colonial Secretary's statement is very much more vague, more tendentious. He says:The constitution would provide for an elected majority in the Legislative Assembly and would safeguard the interests of all sections of the community. It would be for the Constitutional Commissioner to recommend what arrangements should be made for this purpose, including the precise composition of the elected majority which he would define in 396 accordance with normal liberal constitutional doctrine."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th March, 1956; Vol. 549, c. 1728]Honestly, if I were the Archbishop, I would not trust that language.
The Archbishop makes the point that whether there will be a Greek majority in any chamber with a proper representation for the Turkish minority is not a matter of detail to be left to a commissioner appointed by Great Britain. It is a cardinal feature of the constitution and he could not possibly persuade his own people to accept that pig in a poke. He emphasises in his letter that it is essential that these guarantees shall be given. He had already set aside Enosis for a moment. He had already conceded that external affairs and defence should be in the hands of Her Britannic Majesty. He had made all those fundamental concessions.
Only three points remained. One was that he should be given a guarantee that the Greek majority on the island should have a majority of seats in the chamber. Is that not in accordance with the best liberal doctrines? He had accepted that the Turkish minority should have seats in the Chamber in accordance with their numbers. Was not that a tolerant position? He had also gone on to say that, otherwise, there would be absolute equality for all citizens and that everyone would be eligible to any public office. He said:Exceptions to this rule may be provided for only in the case of special offices which are exclusively connected with the religious and educational rights of the island's communities. Such rights will be fully safeguarded and protected by the constitution.Both communities.
What hon. Member in any part of the House could take exception to that statement? What is wrong with it? Why could not declarations to that effect have been made by the Government, unless, as the Greeks suspect, they were to be given, even within that limitation, not the realities of self-government, but that the Government had some other constitutional device up their sleeve, which they would disclose later if the Archbishop were already, to use a colloquialism, caught in the bag? It seems to us that on that point the Government have no case. At least, if they have a case, we do not know it. It does not appear in any White Paper or any declaration and, 397 indeed, most public comment on this matter calls attention to the fact that the Archbishop's position is clearer than that of the Government.
I want to take the other matter of internal security. The language of the Tripartite Declaration, from which we have not moved one inch since last August—during all negotiations we have not moved at all—says that internal security is to be left to the Governor as long as he likes. I have not heard that the Archbishop has ever said that control over internal security should immediately pass to the new Government. However, I have heard it said that he could not accept that, without qualification. It is quite correct, perhaps, that this sort of power is one to which one could not put a term; in other words, one could not say that at a certain date, say, in 1957, internal security should pass to the new Government, because one could not possibly envisage what internal conditions might be at that moment. They might be entirely unruly, so internal security could not have a date fixed to it like some of the other matters.
But surely it was possible to declare that powers for internal security should pass to the Cypriot Government when reasonable order had been established in the island. A declaration of that sort could have been made and would have satisfied the Archbishop more than the bare declaration that indefinitely this power should be retained by the Governor in addition to the fact that for an indefinite period of time external affairs and defence remained in our hands. If, therefore, external affairs, defence and internal security were to be kept indefinitely in our hands, then we were offering the Cypriots not the reality of self-government, but a sham.
I come to the third point, which is that relating to the amnesty. The Archbishop could not agree about the amnesty. I cannot understand why hon. Members opposite are so obstinate about this. Whenever settlements of difficulties like these have been accomplished, they have been lubricated and made possible in a new atmosphere of co-operation which has always been set by a wide and generous amnesty for all those who have committed offences. That is always the case. Indeed, it is not possible for the leaders of irridentist groups to reach 398 agreement with the imperial Power if the agreement does not contain an amnesty for their followers, because that would be regarded as a betrayal of their comrades.
We had the tragic instance of Michael Collins. We negotiated a settlement with Michael Collins, a settlement which, we hoped, would be acceptable to the Irish, but which led to his assassination. Indeed, Eire lost a generation of its best leaders in the troubles that followed, because it could not accept the agreement with the British Government. Fierce and bitter civil war occurred and we are paying for the consequences of that time.
It is, therefore, essential, if we are to have an agreement, to understand the other fellow's position and to realise that he cannot possibly commend an agreement or a settlement to his people that leaves his comrades in the hands of those whom they regard as the enemy. Indeed—I have not had time to look up precise details and if I am wrong, I stand to be corrected—I believe that the amnesties which we have arranged in Malaya and Kenya are more generous than that which we are offering in Cyprus.
That is an astonishing situation. Therefore, we have to ask: was there any justification in bringing the negotiations to an end on these three points? Was there any justification at all in making a declaration that the negotiations should be discontinued? Would it not have been better to suspend them in the meantime and report back to the House of Commons? It would have been much better than to have said, "No, we have finished and now we must go on." We, on our part, cannot see any justification for the Government's position in this matter.
We are doing the name of Great Britain great damage in almost every part of the world. We stood alone in 1940, but it was a noble isolation. We are almost standing alone today, but it is an ignoble loneliness we are achieving. We have resorted to methods in Cyprus which, in the worst days of the war, were never adopted. We are jamming Athens Radio. We in this country always thought that the best answer to an argument was a better one. During the worst days of the war we never jammed the Nazis. We let them say what they liked because we knew we had a better case than they 399 had. Why do not we assemble a better case ourselves in Cyprus, and answer their case with our case?
The answer, of course, is that we have not got an effective reply. It has been denied us by the conduct of the Government; and now we have no answer to those nations, like the Soviet Union, which jam broadcasts. We are deprived of our case. The Government have thrown away our best armoury for a small island like this, which, in the circumstances I have described, could have had its quarrels settled long ago.
It is quite true, as The Times leader said today, that it was a great pity that this was not settled when the Labour Government were in power. It referred to the quieter days that existed then. We shall remember it. We must have a survey of the Colonies and find out which is quietest and then give them self-government immediately before they make a row. I think that it is right. That is probably what we should have done, and it is most unfortunate indeed that the Labour Government had not settled all the problems before the country was burdened with this sort of Administration.
Why is it that now, in the course of the last few days, the British Government have received a further humiliation by the conduct of Washington? I must say that I sympathise with the Government here. I have been accused both inside the House and in newspapers in the last four or five years of poisoning Anglo-American relations. If that had been my intention, which it never was, I could never have succeeded better than hon. and right hon. Members opposite.
There is only one beneficial by-product from the situation. It has always been said that one of the reasons why we have some difficulties with our cousins across the Atlantic is that they have not our long diplomatic experience, shrewdness and skill—there is always a danger of John Bull selling Uncle Sam down the river. Therefore, they are always suspicious of us and they always think that we are going to get the better of the bargain. For the first time since the establishment of the American nation, the superiority complex is across the Atlantic. We shall never have our diplomatic exchanges soured once more by suspicions of that sort, because a clumsier piece of 400 diplomacy has never been shown than is seen here.
I sympathise with the Government in this respect, and here, I think, there will be common agreement in the House. Part of our difficulties arise from the fact that supplies of oil originate in a very troubled part of the world. The Soviet Union has been given to understand and, indeed, should understand and does understand, because Marxists pay particular attention to the economic facts, that access to Middle Eastern oil is an absolute essential for Western society. The United States, also, should understand that British access to Middle Eastern oil is a British necessity as well as an American, and that American oil interests ought not to consider that it is a safe thing to play with British embarrassments in the Middle East in order to extend their own interests there.
I will say for the right hon. Gentleman, because he cannot say it himself, that the United States should remember that we desire that it should stand up against its oil lobby, as it would have been a good thing for the world if it had stood up against its China lobby. As my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition said a few days ago in this House, it is in the interests of the world, and especially of the peace of the Middle East, that there should be understanding and co-ordination between America and Great Britain in that area.
I am not arguing for the moment about American or British oil millionaires. That is another issue. I am not concerned about the fact that they are making large fortunes out of Middle Eastern oil. But we are concerned about the fact that access to oil in the Middle East should not be interrupted by difficulties there, and that we should try to obtain that access by modern methods and not by a survival of old-fashioned colonialism.
My right hon. Friend said that the Middle East is anxious to sell us the oil and that we should buy the oil and begin to think of the Middle East more in commercial terms than in purely military terms. It may be that military operations will risk us the oil, but military operations will never win us the oil. That is why I think that one of the essential conditions for a settlement here is that there should be more co-ordination between Britain and America.
401 We on this side of the House have been very disturbed in the last few weeks by the behaviour of the party opposite in this House. It seems to us that they have got into a kind of pendulum situation, swinging from one extreme to the other. At one moment they are despondent; at the other moment they are raucous. It appears to us that they have not adjusted and adapted themselves to what is happening in the world. They suffer from a kind of nostalgia; indeed, it has become—if one can associate two such dissimilar words—a sort of truculent nostalgia. Every time any dependent territory or Colony in the British Commonwealth or Empire manages to win through to self-government and to nationhood, the party opposite do not look upon it as the progress of mankind but as a liquidation of their imperial inheritance.
Only that can explain the conduct we saw last week and the conduct on Monday, because surely this is not urgent and tragic, important though it is. Cyprus is a comparatively small affair. One would have thought that when the announcement was made of the deportation of the Archbishop we had heard news of a new Battle of Trafalgar. We are beginning to wonder whether the party opposite is concerned primarily with the future interests and welfare of Great Britain or with the interests and welfare of the Conservative Party. It looks to us as if they are just shouting down their own doubts, and not only to us but to a large number of other people, also. That is why we hope that when the Government reply to the debate they will be able to take up a more conciliatory attitude than they have hitherto on this matter.
The soldiers in Cyprus have the most difficult task that soldiers can ever have to carry out. There is nothing more difficult, nothing more delicate, nothing more distasteful, for a soldier than to have to keep the peace among a dissident civil population. It is the duty of all of us not to add to his anxieties. It is the duty of the Government to make his task as short and as easy as possible. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about the Opposition?"] It has been obvious for a long time that we will never be able to have a satisfactory military base on the island of Cyprus surrounded by a hostile civil 402 population. This is an a priori consideration. Therefore, it is not good enough to say that we are going to take our stand, establish order and have a base on Cyprus.
The first condition is political settlement of the difficulties there, and then we can approach the other difficulties afterwards. But I beg the Prime Minister not to allow himself to be influenced today too much by the subtle propaganda of the newspapers which are suggesting to him that he should become a man of iron today in order that he should not appear to be as weak as he was a few days ago. That is a subtle trap. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not fall into it. He has enough political experience to know that that kind of device is diabolical.
We on this side of the House are satisfied that the Government have so far not made their case. We have moved this Motion as a Motion of censure. Unless the Government can do better than they have done in the interests of Great Britain it would be far better for them to resign and give another Government the opportunity.
§ 4.25 p.m.
§ The Prime Minister (Sir Anthony Eden)
I beg to move, to leave out from "House" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof:welcomes the patient efforts of Her Majesty's Government to secure agreements in Cyprus which would safeguard the interests of all communities, and the strategic requirements of Her Majesty's Government and their Allies; approves of the action already taken towards the restoration of law and order as an essential preliminary to constitutional progress, and pledges its full support to Her Majesty's Government in the furtherance of these aims.In the opening passages of his speech, the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) complained of the Government's treatment of the House in relation to this debate, and I should like first to deal with that matter. I acknowledge without hesitation that the House has shown great restraint over this matter of Cyprus in relation to debates while these discussions were in progress. That is perfectly true, and it is only right that the Government should acknowledge the fact. At the same time, I think the House will, on reflection, recognise that it would have been utterly impossible for us to do in those circumstances what, for instance, 403 was proposed from the Front Bench opposite at Question Time the other day—give the House advance notice of the purposes and the policies which we intended to carry out. In the circumstances, we could not have done that without making the failure of what we had to do a certainty.
The right hon. Member said that we had not made out a case. He went through the documents. I am afraid that I am going to do the same, because I think that this is a matter of the utmost importance from the point of view not only of opinion in this House but of the good name of our own country, for which, I am sure the right hon. Member would accept, I have as great a regard as he has.
I am going to give the House, therefore, the account of the negotiations for which the right hon. Member asked. I am also going to try, if I can—and here are some of the difficulties of the problem on which the right hon. Member himself touched—to put this matter fairly in the setting of the international situation. Although it is quite true, as the right hon. Member said by quoting different passages from different Ministers—which is quite a fair Parliamentary game—that in certain aspects this is purely a question between us and Cyprus, it is also true that this problem would not face us in its present difficulties at all if it were not for the wider aspects of the international situation.
One of the most remarkable features of these last days, when there has been so much discussion, has been how little attention has been paid to that international situation. The Government Amendment makes reference to our strategic requirements in Cyprus, to which I will refer again in a moment, and which are not, as I would say to the right hon. Member in passing, a little matter, as was suggested just now, but a very big matter indeed for us.
But there is another aspect, apart from our own, on this question, which has been less talked upon but which, if the House is to understand the problem at all, we cannot ignore. That is quite simply stated—the strategic importance of this island to Turkey for the defence of Turkish territory in Asia. That has scarcely been mentioned at all in any criticism on either side of the Atlantic.
§ The Prime Minister
I am not complaining about the right hon. Gentleman. I am dealing with outside criticism.
§ Mr. Bevan
Surely the Turkish situation would have been satisfied in either respect. If Cyprus had become a part of the stronghold of N.A.T.O., if Enosis had occurred, the assumption was that there would be bases both in Greece and on Cyprus, and in the event of self-government for Cyprus, there would have been a British base there.
§ The Prime Minister
I am afraid that the right hon. Gentleman cannot deal with that aspect of the question quite as simply as that. To show the House what the complexities are, I would carry the right hon. Member back to the origin of how it happened that we ever found ourselves in Cyprus at all, because it provides an immediate parallel to today. It was a Convention which we signed with Turkey, following on the Russo-Turkish war, as a result of which Turkey felt herself threatened by Russia in the immediate future.
That Convention contained these words—I quote the actual text—If any attempt were to be made at any future time by Russia to take possession of further Turkish territories in Asia, England engages to join the Sultan in defending them by force of arms, and in order to enable England to make necessary provision for executing her engagement, the Sultan consents to assign the island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England.That is how it began, and a glance at the map, which really is of some importance here, though it is seldom brought into examination, will show the reason for that. Cyprus, in truth, commands the curve of Turkey's southern shore, and if ever the island were in the possession of a country with a system of government unfriendly to her, the consequences to Turkey would be fatal.
That was the first phase. Then, after the First World War, the Treaty of Lausanne was concluded, and a number of changes of territory were formally confirmed. The Treaty of Lausanne included the cession of Cyprus to us and certain territorial gains in Thrace and the Aegean to Greece. Greece signed the Treaty of Lausanne, thereby endorsing and putting her name to the cession of Cyprus to us. Some hon. Gentlemen ask why we cannot 405 be quite confident that this engagement with Greece would not give us all we require, and look back to that not so distant Treaty of Lausanne. That Treaty gave Greece large concessions of territory, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, in the Aegean and in Europe.
In these circumstances—and here is an international point I want to make—it is not surprising that Turkey should take the view that if changes are to be made in the status of Cyprus she, too, has a right to ask for other modifications in the Treaty of Lausanne by which she ceded Cyprus to us. For that reason I have never felt and I do not believe now, that Cyprus is an Anglo-Greek question or can ever be treated as such. To attempt to deny it is to deny the map. It is equally unrealistic to lecture Turkey as to the view she ought to take about an island no farther from her coast than is the Isle of Man from us.
I mention these factors because they are so often overlooked. The House may have noticed that the other day the Greek Prime Minister explained that the failure to settle the Cyprus question would bring Greece under the danger of Communism. By saying that, the Greek Prime Minister is really furnishing the most powerful argument against the transfer of sovereignty to Greece. That is in Turkish minds too, as well I know.
Of course it is true that the claim for Enosis, as we know it, has been raised at intervals over the last century. As the right hon. Gentleman said it was dealt with firmly by the late Labour Government. I shall not refer to those quotations. Anybody interested can look them up. The last was from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Younger) who said, as late as February, 1951, when my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies asked:Is it not the policy of His Majesty's Government that this"—that is Enosis—is a non-discussible question?The right hon. Gentleman said:I think that the hon. Gentleman is quite COrreot."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th February, 1951; Vol. 484, c. 380.]So there was no doubt as to what was the view of the Government at that date.
The interesting thing to observe in this connection is that the claim figured at 406 no time during the war. Then there were Greek aspirations, but they were limited to the Dodecanese, they were supported by us and many British troops lost their lives fighting in the Dodecanese. But that was not the only help we brought to Greece. When the Greek Prime Minister says, as I saw reported in yesterday's New York Herald Tribune, that the relations between Greece and the United States were goodbecause when Greece was in danger of being over-run by the Communists America came to her rescueI am bound to take exception to that comment. It is not in accordance with the facts. It was the British Government and British Forces which, in the closing months of 1944 and in the early months of 1945, delivered Greece, at the cost of British dead and wounded, from what I then believe, and still believe, was the certainty of Communist rule.
Indeed, it is fair to say that the action which my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) and the British Government took then—I am not likely to forget it because I was in Athens at the time—saved Greece from being sucked behind the Iron Curtain. Let me add that this was action by a Coalition Government and some right hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition Benches can certainly share in the credit for it. We were severely rebuked for our action at that time by a section of opinion here, particularly by the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken, the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale—
§ The Prime Minister
—and also, curiously enough, by some critics in the United States of America. I observe the same curious combination today. In fact, it was not until 1947 that the Socialist Government of the day—and I make no criticism of them whatever—finding the financial strain of supporting Greece too heavy, then asked the United States to take over, which it did.
Now I want to deal, in some detail I fear—I will try to make it as easy to follow as possible—with the attempts we have made to solve this problem recently, and of which I now want to give an account to the House. First, as the right hon. Gentleman said, we attended a meeting here in London of the three Powers 407 in the summer of last year. The invitation to that meeting was generally endorsed by the House at the time. Unfortunately we could not reach agreement in the discussions. The Greeks stood by their demand for early self-determination. The Turks were opposed to any change in the status of Cyprus, insisting that if there were a change, then Cyprus must revert to Turkey.
So an agreement then was not possible, and we made the practical proposal that the three Governments should agree to differ about the ultimate future of the island but co-operate on the immediate task of initiating self-government. For that purpose we proposed a Tripartite Committee, and on this Greece and Turkey would consider our proposals for self-government. We also suggested that they could themselves propose steps to improve and develop our suggestion. Unfortunately, we also failed to get agreement about that.
That is why we decided to make another form of attempt—an attempt in the island itself—for negotiations. Sir John Harding undertook that unenviable task, together with the Government of that troubled island, and he has discharged it, as I hope even critics of the Government will agree, with patience, courage and clarity. Immediately after his arrival at the beginning of October, he explained in detail to the Archbishop and to the leaders of the Turkish community what were our proposals. These were designed to try to enable immediate progress to be made towards self-government.
The House will notice that, at that moment in October, the Archbishop said he would be willing to co-operate in that task, after an official statement by Her Majesty's Government regarding the right of the Cyprus people to self-determination. That was his position then; he made no other claim at all. Therefore, in an attempt to reach a settlement, we set to work to prepare a statement which we hoped might remove differences and misunderstandings on that topic.
We held discussions with both the Greek and Turkish Governments, through diplomatic channels, and they were shown the statement which we had worked out. We took that statement to the Archbishop on 21st November, but he 408 was not at that stage prepared to accept it as a basis for co-operation. I must repeat to the House that the difficulty then related solely to references to self-determination for Cyprus, and no other question was raised.
We then further examined the wording of our statement, and the Governor came to London in January to discuss it with the Colonial Secretary, myself and our colleagues before I had to leave for Washington. On his return to Cyprus, he communicated it in its amended form to the Archbishop and to the Turkish Cypriot leaders. The text of that document is No. 1 in the White Paper, Cmd. 9708.
§ Mr. Kenneth Robinson (St. Pancras, North)
Is the Prime Minister telling the House that, at the point at which Sir John Harding returned to London in January, the only objection which the Archbishop had made to the proposed statement was solely concerning self-determination?
§ The Prime Minister
Yes. What I am saying is that what the Archbishop had asked for was a statement about self-determination, and it was that, in particular, with which we were trying to deal.
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
The Secretary of State, in answer to a question which I put, declared that the Archbishop had put forward proposals. The first was a firm declaration on self-determination; secondly, self-government; and, thirdly, the date of application of self-determination to be agreed later on. It was not one proposal, but a three-point programme which he put forward.
§ The Prime Minister
I do not think that I dispute what the right hon. Gentleman is saying at all. The argument I am making is that what we were working on was solely the question of selfdetermination—no constitutional questions, amnesty questions or anything else but self-determination, and that at that point—and I remember it only too clearly, before I went to Washington—we had a large number of discussions on how to draft that document in a manner which might give satisfaction to both parties on the island and to the two Governments, as well as ourselves, which were deeply interested.
409 Here is the document itself in this sheet of paper now, and I am bound to say that it certainly does go far beyond anything which had ever been proposed before, and could reasonably be held, I should have thought, to meet any claim to self-determination. Certainly, it went far beyond anything that has ever been proposed on Cyprus by any previous Government. Now this is the point that I want the House to recall. The Governor told the Archbishop that we were not asking him to sign that document as something in respect to which he agreed with every line. All we asked of him was that he should indicate that he was prepared to accept it as a basis for cooperation in developing the constitution.
In return, we asked only one thing of the Archbishop, which is what we have asked throughout—that he should make some declaration saying that he was going to use his influence to put an end to violence. After that, this document was sent to the Archbishop, and that was the position—one piece of paper, which was ours, containing this proposal, and one piece of paper, which was his, which we hoped would contain a statement about no recourse to violence—neither signed by the other, but two separate documents, on which agreement could have been reached and on which we could have gone ahead.
The Archbishop consulted widely among Greek Cypriot organisations, and he replied on the 2nd February to the effect that, although he could never have been prepared to put his signature to the policy statement as a bilateral agreement—and the House must understand that we have not asked him to do that—and though he had reservations to make with reference to self-determination, he nevertheless accepted the invitation to cooperate with the Governor in framing a constitution, but he went on to ask for an explanation of the meaning of the wide measure of self-government which was now proposed.
§ The Prime Minister
I am not complaining, but, at the same time, he made no effort at all to put an end to violence—that despite the fact that we had repeatedly made known throughout that he was entirely free—I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will follow me in this, 410 because it is rather important—at every stage of the discussions to reserve his whole position in respect of the constitution, if he wished to do so. It is I think an important factor in the matter. That is the end of what we may call the first stage in the discussions, because after that there were no further discussions at all about the principle of self-determination.
The second phase, to which I now come, was concerned with the Archbishop's requirements about self-government. In his letter to us, the Archbishop laid down general principles of the constitution which, in his view, should be made clear, and the Governor then went into this new question with us. As a result, the Governor was authorised, in his reply of 14th February—and it is here on page 8 of the White Paper—to put forward these important principles as representing the broad constitutional position of Her Majesty's Government. They are here in this White Paper, and I really do not think anyone could take exception to them in the circumstances of the times:(a) Her Majesty's Government offer a wide measure of democratic self-government now. To this end a new and liberal constitution would be drawn up in consultation with all sections of the community.Fair enough.(b) The constitution would enable the people of Cyprus through responsible Cypriot Ministers to assume control by a suitably phased process over the departments of Government except those relating to foreign affairs and defence which would be reserved to the Governor and to public security which will also be reserved to the Governor for as long as he deems necessary.I shall have some comments to make about that later.(c) the constitution would provide for an Assembly with an elected majority.I repeat, an elected majority.That seems to me to be as reasonable a set of proposals on which to work for a start as could be devised. I repeat that 411 the Archbishop was entirely free to reserve his position in respect of any one of them when the discussions were ended. All we asked for at that stage, and at every stage, was a declaration against the use of violence, and we did not get it.
- "(d) A Cypriot Premier to head the new administration would be chosen by the Assembly with the approval of the Governor. Ministerial portfolios would be allocated by the Premier.
- (e) The constitution would provide for Turkish membership in the Council of Ministers.
- (f) There would be proper safeguards for the rights of individual citizens, the interests of all sections of the community and the integrity and independence of the public service."
§ Mr. Francis Noel-Baker (Swindon)
Might I put this to the right hon. Gentleman? It is an important point. Is the right hon. Gentleman really suggesting that the Archbishop would have been in a position to make an appeal for the pacification of the island before he knew that the terms on which we were asking him to co-operate would make real cooperation with us possible? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that perhaps the whole of the Archbishop's position might have been destroyed from that moment if he did not know what he would get in return?
§ The Prime Minister
I want in a moment to say something of a complimentary character about the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker), so I will not be too controversial now. In reply to him, I can only say that the Archbishop's original demand was just for self-determination. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]. Yes, it was it was just for self-determination. It then changed, as I shall show, into a request for details about the constitution. From that we got to the third phase, which I shall shortly describe—amnesty, security and all the other questions. What I must emphasise to the House is that, step by step, as we made some arrangement or some concession, we were always asked for something more.
At any rate, to deal with the constitutional question, as I was making clear, the Governor was authorised to put forward the six important principles which I have read to the House as representing our broad constitutional position. Of course, it is true that the Governor made it clear—I think this is where there may be some difference of opinion between us—that the detailed form of the constitution had to emerge from full discussion with the representatives of all communities in Cyprus. How in the world could it be otherwise?
It was not possible for us to get down to agreement on details about the constitution without calling in all the communities concerned. That is why we 412 made immediate arrangements to have the best constitutional authority we could provide to be available to fly out to the island to take part in discussions about the future of the constitution. All that was ready. All that was laid on. All that could have taken place. The only condition was that there should be a declaration to try to call a stop to the violence.
§ Mr. Bevan
Will the right hon. Gentleman excuse me if I interrupt him? After all, this is the first time that we are hearing these things. He has been using the word "all," He has spoken of "all the communities" on the island. Does he mean British, Greeks and Turks, or Turks and Greeks, or what does he mean?
§ The Prime Minister
There are Turkish, Maronite and Armenian communities there. Indeed, there are a number of different communities on the island. I am not suggesting for a moment that they all thought anything about their representation, but what I am definitely saying to the House is that one could not expect, in the conditions existing in Cyprus, to have a discussion on constitutional matters except on two conditions, one being that violence had ceased, and the other being that all the communities represented had a chance to make themselves heard. I think that is simple and straightforward enough.
§ The Prime Minister
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to continue with this account.
As a result of all this, discussions took place. I am now back on the offer that we made of the six points in the White Paper. As a result of that, numerous discussions took place between the Archbishop and some members of the staff of the Governor to try to elucidate some of the problems. In those matters the hon. Member for Swindon lent most valuable help to which I must pay a serious tribute. All the time that we were discussing these matters we gave information to the Greek, Turkish and United States Governments. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Mr. Courtney, the United States Consul in Cyprus, who was most helpful at all times.
Now I come to the final phase of the negotiations, with which the right hon. 413 Gentleman dealt, when we were divided on three issues raised by the Archbishop, none of them, I submit, having anything to do with self-determination as such. The first was the question of the amnesty. That has nothing to do with self-determination, no matter what else it may have to do with. In respect of the amnesty, my right hon. Friend had first proposed that when law and order had been re-established there should be an amnesty for all those convicted of offences under the emergency regulations except those involving violence or incitement to violence or the illegal possession of arms, ammunition or explosives. [Interruption.] Perhaps hon. Gentlemen opposite will have a little patience. That was the first' offer. There were other offers, and I am coming to them. [Interruption.] I do not know what the right hon. Gentleman is so angry about.
§ Mr. Bevan
Then I will make the point at once. The right hon. Gentleman has represented to the House that the Archbishop brought forward the question of an amnesty at a later stage, but surely it must have been present in the minds of the Colonial Secretary and everybody concerned in the negotiations that the question of an amnesty would be part of the whole discussion and must be raised before there could be a settlement?
§ The Prime Minister
I do not think there is much dispute about that, because it was part of the whole discussion. I am explaining to the House the first offer that we made. I am about to explain to the House the further concessions that we made to try to get agreement about the amnesty, if the House will allow me.
My right hon. Friend then agreed, with the full approval of the Cabinet—this was during the last phase of the negotiations—to include in the amnesty offences of incitement to violence, and later added crimes of violence other than against the person. In other words, if a man had lobbed a bomb into a room and there had, happily, been nobody there, the amnesty would have applied to him. I do not think that the House could have asked us at that stage to go further than that.
The second issue was that of public security, about which the right hon. Gentleman said something which was nearer our point of view, I thought, than 414 most of the other observations that he made. We explained to the Archbishop the reservation of all powers in the field of foreign affairs and defence, and I agree that there was no dispute about that. Public security had also to be reserved to the Governor, as we have said, for as long as he thought necessary. Control over all other departments—I ask the House to note this; no exceptions were made—would be handed over to Cypriot Ministers.
The Archbishop demanded a time limit for the reservation on public security. A period of one year was mentioned, or until law and order was established. We could not agree to that. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] If agreement was reached, confidence might have grown and then the transfer of responsibility for public security could have taken place gradually. But nobody—the right hon. Gentleman himself must admit it—could tell for certain how long that would take. It would have been utterly reckless to pledge ourselves to hand over public security in Cyprus within a clearly defined period.
The third issue concerned the composition of the Assembly. Here, we have to deal with a subject of exceptional difficulty because it has no parallel in this country, and it is, of course, of vital concern to the Turkish community. To resolve that problem, we arranged, as I told the House, for a constitutional commissioner of outstanding authority to be available. He was ready to go to Cyprus, and would have begun his work the moment law and order was restored. It would have been the duty of the commissioner to apply the six principles in the White Paper, which I have mentioned, and to work out the necessary safeguards for the special interests of the Turkish community.
Meanwhile, in order to try to meet the Archbishop, my right hon. Friend said that it would be for the constitutional commissioner to recommend what arrangements should be made for that purpose, including the precise composition of the elected majority which he would define in accordance with normal liberal constitutional principles. I should have thought that that would have been an acceptable formula for most people. However, on each of these three proposals the Archbishop rejected our offer.
415 The House will, therefore, see that there were three stages of negotiations spread over these five long months during which my right hon. Friend the Colonel Secretary and the Governor have worked tirelessly in agreement. The first was when we sought to meet the Archbishop on self-determination and asked of him only in return a declaration against violence. The second was when the Archbishop passed from the question of self-determination to the form that the constitution was to take. Here again we went far to meet him, and still there was no statement or promise of a statement against violence. The third phase was when we were to meet him on the amnesty, on public security and on the composition of the Legislative Assembly. We went as far as we could on all these points, and still no sign was there at any moment that he would condemn violence.
I have watched these negotiations over a long period, and I ask the House whether it can escape the reflection that even if we had been enabled to yield still more, as we could not, on each of these three items, other demands would immediately have been flung up in their place. I am absolutely sure that they would. The conclusion left in my mind is that the Archbishop would only in the end agree to terms which gave him virtual control of the island.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
This is rather important. The right hon. Gentleman will recall that I tried to elicit some information on this point through questions to the Secretary of State for the Colonies last week. We gathered from the Secretary of State that the only remaining issues were these three points. The Prime Minister said that if these had been settled something else would have arisen. Had anything else been put forward, or are we to believe the Colonial Secretary when he said that there were only these three points outstanding?
§ The Prime Minister
I only gave my own impression to the House. I do not think there need be any dispute about this. I merely told the House, after months of watching these negotiations and seeing their course, that my own impression was that had we been able to yield on these points other demands would 416 have followed upon them. [HON. MEMBERS: "What are they?"] Nobody knows. I am only giving my own view.
Now I come to the question of deportation. For some time past we had recognised that it might become necessary, in the interests of restoring law and order, to remove the Archbishop and the Bishop of Kyrenia from the island. The Government, however, were determined to make every effort to reach an agreed settlement. That is why we continued to negotiate with the Archbishop in the hope that he might be persuaded at some time to condemn the use of violence. While these negotiations were going on, more and more evidence came to hand about the extent of the Archbishop's own activity in connection with some of these organisations. At any rate, it became clear—all too clear—that so long as the Archbishop would not condemn violence in any way, order could not be restored in the island while he was at large there.
When it was apparent, just before my right hon. Friend's departure from Cyprus, that the negotiations were likely to break down, he reached the conclusion, in consultation with the Governor, that in the event of a breakdown it would be necessary for the Archbishop and the Bishop of Kyrenia to be removed from the island at an early date. He arrived in London from Cyprus on Friday, 2nd March, and at once reported the position to me. The situation was fully discussed with other Ministers, and on 6th March the Government authorised Sir John Harding to proceed with his arrangements for deporting the Archbishop and his associates.
I hope that the House will have studied a little the text of the announcement made in Cyprus by the Governor—I have not time to go through it now—in which he referred to a large volume of evidence indicating that the Archbishop had Himself been deeply implicated in the campaign of terrorism launched by Eoka. That is because in recent months our security forces in Cyprus have met with a greater measure of success than they have ever commanded before. They penetrated deeper into the terrorist organisation, and as a result we are getting more evidence.
I only want to quote the Governor's words:The Governor scrutinised the information thus collected with the greatest possible care 417 and has reluctantly reached the conclusion that it establishes beyond all reasonable doubt that the Archbishop has not merely countenanced but has actively fostered terrorism in order to promote his political ends.Much of that information must inevitably remain secret, but there are some facts which can be borne in mind.
Soon after his election in 1951, the Archbishop personally undertook the formation of the extreme nationalist youth organisation then known as P.E.O.N. It was from this that Eoka emerged, and it was P. E. O. N.'s general secretary, with several individuals who had been its leading members, who perpetrated the first Eoka outrage at Larnaca on 1st April last year. Another was caught red-handed a little later carrying bombs in his car. No fewer than three out of the five members of the former Nicosia district of this P.E.O.N. organisation which had been set up by the Archbishop are now members of terrorist gangs at large in the island.
Again, the Archbishop's printing press was used for the production of Eoka leaflets, and this on a scale which could not have been possible without the Archbishop's connivance. The House may say that there is no harm in leaflets and that we all indulge in them, but whether that would be true if they were leaflets intended to incite people to murder I would not know. That is not what I want to leave in the mind of the House, however. It is the fact that engaged in that printing press were many young men who also were members of the terrorist gangs.
There was the terrorist from the Archbishop's organisation, the secretary-general of the youth organisation. He worked in the printing works. He is in prison now for the Larnaca outrage. Another young man also working in this printing press was shot in a gun battle with our security forces. When another, the convicted murderer of a police constable, was arrested, it was yet another employee in the Archbishop's printing works who was taking him by car to join the terrorist gangs operating in the Kyrenian Hills. The driver is still wanted by the police.
Whatever one may feel about all this, surely the most culpable aspect of the Archbishop's part was his failure to condemn publicly the wickedness and 418 brutality of these men. Policemen and soldiers have been murdered in cold blood. Women and children have been maimed and killed. A Cypriot woman was shot and wounded a second time while she lay in hospital. The Archbishop stood by the coffin of a member of his own church who had been brutally murdered by terrorists in his own monastery, and on not one of those occasions did he breathe one word of condemnation of terrorism. How could anyone be surprised after that, that by his silence he was taken to approve and encourage assassination and murder?
In the last days of this negotiation in Cyprus terrorism broke out again. The worst example of all was the sabotage of a transport aircraft due to carry troops and their wives and children home, twenty minutes after it was scheduled to leave. By the mercy of providence the aircraft's departure was delayed for half an hour. And here let me pay a tribute, in which I know that the whole House will join, to our Forces in the Island for the patience and gallantry which they have shown.
I submit to the House that, having been told that order could not be restored while the Archbishop was in the island, we had no choice but to fulfil our responsibilities or abdicate our authority, and we chose the former. It was not an agreeable decision.
Now, as to the future. The offer made in the White Paper stands, we do not withdraw it. Our immediate purpose, though, must be to defeat terrorism so that individual citizens in Cyprus—and there are plenty who only want to live a quiet life—can once again enjoy personal security in the island, and to go on trying to reconcile conflicting interests in this intractable problem. Our duty, if called on, as the right hon. Gentleman indicated, is to safeguard the strategic needs of our country and of our Allies. Neither the N.A.T.O. obligations—as referred to by the right hon. Gentleman—nor the Tripartite Declaration of 1950, nor the Bagdad Pact, nor any agreement in the Middle Eastern area or the Persian Gulf or anything else—none of these can be speedily and effectively carried out today unless we have the assured and unfettered use of bases and the use of facilities in Cyprus on the very lines laid down in the White Paper.
419 There is more in it even than this. Her Majesty's Government must be concerned, as every other Government is concerned, to protect the vital interests of its own citizens. The welfare and indeed the lives of our people depend on Cyprus as a protective guard and staging post to take care of those interests, above all oil. This is not imperialism. It should be the plain duty of any Government, and we intend to discharge it.
§ 5.13 p.m.
§ Mr. Kenneth Robinson (St. Pancras, North)
I do not think the House will be very surprised, after the closing words of the Prime Minister, that the negotiations with the Archbishop in Cyprus have ended in deadlock and failure. It is very difficult to see how Her Majesty's Government, entering these negotiations with the idea of ultimate self-determination for the Cypriot people, could possibly have expected success when the Prime Minister says that the use of Cyprus—
§ Mr. K. Robinson
The unrestricted use of Cyprus—[HON. MEMBERS: "Unfettered."]—the unfettered use of Cyprus was necessary for our vital interests.
The Prime Minister can seldom have had a worse case to defend than he has had this afternoon, and I do not think that any of the remarks he made have gone any distance towards stilling criticism, or allaying the fears which, at any rate, are felt by hon. Members on this side of the House. The right hon. Gentleman has given the House a detailed account, a one-sided account, of the negotiations which have been going on for five months with Archbishop Makarios in Cyprus; and at the risk of wearying the House, I should like also to go back over those negotiations and to put a slightly different complexion on the course of events.
I would remind the House that the original position, before the discussions began, was quite simply this, that Archbishop Makarios had said that he wanted self-determination for Cyprus immediately and that he was not prepared to discuss self-government or a constitution. The position of Her Majesty's Government was that they offered what they called a wide measure of self-government now— 420 self-determination, never. That was the original position. The final position, was that the Archbishop was prepared to enter into discussions on a constitution, subject to two assurances being given him which, in my view, were perfectly reasonable assurances about which I wish to say a few words in a moment.
Her Majesty's Government have made one concession and one only. It was to substitute the word "sometime"—self-determination sometime—for self-determination never. Admittedly, they have agreed to a partial amnesty in the event of agreement being reached. At no time during any of the statements of the Colonial Secretary, or of the Prime Minister this afternoon, has there been one single word of recognition of the concessions the Archbishop has made in the course of these negotiations; no recognition of the very great distance he has moved from his original un-compromising position. On the other hand, there has been every suggestion that the concessions have all come from Her Majesty's Government, and in my view that is a travesty of the facts.
The two points of difference at the conclusion of the negotiations—I exclude the amnesty, because I believe agreement could have been reached on the amnesty if the constitutional difficulties had been out of the way—are major ones, and not minor ones, as the Colonial Secretary suggested in one of his statements to the House. I submit that it is absolutely inconceivable that the Archbishop could have agreed to discuss a constitution which provided for internal security being indefinitely in the hands of the Government, or a constitution which would permit a majority of Turks, plus official representatives, over the Greek Cypriot representation in an Assembly.
I would remind the House that the 1924 constitution broke down over that very point and one of the ex-Governors of Cyprus, Sir Ronald Storrs, has said that the constitution was impossible to work, because when any suggestion came forward the Turks could always out-vote it. If self-determination for Cyprus is to mean anything at all, it could not possibly mean an Assembly in which the Turkish representatives, plus the official members, had a majority over the Greek Cypriots.
421 I think that the Archbishop was perfectly entitled to ask Her Majesty's Government what they meant by "a wide measure of self-government." The fact that he received no satisfactory assurances on this point obviously appeared highly suspicious to him. It certainly leads me to the conclusions that these negotiations were not conducted in good faith by Her Majesty's Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."] I do not believe that it was ever the intention of Her Majesty's Government to reach a point at which the Greek Cypriots could opt for self-determination, and so, in my view, the Archbishop's suspicions were justified.
It is no use the right hon. Gentleman pleading the Turks in aid. The Turkish position is a Frankenstein created by Her Majesty's Government. For twenty-five years Turks and Cypriots have lived perfectly happily in Cyprus. Apart from the riots last September, for twenty-five years Turks and Greeks have lived together in amity both in Turkey and in Greece. I have not the slightest doubt that they could live in amity in a Cyprus which was part of Greece. Nevertheless, this Turkish minority was a very useful excuse and a very useful obstacle for Her Majesty's Government to place in the way of self-determination.
I believe that the substitution of the word "never" in connection with self-determination has been proved by subsequent events to have been nothing more than a mere verbal equivocation. I do not believe that it ever represented a change of policy, or even of heart, on the part of Her Majesty's Government.
Referring to these conversations, the Prime Minister said—I think that I took down his words correctly—"As we made some arrangement or some concession, we were always asked for something new." I should like to know to what concessions the right hon. Gentleman is referring. What concessions have the Government made in the course of these negotiations? We have always offered them a constitution. We now offer them a constitution, but we deny them reasonable assurances as to the nature of that constitution.
How can the Prime Minister say that these difficulties which the Archbishop made about the constitution were nothing 422 to do with self-determination? The Preamble to the White Paper says:If the people of Cyprus will participate in the constitutional development, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to work for a final solution which will satisfy the wishes of the people of Cyprus.Is it not perfectly clear that if the constitution does not give the people of Cyprus a proper voice in their future, it must obviously be concerned with self-determination? I simply fail to understand what the Prime Minister meant when he said that these difficulties had nothing to do with self-determination.
I wish to say another word about the Preamble. The Prime Minister said that the first stage of the negotiations was entirely concerned with this general declaration, and that, I understand, was the case. I should like the Colonial Secretary to tell the House exactly what was the position when Field Marshal Sir John Harding returned to London on 18th January. Was it, in fact, that the Archbishop was prepared to accept this declaration subject to two amendments amounting, I believe, to about eight words in all, words which were extremely vague and which, in the Archbishop's view, perhaps gave Her Majesty's Government a little too wide a field of manoeuvre in the future? I believe that if there had been any good will in this matter, those amendments could have been made.
What the Prime Minister did not tell the House—and I think that he was a little disingenuous in this—was that when the Preamble was taken back to the Archbishop it had not been amended in the way he wished, with the result that in the Archbishop's first reply there appeared this sentence:This application"—the application of self-determination—however, is made dependent on conditions so general and vague, subject to so many interpretations and presenting so many difficulties as to the objective and ascertainment of their fulfilment as to create reasonable doubt about the positive nature of the promise that is given regarding the final solution of the question in accordance with the wish of the people of Cyprus.When I saw the Archbishop in January, I asked him whether, if a form of words could be found embodying his amendments, he thought that then violence would cease in Cyprus. He told me quite categorically that it would. I believe that but for the failure of the Government to 423 meet the Archbishop on this point and to allay what I think have been proved to be quite reasonable suspicions about Her Majesty's Government's good faith, the violence in Cyprus would probably have ended two months ago. I think that it is a little unfair of the Prime Minister to suggest that, having given the Archbishop all he wanted, the Archbishop would then put forward further objections.
The truth of the matter is that having failed to accede to the Archbishop's reasonable requests, the Archbishop then said, "Well, that is your preliminary statement, but now I want to know a little bit about the constitution. I want some assurances about the nature of the constitution." I think that that request of the Archbishop was a perfectly reasonable one. In view of what the Prime Minister has said and what Field Marshal Sir John Harding said on the wireless about the use of Cyprus as a base, I really do not see that it was possible for these negotiations ever to have been brought to a successful conclusion.
Finally, I want to say something about this last incredible act of insanity on the part of the Government in deporting the Archbishop. In circumstances like these it is always as well to try to see how things look through other people's eyes. I invite the House to recall the cries of indignation that went up when Archbishop Stepinac and Cardinal Mindszenty were arrested and tried by Communist Governments. Those cries were perhaps loudest on the Conservative benches of this House. The circumstances were, not so dissimilar. Those people were very high church dignitaries who had become involved in politics and who were taking action offensive to the established political authority in their country. That is the reason why Archbishop Makarios has been deported today.
Is it at all surprising that this action should have received adverse comment all over the world? Have the Government really forgotten the consequencies of deporting the Kabaka of Buganda? Have they forgotten what happened when the French deported the Sultan of Morocco? Have they forgotten about Tshekedi Khama and Seretse Khama? The objects of deporting those men were not exactly achieved, were they? The whole history of political deportation in 424 the post-war world is a somewhat melancholy one, and the result is nearly always that the deportees return with enhanced prestige and authority. That is almost certainly what will happen at the end of this case.
It is almost unprecedented for a Government to enter into negotiations, to conduct them for five months with a man whom they acknowledge as the representative leader and spokesman of his people, and then, when negotiations are broken off, presumably because of an impression which the Prime Minister had that further difficulties would arise, brand him as a criminal and arrest and deport him. I should like to know whether any charges have been, or are to be, preferred against the Archbishop. Will he be given an opportunity to defend himself? Apparently, the allegations that were made were based on information which the Governor claims to have possessed for some time, in other words, information that we had while we were proceeding with our negotiations in apparent good faith.
What will happen next? Are the negotiations at an end sine die? If not, with whom are we to negotiate? The leaders of the trade union movement are all in gaol. All the elected mayors are in gaol. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] All the Communist mayors are in gaol, and they form the bulk. The political representatives upon the Executive Council have all resigned. I believe the last one resigned last week-end, in protest against this deportation. If the Colonial Secretary really believes, as he said in his statement on Monday, that a new leader will emerge as a result of this deportation, he must have a very strange idea of the people of Cyprus. Anybody who came forward while the Archbishop was in exile would be regarded as a Quisling.
Are we to have a constitution imposed upon Cyprus—a façade of self-government erected—or will Her Majesty's Government be content to continue and intensify the policy of repression, the closing down of schools, detention without trial, curfews, restrictions of one kind or another, and the jamming of Athens Radio?
Throughout the whole of this tragic Cypriot story this country has enjoyed little sympathy from the rest of the 425 world, but by this last act we have alienated even our closest friends, the United States. Does not the Prime Minister find it rather humiliating, so few weeks after drafting that Washington communiqué, to read that messages of sympathy from the State Department have been conveyed to the Greek Government and to read of what The Times calls an implicit plea of the State Department to release Archbishop Makarios?
§ Mr. Robson Brown (Esher)
Would the hon. Member bear in mind that the United States of America fought a civil war for self-deterrnination—a very vital matter.
§ Mr. Robinson
The sum total of the Government's achievements, by their whole Cyprus policy and by perpetrating this final act of folly, is a formidable one. They have converted Archbishop Makarios from a leader into a martyr for the cause of Enosis; they have destroyed any possibility of friendship between the Cypriot people and the people of Great Britain for a generation, or longer; they have provided the Communists with most valuable propaganda, which they will not be slow to use against us and against what the Prime Minister likes to call the freedom-loving nations. By making enemies of the Greeks they have impaired the N.A.T.O. alliance and, perhaps, ruptured it in part; they have alienated world opinion and exasperated and disgusted our American Allies; they have brought discredit upon the good name of this country for fair dealing—as my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) said—and, lastly, they have made Enosis a certainty.
It was to be expected that when the Government eventually succumbed to back bench pressure to get tough they would get tough with their smallest and weakest opponent. These are the typical actions of a desperate Government under a weak Prime Minister. This policy of toughness may succeed in the short run—20,000 troops can keep down a population of 400,000, certainly—but in the end it will inevitably fail. What the cost will be in terms of our loss of influence and moral leadership in the world, only time will show.
§ 5.34 p.m.
§ Mr. Julian Amery (Preston, North)
I want to intervene only briefly in this debate, because almost every point has been dealt with by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, in a speech which, if I may say so, has gladdened the hearts of all hon. Members on this side of the House, not only by its determination but by the sense it showed of our resolve to carry out our responsibilities to the people of Cyprus, and our obligations in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) said—and took some credit for it—that he and his hon. and right hon. Friends had shown great restraint in this matter of Cyprus. The right hon. Gentleman must not think that he and his hon. Friends are the only ones who have shown restraint. I say nothing of those of us on this side of the House who have sometimes been concerned at the lengths to which we have gone in making concessions; I am thinking of the ordinary people, the fathers and mothers whose children have been out in Cyprus defending our cause while these negotiations dragged on with a leader who, it was becoming increasingly clear, was conniving at, if not actually promoting, terrorism.
I am one of those who believe that there was a time, some years ago, when it might have been possible to reach a settlement between this country and Greece in connection with Cyprus. I am speaking of a period about eight or nine years ago, when Lord Winster was Governor of the island. I think that there was perhaps a chance then, upon a basis of dual citizenship, of working out an arrangement under which Cypriots would have had the privilege of British nationality in Cyprus and elsewhere in the Commonwealth, and at the same time the privilege of Greek citizenship when they went to Greece. In the very different conditions of the immediately post-war period, when the Greeks were rather more conscious of the debt of gratitude they owed to this country, we might have come to an arrangement, short of full self-determination, which must have been acceptable to them.
I do not think that that possibility has been seriously on the cards in the last few years. I think that the Greek Government believed that we were on the 427 run, and that they had only to press us hard enough to get us out. I do not think there has been a willingness on the part either of Athens or the Ethnarchy to come to any sort of compromise short of self-determination.
The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale said that there was no argument about the principle of self-determination in this case. Is that really so? The White Paper says:It is not therefore their position"—that is, the position of Her Majesty's Government—that the principle of self-determination can never be applicable to Cyprus.That is quite true. We do not say that they can never have self-determination. But that is a very long way from saying that they must have it now, or within a determined period of years. There is a fundamental cleavage of principle between the position of Her Majesty's Government and the position of the Ethnarchy, and it is a mistake for the right hon. Member to try to slur that over as if it did not exist, and to pretend that negotiations have broken down upon less important grounds.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
That is precisely what the Secretary of State told this House. He said that self-determination and selfgovernment—the major issues—were out of the way. He was understood to say that they had been agreed upon in some way or other, and that only other points remained.
§ Mr. Amery
The right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) is a more experienced Parliamentarian than but I thought that it was a tradition in this House that one studied the texts, and the text here says:It is not therefore their position that the principle of self-determination can never be applicable to Cyprus.That is not quite the same as saying that we had accepted self-determination. I understand my right hon. Friend to have meant that the Archbishop, although not accepting that particular statement, had put it on one side—considering that he had obtained the maximum concession which could be obtained in that sphere—and had then gone on to raise other issues which my right hon. Friend the Prime 428 Minister put to the House earlier in the debate.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
What the Colonial Secretary said was:I can certainly say that the big issues—the principle of self-determination and the question of self-government—are in a sense out of the way and that now we are down to other points…"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th March, 1956; Vol. 549, c. 1731.]
§ Mr. Amery
I repeat what I said a moment ago, that the Archbishop, having seen that this was the maximum of concession to which we were prepared to go—it is embodied in page 3 of the White Paper—put it on one side. He took note of it, and went on to raise further questions which had a bearing on its implementation. It is important to study this document, and if hon. Members did so they would see that the principle of self-determination is not recognised, as such. All we have said is that we do not say that the Cypriots shall never have it. That is a very different position.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
This point is very important, and we should intervene in the hon. Gentleman's speech in the presence of the Prime Minister. I would therefore quote other words which the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State used in the statement on 5th March:It was thus clear that general agreement had been reached on the need to establish self-government and that the principle of self-determination was no longer a stumbling block."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th March, 1956; Vol. 549, c. 1726.]Discussions then proceeded on outstanding issues. We gather that the interpretation of the hon. Gentleman is that these words are not an acceptance of the principle of self-determination and self-government, but only push them out of the way.
§ Mr. Amery
I understand that, having made our position clear—it is defined in terms here—and the Archbishop having recognised what our position was, the parties went on to discuss the question of self-government, which is another point. This matter is of some importance. We have now to consider whether there is a case for the early introduction of self-determination in Cyprus. After all, this principle is not of universal application. As was pointed out by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he was Secretary of State for 429 Foreign Affairs, both sides of the House have unanimously agreed that Austria should not be allowed to exercise the principle of self-determination in the sense of union with the German Reich.
We cannot ignore altogether the facts of geography or the obligations that we have in the Middle East, under the Bagdad Pact and the Tripartite Declaration; and to our own people in respect of oil. They would go very hungry without the oil.
Cyprus is the only base remaining to us in the Eastern Mediterranean from which British influence can still be exercised. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite may think that this area is not worth protecting, but I would point out that we are not the only people who have a stake in it. Many other countries, most of the countries of Western Europe, are as dependent upon oil as they are upon coal. They would find themselves in the greatest difficulty if the hand of Britain were removed from the Middle East in these troubled years.
"The base in Cyprus is not in dispute"—this phrase was used by the Leader of the Opposition in a speech at the weekend at the same time as he described as "an act of folly" what had just happened in Cyprus. Is this really so? The Prime Minister has already pointed out that the Greek Government put their names to the Treaty of Lausanne, and now wish to revise it. We have recently seen the Egyptian Government try to get out of an agreement they had freely entered into. In the last few days there has been some anxiety as to the position of our treaty arrangements with Jordan.
Can we rest such large interests and such large obligations as we have in the Middle East on a treaty with a Government in Greece who have said publicly, through the mouth of their Prime Minister, at a Press conference, that they might easily go Communist? I thought that was much the weakest of their arguments. If they are to go Communist over Cyprus they are very likely to go Communist over something else.
It is not only a question of N.A.T.O. The Bagdad Pact and the Tripartite Declaration are also at stake. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite have emphasised, and I think rightly, the difficulties of implementing our obligations under 430 the Tripartite Declaration. They ought to remember that anything which weakens our position in Cyprus must weaken our ability to fulfil our obligations under the Declaration. It would be very rash to say that the base is not in dispute.
Let me try to make a slightly more detailed application of those words. As the House knows, reinforcements were flown to Cyprus in the Christmas Recess at the time of the riots in Jordan. It was hoped that their presence in Cyprus near the area of trouble might have a steadying effect. It is common knowledge that Egypt was opposed to the policy that we were following in Jordan. Egypt has very close commercial and economic relations with Greece. What would have been the position of the Greek Government had Enosis existed and had we then tried to use Cyprus as a base in order to support a policy of which Egypt disapproved and which Egypt might have exercised pressure on Athens to oppose?
Although the offer we made last September did not extend to full self-determination, it was a very generous offer. It is imperfectly understood in this House. As I understand it, the Government not only invited Greece and Turkey to put forward proposals on how self-government might evolve but they asked them to take part in the evolution of self-government. Had they accepted it, nothing could have prevented Greek and Turkish lieutenant-governors being appointed to try to develop a kind of joint community or tri-dominion in the island which might have sealed the friendship between these three countries. Instead, as the result of the attitude of the Government in Athens, they are now divided.
The hon. Member for St. Pancras North (Mr. K. Robinson) compared the deportation of Archbishop Makarios with the imprisonment of Cardinel Mindszenty. I am bound to say that is a curious parallel, and unworthy of the hon. Member. I have often listened with great interest to what he has said in the House before. It has been widely said in the Press that deportation never works. Yet deportation can be an effective policy, as we see if we look at the story of India. Lord Willing-don imprisoned the Congress leaders—I think it was in 1932—and in a very short time law and order were restored. Lord Linlithgow imprisoned them in 1942, and again it was successful. Of course, it does 431 not bring a solution to the political problem but it still has to be done, because the restoration of law and order is the first step to any settlement. Again, Lord Allendale locked up Zaglul Pasha, in Malta I think it was, and again law and order were restored and again paved the way for a political settlement. The same thing has happened in the Gold Coast.
It is a great mistake to believe that these methods are not effective. We have not said that this is for all time. It was France's mistake to exile the Sultan of Morocco for ever. Nobody knows how matters will develop. The only hardship we have inflicted on Archbishop Makarios is to put him and the Bishop of Kyrenia in the same house. It is rather like locking up the Leader of the Opposition and the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) together.
§ Mr. Amery
I think that we might get on a little better.
The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale characterised our attitude as clumsy in the same context as he spoke of the recent statement in Washington. I should have said that clumsiness in Anglo-American relations rested not here but on the other side of the Atlantic. It is easy to make judgments in this matter and to refer to Mr. Dulles as the only bull who carries a china shop around with him. But I do not want to indulge in jest. The situation is too serious. It is not for us to give lessons to the United States on their conduct of affairs in the Far East; nor is it for us to receive lessons at their hands in this matter. What we have done we have done; and when my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary speaks there is one thing that I hope he will say—that whatever else happens we do not accept the idea of United States mediation in our relations with Cyprus.
I think that the Government have shown great forbearance. They were right to go on negotiating even when they had proof that the Archbishop was seriously compromised in terrorist activities. There was a chance, though a remote one, that agreement might have been reached, and, had it been reached, 432 it would have been well worth while turning a blind eye to his other activities. As he was not prepared to reach agreement, I can see no other alternative, no other course which my right hon. Friend could have pursued, than to take the measures he has taken.
It has been asked with whom we can negotiate now. I would not be surprised if in Cyprus there were now to arise men who were prepared to negotiate with us. Only the future can tell. But I should have thought that there was a better chance to produce more moderate leaders by first clearing the decks than by failing so to do. In any case, of one thing I am certain—the action that has been taken will give courage to our friends throughout the world. Although right hon. and hon. Members opposite sometimes tend to under-rate the claims of Turkey in this matter—and although I do not, myself, want to put those claims too high—there are 20 million Turks, and they are our most solid ally in the defence of the Middle East.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale talked of some of us on this side as feeling that every concession made was a liquidation—I think that is the word he used—of our imperial inheritance. I do not know whether he is proud of the results that have flown from the different concessions we have made. I do not know whether he thinks that the war which resulted from our abandonment of Palestine was a good thing. I do not know whether he thinks that the state of near-starvation to which Persia was reduced as a result of our retreat from Abadan was a good thing. I do not know whether he thinks that the Black Hole of Kosti was a good thing.
For my part, I hope and believe that our action in Cyprus marks a turning point in the policy of retreat we have pursued in very difficult circumstances in the post-war period. There is a general consciousness in the country that we have our backs to the wall; and that if we were to go one step further back in the Eastern Mediterranean our oil supplies would be in danger—and if our oil supplies are in danger the economic life of our country might well come to a standstill. Therefore, while deploring the fact that the necessity to do what we have done should have arisen, I 433 should like to congratulate the Government on the action they have taken and to pledge full support in all measures they may take to strengthen British influence and defend our interests in the Middle East.
§ 5.53 p.m.
§ Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)
I think that the speech of the hon. Member for Preston, North (Mr. J. Amery) produces the key, if any were needed, to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister. There spoke—at the beginning of his speech and throughout it, and in the congratulations which he has showered on the head of the Prime Minister—the true, authentic, imperial mind which believes that we are born to rule. There was scarcely a reference throughout the speech to the desires, the wishes and the ambitions of the people of Cyprus, but reference only to what our position should be and any danger we might be in.
I think that is why I was so disappointed with the Prime Minister's speech today. If I may refer back to it—and I am speaking from recollection—I would say that there were portions of it which reminded me very much of some of the phrases used by Lord North long, long ago—and those were the very phrases that met with the cheers of the other side. The hon. Member for Preston, North, ended by asking certain questions about places like Palestine, but does he think that we should have remained in charge in India and Pakistan, in Ceylon, in Burma, and in West Africa—and the very place that I have mentioned already by implication—America? That is why I so deeply regretted some of the phrases used by the right hon. Gentleman this afternoon.
May I now come straight away to the first part of his speech, which surprised me greatly? The right hon. Gentleman based a very large part of the case upon the relationship between this country and Turkey and Greece. He referred to the Convention of 1878 under which the island was put under our control, with an undertaking by us that we would protect Turkey if she were attacked by Russia. Does the right hon. Gentleman really contend that that Convention remained after 1914, at which time Russia became our ally and Turkey became our enemy? Did that Convention then impose an obliga 434 tion upon us to defend Turkey against our ally, Russia?
It has only to be mentioned and, of course, everyone realises that, by her very act under the Young Turks and Enver Pasha in the autumn of 1914 Turkey put an end to that Convention. And we ourselves so treated it. We promptly annexed Cyprus and declared that it was under our control from then onwards and that there was no obligation whatsoever to Turkey. That was acknowledged, again, by Turkey when we came to sign the Treaty of 1923. I am, therefore, surprised that the right hon. Gentleman should have based any part of his argument upon a Convention that he knew had come to an end with the action of Turkey when she entered a war against us—at a time when, again, we were struggling for our very lives.
Another very unfortunate remark, as I thought, was when the right hon. Gentleman compared Cyprus's relation to Turkey with that of the Isle of Man to ourselves. May I remind the Prime Minister that the Isle of Man has always had its own Parliament and Constitution—which is just what these other people are asking for?
Much has been said by the right hon. Gentleman also about the obligation which, in his view, there must have been upon the Archbishop to take some active part, as I understand it—and certainly to make a very strong declaration—against any acts of violence of any kind in the island. Events in Cyprus remind me of so many occurrences in Ireland. The Church itself took a very active part throughout the whole of our Irish troubles, but I do not remember anybody in any place at any time reproving the Catholic heirarchy for not taking active steps to protest against many of the acts then committed.
Even more surprising is it that the right hon. Gentleman should persist in that view, having regard to the first paragraph of the letter written by the Governor to the Archbishop on 14th February. Surely the Governor sincerely meant what there appears—or is it now being suggested that he was writing this—if I may use the expression—with his tongue in his cheek? If he believed, as he apparently now does believe, that which has now led him to send the Archbishop out of the island, he should not 435 have written this paragraph at all. It would have been better to have left it out altogether. The paragraph says:It is with satisfaction that they have received Your Beatitude's assurance of your desire for the pacification of the island.It could not be stronger than that.and of your readiness to exert every effort to find a way of reducing the present tension.Did Sir John Harding believe those words on 14th February? Did he believe them on 14th February and then state that the situation so changed between 14th February and 2nd March that we have now to put them on one side and say that there is no truth in them? I cannot believe it, and that is what makes the action taken by the Government, the Secretary of State and Sir John Harding so inexplicable to me. What was the change which took place between the writing of that letter on 14th February and the right hon. Gentleman's visit? What is the explanation of this sudden change?
The rest of the paragraph also bears on the matter. It reads:They welcome your acceptance of my invitation to co-operate with me and with representatives of all sections of the community in the framing of a constitution and have followed with interest reports of your consultations which seem to confirm that there exists a widespread desire for a new and constructive approach to the island's political and constitutional problems.What could be more satisfactory than that? It was accepted by the Governor himself as being satisfactory.
I want to come, next, to the terms. The right hon. Gentleman emphasised that the first thing for which the Archbishop asked, admittedly acting on behalf of his people, was a complete understanding about self-determination. Of course it was. For years and years there has been only one claim by the people of this island; not for self-government, but that they should go complete, lock, stock and barrel, to Greece, without any question whatever. They had held their plebiscite on it and there had been an overwhelming majority in favour of it. That has been their claim throughout. The right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) has left it on record that after his first visit he came away having learned one brief word—the word "Enosis"; and that was as long ago as 1922.
436 The Archbishop abandoned that, and that was a great thing for him to do. He was prepared to consider self-government, but only if it also included self-determination. Very naturally, he asked, in the first place, "Shall we at some time have the right to determine what cur future shall be and with whom we shall join or not join, or whether we shall remain independent? Until I get an answer to that question it is no use talking to me about anything at all." Naturally, he put that first.
Having not had a very full assurance, in spite of what the Secretary of State said in the House the other day, he was prepared to negotiate, but remembering all the time that two answers had been given from the Box on the question of self-determination. One was given in 1954, when the answer was that self-determination would never be given; and the other was given a little later, when the answer was that it might be given some time.
Let us come to self-government itself. It seems to me extraordinary that this White Paper should begin with a reference to the Charter of the United Nations and the Potomac Charter and then fall away so very much from the high principles laid down in those Charters. For example, the Potomac Charter merely repeats that the President and the right hon. Member for Woodfordadhere to the principles already contained in the Atlantic Charter.I need refer only to one:…they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned. Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.Having read that, we turn to see what is the offer, and the offer is a "wide measure of self-government." In his letter the Archbishop asked what was the meaning of "a wide measure of self-government," and the answer which he was given from the Government, in the interview which took place later, and from the right hon. Gentleman afterwards, was that "a wide measure of self-government" is "a wide measure of self-government." Can anything be clearer? It reminds me of the famous answer given by a judge in the 1914–18 437 war when he was asked, "What is a bright light?" After long consideration, he said, "A bright light is a light that is bright." That gives about as much information as this answer.
What help was that to anyone, negotiating on behalf of his people, who had received this letter? Obviously, he had been in consultation with them and they had said, "What is meant by this term? Ask what the Government mean by it". The only answer he was given was exactly the same words—"a wide measure of self-government."
The position is worse than that, because the Government went on to describe what the Assembly shall be. Is it to be an assembly such as this assembly or such as those which we have given to all countries which have obtained self-government, where the right is given of universal suffrage and where they choose their Members of Parliament and the majority of Members choose the Prime Minister? No. The words which are used are:An Assembly with an elected majority.That must mean only one thing—that there will be a minority which is not elected but is nominated. Was that the Government's intention? No clear answer to that has been given either to the House or in the document replying to the Archbishop.
The Archbishop was asking about that until the right hon. Gentleman went there for the last conference, and the only answer given was, "You will have a wide measure of self-government, but we will send out a good lawyer who will go through all the details." That would not have satisfied me to be it would not have satisfied the right hon. Gentleman if the offer had been made to him. He would have asked, "What are the principles which will guide us? What kind of Parliament are we to have? What is the meaning of this arrangement whereby Parliament will consist partly of elected and partly of nominated members? Who will be nominated?"
Another point made clear was that there would not be self-government in the ordinary sense, for if a Cabinet were to be formed, whatever the voting in the island itself there were to be Turkish representatives in that Cabinet. That, again, is not self-government. How were they to be appointed? Not a word has been said about that. How could we 438 possibly expect anybody to be satisfied with a statement of that kind?
Finally, the Archbishop asked for an amnesty. When the Secretary of State mentioned, in his statement to the House the other day, the negotiations which had taken place and the request which had been made for the amnesty, I ventured to intervene. I said that it rather reminded me of Ireland and that then a great number, even of convicted murderers, were released and 126 who were convicted of attempted murder were released.
The answer by the right hon. Gentleman was, "Oh, yes, but that was after a treaty had been signed and as a negotiation between the two Governments." I go back to the time before that took place. In 1916, there occurred the tragedy of Easter Week. We were then right in the middle of a war, and at the time we were doing very badly. It was so serious a matter that there were 3,000 casualties within a week, 300 soldiers were killed, 216 civilians were killed and 60 Irish volunteers. A number who were caught were tried summarily and executed. One in particular who was caught, tried and sentenced to death was de Valera. His sentence was commuted to a life sentence.
A great many were sent to a concentration camp, and included Michael Collins and that still greater man, Arthur Griffiths. Nevertheless, without any communication with any Government or authority in Ireland, all those in the concentration camps were released and in June, 1917, all those undergoing sentences—even life sentences, including de Valera—were landed at Dublin and released. One difficulty still remained; Home Rule had not been granted. For that hon. and right hon. Members opposite are largely responsible. What happened after that?
§ Mr. Philip Bell (Bolton, East)
On the question of amnesty, do I understand that the Liberal Party think that in these conditions, at this stage of the negotiations, the Government should have said—when killing was still going on—"Never mind, kill as many as you like, the killers will all be amnestied in the end"? Is that what the right hon. and learned Gentleman says?
§ Mr. Davies
I will give the hon. and learned Member the answer which was 439 given by Sir Austen Chamberlain, who was respected by hon. Members opposite. I would say the same as he said. [HON. MEMBERS: "What was the answer?"] I am giving the same answer. [HON. MEMBERS: "What is it?"] Wait for it. The truce of 1921 had not been signed and there was still trouble there. There were still acts of violence being committed. A question was put to Sir Austen Chamberlain, who replied, in regard to an amnesty, "We shall have it very much in mind and when we arrive at an agreement we shall consider it."
That could have been said in this case, but all that is said by right hon. Gentlemen opposite is, "No, we will not grant an amnesty to those who are bearing arms, or to those who have committed acts of violence." The right hon. Gentleman might have gone on and said, "If we arrive at an agreement some other consideration will arise." I should have thought that that would be the right answer. Not only was that answer given by Sir Austen Chamberlain at that time, but we should consider what happened.
On 6th December the draft Treaty was signed by Michael Collins and Arthur Griffiths. Then came the debate in the Dail and that lasted until 7th January when, by a majority, that House voted in favour of the Treaty. On 12th January, without waiting for any agreement by the Government of this country, the whole lot were released, every one of them. Nine of them were undergoing life sentences, 17 were awaiting confirmation of death sentences and 121 were undergoing sentences for attempted murder. There were 1,010 all told. That was the right attitude—
§ Mr. Davies
Yes, that was because the moderate people who had been trying their best were unable to carry the others with them.
The Archbishop has been acting on behalf of the people he represents. I read the other day a document, published by Her Majesty's Government, which was accepted by the Secretary of State, in which the people made it perfectly clear 440 that any further relaxation on the part of the Archbishop would not be accepted by them. What does not seem to be realised by hon. Members opposite is that the Archbishop was obviously carrying his life in his hands, just in the same way as Michael Collins and Arthur Griffiths were signing something which they could not have accepted. It is exactly what those people did. That might have been borne in mind.
No, an effort has not really been made to find out what are the real desires of these people. What they want is to be allowed to guide their own affairs, in which case they would be our allies and our friends. At present, Cyprus is not only a base for us but for N.A.T.O. What use is it as a base when, I understand, all we could put there would be 3,000 soldiers. At present, we need 15,000 soldiers to keep the peace. What help is that to us in a time of difficulty? In exactly the same way in regard to Ireland, if only the Government had acted at the right time they would have carried those people with them.
The hon. Member for Preston, North kept referring to the maintenance of law and order. So have many hon. Members opposite. They reminded us that those words were used in 1919, 1920 and 1921 by Sir Hamar Greenwood and Sir Henry Duke. Force was never a remedy and never will be. Only understanding, generosity and a desire to help will bring those people not against us, but to our side.
I would end on this, and appeal once again to the right hon. Gentleman and hon. Members opposite. The record of this old country in relation to all these countries—India, Pakistan, Ceylon—has been wonderful. The record in relation to Canada might have gone wrong but for Radical action. The record in relation to South Africa has been splendid. Do not spoil the wonderful record of this country in relation to the island of Cyprus. Be generous now and the world will again turn to us and regard us, as we ought to be, the moral leaders of democracy in the world.
§ 6.19 p.m.
§ Mr. Godfrey Lagden (Hornchurch)
I am sure that all hon. Members will agree on one thing at least: that is, that the Government, and the Prime Minister in particular, by their actions over many 441 years, have shown that their one desire is for peace and peace alone. I would say that, in years to come, the Bagdad Pact will be recognised as a great act of statesmanship.
Let us consider what, at this moment, makes our world in such a serious state. We have had trouble in Korea, in Indo-China and concerning the offshore islands. Now we have trouble in Cyprus. There is one reason, and one reason alone, why we have them. Fresh troubles are created as soon as one is cured, and they are created by the U.S.S.R. and by nobody else. It would seem to me that the present outbreak in Cyprus is partly, if not wholly, caused by the action of the Archbishop, who is nothing more or less than an agent of the U.S.S.R.
§ Mr. Lagden
I should like to quote from a speech made by L. M. Kaganovich at the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party on 20th February this year:Comrades, the importance of the central committee's report, as the importance of the 20th Congress itself, extends far beyond the bounds of the party and of our country. That is due to the fact that our party guides the mighty Soviet State, which plays a big part in international policy and is exercising an increasingly decisive influence on the course of world events. It is also due to the fact that the 20th Congress is meeting at a new and major stage in the building of Communism, in which the Soviet people are engaged under the leadership of our party.
§ Mr. Lagden
I am asked, "So what?" It means that many hundreds of British lives have been lost in Cyprus, because that is the latest place to which Communist outbreaks have extended.
§ Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)
Is the hon. Member putting the case that the Government have managed to antagonise both the United States and the U.S.S.R. at the same time? Is that not a remarkable achievement?
§ Mr. Lagden
This Government is a Government of remarkable achievements. One of their most remarkable achievements is that in the face of all the opposition from the U.S.S.R., they have peace at all in the world today.
442 Why has agreement not been reached? We are told that it is a question purely and simply of amnesty. But we cannot negotiate with the very man who is responsible for the deaths, not only of soldiers and policemen, but of women and children, a man who refuses to use any of his influence to stop this.
§ Mr. George Thomas (Cardiff, West)
Does the hon. Member believe that these charges against the Archbishop were discovered only when negotiations broke down or, if there is any substance in them, does he think that the Government were aware of them at the time they were negotiating with the Archbishop?
§ Mr. Lagden
The Government have been trying to negotiate with anybody who would bring peace to that troubled island. They have reached a position where it was no longer possible to continue to do so in safety. Had the Archbishop at any time repented and said, "I will do my best to stop bloodshed," he would have found on the other side men of good will who were willing to try to do what they could for the unfortunate people living in the island. But that was not the case with the Archbishop, because he was trying to build himself into a position of eminence on bloodshed, and it is a good thing that he has been removed from that position.
Let us come a little nearer home. In my mind, there is no doubt that the Archbishop has received encouragement from many of the speeches that have come from the benches opposite. Over a long period, the speeches that have come from hon. Members opposite, and not least from the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan), have encouraged anybody who has been an enemy to this country.
There is no doubt at all that the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale has a much deeper understanding of the points which our enemies want to make than those of the people of this country. That seems to be a position in which he always finds himself, and I am quite sure that the carping criticism which comes from the benches opposite—
§ Mr. Lagden
—concerning everything which is British, and the encouragement which is given to the enemies of this country, will not go unnoticed. There seems to be an attitude, led by the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, which says, "My country always wrong, all others always right." I am quite certain that the people of this country are nauseated, sick and tired of that sort of mentality.
I would say, in conclusion, that our people will defeat the plotters against the safety of this country, but what they will not do is forgive the traitors from within this country.
§ 6.28 p.m.
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones (West Ham, South)
The hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Lagden) has just described the Government as a Government of remarkable achievement, but they are nothing so remarkable as the hon. Member's achievement in his speech. If what he said is true, the power of the U.S.S.R. is veritably terrifying. The Archbishop of Cyprus is apparently its agent. Did the hon. Member convey the information which he has to support that allegation to his right hon. Friends before they engaged in conversation with this Soviet agent? This caricature—I can only dismiss it generously in that way—of the situation in Cyprus is quite grotesque, and I hope that it does not reflect a general point of view on the Government side of the House.
I am tempted to take up some of the points that the hon. Member has made, but I appreciate that a number of my hon. Friends who are experts in regard to Cyprus desire to speak. I wish only to apply my mind to one or two legal matters concerning the deportation of the Archbishop. I desire to raise with the Colonial Secretary some questions of importance. After all, we have purported to exercise the power of deportation in the name of law and order. It is, therefore, imperative that the law should have been complied with. The exercise of the power of deportation is, in any event, an unpleasant exercise of power. It is contrary to the traditions of this island. It cannot be done to a British subject in this country. The Home Secretary has no power to do it.
Had the Archbishop had the good fortune to be in this island last week instead 444 of on the island of Cyprus, of course, the Government would have had no power to consign him to the oubliette of a Pacific island. The difficulty is that, as in so many other branches of the law, particularly in the law relating to the liberty of the subject, liberty of the subject does not quite mean the same thing in the Colonies as it does in Britain itself.
As I understand the legal position, the Archbishop was deported from Cyprus in the first instance on the authority of a deportation order issued by the Governor of Cyprus. That, I presume, is the case. I have read the legal instrument under which the Governor purported to act, and it seems to be in similar terms to the Aliens Order under which the Home Secretary has power to deport aliens from this country. The relevant part of the instrument states:The pilot of an aircraft about to leave for a place outside the colony shall if so required by the Governor receive any person against whom a detention order has been made aboard the aircraft and afford him a passage to that place.Presumably it was on the strength of that authority that the Archbishop was put on board the plane in Cyprus.
It is important, however, to emphasise that as a matter of law the Governor of Cyprus had no lawful right or power to direct that the Archbishop and his colleagues should be taken to any particular destination—in this case the Seychelles Islands. His jurisdiction as Governor of Cyprus is limited in law by the limits of the land of Cyprus and its territorial waters. As in the case of the Home Secretary himself in regard to the deportation of aliens from England, the Governor of Cyprus has no power to order a deportee to be deported to a particular place or country.
This matter was decided in the Court of Appeal as long ago as 1917, in the case of Rex v. the Secretary of State for Home Affairs ex parte the Duke of ChateauThietty—no doubt a friend of some of the blue-blooded hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House. In that case, Lord Justice Banks said:The Secretary of State may direct the detention of any person against whom an order of deportation has been made from the moment the order is made until the ship on which the deportee is placed finally leaves the United Kingdom. Whenever that moment arrives "—445 namely, the moment of the ship leaving the United Kingdom, or the plane leaving Cyprus—the legal custody of the deportee ceases and he is free to make such use of his liberty as he can.That is the law.
The Secretary of State seems to find this a laughing matter. Let me assure him that I am coming to questions of importance, and that I hope he has got a satisfactory answer to them.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I certainly do not regard the scrupulous observance of the law as a laughing matter. I am well acquainted with every stage of the Archbishop's journey to his arrival this morning in the Seychelles.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
In fact, the Duke of Chateau-Thierry was put on a boat which was going to France, which was a place he did not want to go to, and that was held to be legal.
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones
That is quite so. I do not know whether my hon. and learned Friend was seeking to help me or enlighten me. I assure him that he has succeeded in doing neither.
The whole point at issue in that case was that the Secretary of State who was represented by Lord Birkenhead—Mr. F. E. Smith as he then was—in the Divisional Court and in the Court of Appeal, claimed that there was a general power in the Secretary of State, in deporting an alien, of being able to deport him to a particular place or country. It was decided that no such wide power existed but that the Secretary of State can certainly put him on a ship and if that ship happens to be going to the place where the Secretary of State wants the deportee to go, it is quite all right.
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones
I assure the Secretary of State that I am not at all dismayed by these interruptions, and I hope that I may be permitted to come to the point of substance. The Archbishop was put on the aircraft, and my submission is that as a matter of law he was then entitled to make such use as he could of the legal freedom which he then possessed. Manifestly, he could not jump out of the aeroplane. I want to know, in the first place, on whose authority he was detained as a prisoner in the aircraft.
446 Then we come to Mombasa. At Mombasa, in law the Archbishop was entitled to the treatment to be accorded to a free man. He was then a British subject on British territory. He was, however, detained. On whose authority was he taken by car to a boat? On what legal authority was he taken by boat to a frigate? There is no general authority in the Secretary of State for the Colonies to do that. On what authority did he act? Did the Governor, in Mombasa, issue a second deportation order? That seems to be the only possible answer. If the Governor, in Mombasa, did that, that may conceivably have remedied the situation.
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones
There has certainly been no disclosure to the public or in the Press of that action.
The House has been informed only of two steps which the Government sought to take to remedy the legal position in this matter; namely, there has been supplied in the Library of the House of Commons a copy of the proclamation under which the Governor of Cyprus issued his deportation order, and we know from the Press of the action taken by the Legislative Council in the Seychelles to legalise this detention on the Seychelles. I think it is most discourteous to the House, if further action has been taken, that no information has been given to the House of Commons or to the public hitherto. I wait with interest to know from the Secretary of State what steps were taken.
I should also like to know, in view of the massive elaboration of the preparations, on what date these steps were decided upon. There is great secrecy in the Government about that. Is it contrary to the public interest that we should know about it now? Those are matters which I hope the Secretary of State will deal with. I have asked him in an interrogative form because it would indeed be regrettable if the voyage of the frigate from Mombasa to the Seychelles was a voyage taken under the sign of the skull and crossbones.
§ Mr. C. Pannell
I understood the Prime Minister to say this afternoon that the date was 6th March. I wonder whether my hon. and learned Friend might make a massive constitutional point out of that.
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones
I do not know that I would venture to tax the patience of the House further.
There is one other matter in the legal field upon which I should like to comment. Even if we do not accept the statement of the hon. Member opposite that he has evidence which, presumably, he would be able to establish in a court of law—because here in the House of Commons we must be answerable for the statements of fact we utter here, or we ought to be—but even if there is no evidence that can be established in a criminal court that the Archbishop is actually a Soviet agent, plotting to blow up the British Empire in its particular component part of Cyprus—disregarding the reckless romanticism of hon. Members opposite and taking what the Prime Minister has said at its face value, he has cited with approval the official statement of the Governor that "the evidence of the Archbishop's complicity establishes beyond all reasonable doubt"—a mere tyro in the criminal courts knows the significance of that expression—"that the Archbishop has not merely countenanced but has actively fostered terrorism." This is a clear criminal offence of the gravest character under which I am not sure he could not be sentenced to death under the powers of the Governor's proclamation.
Why is he not brought to trial? We are supposed to be a country dedicated to the principle of the rule of law. Why are we sheltering in this cowardly way behind deportation to the Pacific when smaller men are being tried today in Cyprus? If this is the big fish who has organised all this alleged murderous conspiracy let him be brought to trial, otherwise the whole position of the Government stands condemned as one of massive insincerity.
§ Mr. Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)
If the hon. and learned Gentleman thinks that the Seychelles Island is in the Pacific he stands condemned of I do not know what.
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones
I am sorry if I have offended the geographical knowledge of the hon. Member. I know, of course, that it is in the Indian Ocean. If, however, the policy of the Government was pacific, perhaps we could get a little further with settling the problem of Cyprus.
448 That brings me to the note on which I wish to end my remarks. Hon. Members opposite are somewhat devoted to the writings and memory of Edmund Burke. In a difficult situation the country was in when Edmund Burke was in this House, he uttered these famous words which, I submit to the Government, are words which they should consider at the present time in regard to Cyprus. He said:When peaceful methods fail force remains, but when force fails nothing remains.Let the Government ponder those words.
§ 6.45 p.m
§ Mr. Patrick Maitland (Lanark)
I hope that the hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South (Mr. Elwyn Jones) will spare me the obligation of pursuing him on his legal field day. I followed his geography with interest, puzzlement and, at times, apprehension. I suppose that we must take it that he knows where Cyprus is, but he did tell us three times that the Archbishop had been detained in the Pacific Ocean an error of some 7,000 miles—this from an hon. Member who had just berated an hon. Friend of mine for inaccuracy.
Before alluding to one or two remarks by hon. Members opposite, may I join in paying a sincere tribute to the speech which we heard this afternoon from the Prime Minister. This was an oration, delivered on a great occasion. It was an oration—almost Periclean at times—which will undoubtedly be recalled with gratitude by subsequent generations who will have seen our country drifting into a position of some weakness. Generations to come may well recall this as, indeed, the turn of the tide.
The right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), whom I am sorry is not now in his place, alluded to the Church leader in Cyprus. I am sure that I shall carry Catholics and Protestants on both sides of the House with me when I say that, whatever else may be said about the Archbishop, he is not tainted with the heresies of modernism. There may be some who would describe him as a mediaeval bigot. I would not go as far as that. I would say that it is natural to assume, in discussing the Cyprus problem, that the leader of the Church in Cyprus is expected by the Cypriot people to be a political leader. Therefore, it is not 449 realistic to imagine that the Archbishop in Cyprus will behave like a diocesan bishop in this country. But if at times some of us have thought that some priests and clergy in this country were reactionary in their theological treatment of science and Darwin in the last century, I suggest that the Archbishop, in his evident endeavour to help forward the union of the Hellenic world as a single national State straddling the Mediterranean, has been equally reactionary and unworthy of his great position in the modern world: for his position as Church leader in Cyprus commands him to interpret his obligations in the light of the world today.
The right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery did also suggest, as others have done, that running through all this on the Cypriot side is a natural element of suspicion of the British begotten of misunderstanding in the past. He asked what we offered the Cypriots which they had not had already. The answer is that the present constitutional offer set out in the White Paper is a considerable advance on the proposals of 1948.
But those who argue—and I think that it could with some sympathy be argued—that the Cypriots have an inherent and justifiable suspicion of this country and find that the proposals put forward by the Colonial Secretary are vague, might also reflect on this. In the entire assembly of the Commonwealth of nations there are some 630 million people. Yet with only one or two exceptions, such as the Protectorates bordering the Union of South Africa, there is representative government throughout, save only for one half million people in Cyprus who have consistently refused to take this step.
The hon. Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. K. Robinson) suggested that we had entered these negotiations in a spirit of bad faith. If I am misrepresenting what he said—I am sorry that he is not here—I feel sure that someone will correct me. I was one of those on these benches who, having been a philhellene for many years, and having been deeply concerned and anxious about the problem of Cyprus, urged upon the Government the need to negotiate with the Archbishop. But when I did so I had already heard the Archbishop's declaration, in a sermon in the Phaneromeni 450 Church in Nicosia on his return from the United Nations, when he declared in Greek, which I can still understand to this extent which means "Never have a constitution" and which means "Down with the idea of a constitution ".
I think that it is fair to say that these negotiations were a test of faith both ways. So what I regret is that at the end of this chapter the charge of bad faith has to be levied against the Archbishop. His terms were set out quite plainly on 13th October, and reproduced in HANSARD in a Written Answer given to the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths). On that occasion the Archbishop was recorded as having said that, after the official recognition of the right of the Cyprus people to self-determination, he… would be willing to co-operate with the British Government in framing a constitution of self government "—not laying down a lot of conditions before-hand—and putting it into immediate operation."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th November, 1955; Vol. 546, c. 42.]Now the Archbishop has accepted the British statement of 5th March, but before collaborating at all in advancing a constitution he has introduced critical new reservations relating chiefly to the use of force.
The first point, therefore, is that the Archbishop changed his ground. In this matter it is already admitted that security is the crux. The Archbishop had made it clear that he was only willing to go forward with constitutional negotiations if his own gunmen were allowed out of gaol to dominate the scene. Thereby, the Archbishop made serious confession, because he was admitting in effect that he could not trust a Cypriot Parliament, once it came into being and was in control of its own exchequer, to vote itself out of existence one day and to vote Cyprus into the position of a distant province of far-off Greece—unless the Archbishop's gunmen were there to terrorise the Cypriot Parliamentarians.
It is also worth bearing in mind that each time the Archbishop has left the island in recent years, whether to go to Athens or the United Nations or to make his bizarre appearance at Bandaung, there has been a falling off of tension within 451 the island. Indeed, some of the most eager leading articles in the Cypriot Press in favour of Enosis have called, after the Archbishop has been absent a few weeks, for the revival of Cypriot morale, and have said, "We must strengthen the home front and our leader must come home to lead us." In other words, there is a considerable case for saying, on past experience alone, that things are very much quieter in the island when the Archbishop is not there.
It may well be said that violence does not pay. Indeed, if I understood him aright, that was the burden of the most moving peroration which we heard from the Tight hon. and learned Member for Montgomery. If violence does not pay, why do we ever fight a war?
§ Mr. Maitland
Either violence pays and war is justified or violence is unjustified, in which case there is no point in self-defence at all.
§ Mr. Maitland
But there is a further point. Supposing the Cypriots had followed the example of Indians—if I may take the words out of the mouth of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes)—they might indeed have achieved more, that is, if they had proceeded with a policy of non-violence. However, that is what they have abjured. What stands out in recent weeks is not that Cyprus has been exposed to violence but that violence has been exercised by a very small number of people. What is significant from all the photographs of demonstrations and the accounts available in Greek or English is that, broadly speaking, the noise is made mostly by young people. The grown-ups stay indoors. They deplore violence and are longing for it to be brought to an end at any cost.
I have friends who have been in contact with the Eoka movement. It is interesting that even within Eoka there have been complaints that it was not being supported by the Cypriot public and that, for instance, at Christmas time, when their heroes were freezing and shivering in the mountains, nobody brought parcels to their families in Nicosia to send on to 452 them. Because of that, because it had no genuine support among the public, Eoka had to try to compel the Archbishop to obtain an amnesty now. Eoka realised that there was little chance of its members getting power under their own steam and being able to release their own men for themselves. The decision to remove the Archbishop, as undoubtedly in league with Eoka, will prove, after a certain period of turmoil, to have been welcome to the people of Cyprus, simply for the sake of peace and order.
But this problem, of course, is not only a problem of Cyprus. I have been an earnest lover of Greece since I first went to that country in 1937. Indeed, my love for Greece was deepened when I served as a war correspondent with the Greek Army in 1940 and 1941, after what was known as the historic O×1, the historic moment when the whole nation surged up behind the dictator to deny passage to an enemy army.
Mr. Maitland Damaskinos
was not prominent at that time, but no doubt the hon. Member will have a chance to make his speech in due course.
Since this problem became acute, which is since Greece came into N.A.T.O., I have done my best, in conversation in Athens and with Greek friends here in this country, to make Greeks realise that violence was no more likely to achieve results in Cyprus than it was in Malaya and Kenya.
§ Mr. Maitland
On the contrary. In some places—such as Ireland—it has been very successful; but not in Kenya and Malaya.
I have tried to suggest to my Greek friends that the greater includes the less, and that security for the Commonwealth system and the free world is indeed more important than the luxury of self-determination in a particular place. The great Powers have asserted that in the Austrian Treaty. I have tried to stress to them that self-determination is meaningless without self-government, and that self-government demands bona fide co-operation. I have tried to tell them that to tear a territory from one ally and to add it to another's against the will of 453 a third is scarcely realistic at the very crossroads of the world.
I have tried to suggest that, at the end of the day, Greek freedom and security are inseparable from those of the Commonwealth system. I have urged that to achieve the visible union of the Hellenic world, which includes Constantinople and Alexandria as well as Cyprus, Athens and Salonika, they have to think of some new political form other than the nineteenth century concept of a national State. I have tried to suggest that, living alongside a multi-racial and multi-national Commonwealth, it is worthy of Greece, if she recalls her great traditions, to think of something new. What is now known as the Macmillan offer was made by my right hon. Friend the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the conference in September. It was a great offer because he suggested, and he confirmed it in the Cyprus debate just before Christmas, that we were indeed ready to consider some system of common citizenship worthy of the twentieth century and of the complexity of the problem.
But no; those things, which have been said by others as well as by myself, fell upon deaf ears in Athens. They fell upon ears that had been poisoned not only by propaganda but by frustration; poisoned by poverty, poisoned by economic dependence on outside Powers; poisoned by a sense of not having a sufficient say in the world, poisoned and corrupted—
§ Mr. Maitland
I have nearly finished, and the hon. Gentleman will have his chance.
Violence has followed, and it has come to cause a deep rift in Greco-British relations that may take years to heal, and has certainly weakened the N.A.T.O. alliance and the Balkan Pact. For me, personally, this is a needless disaster; needless, because in the last ten years imagination and moral courage on both sides—in Britain and Greece—
§ Mr. Maitland
—could have averted it. But the thing has gone too far. To me personally, as a philhellene, this seems to portend a rift with one of the dearest 454 friends of my life, with whom it is not now possible even to correspond in spite of all my endeavours to keep contact because in a seeming reflex of this National Greek anger letters go unanswered.
Yet our national obligation is first, to the security of the Commonwealth system as a whole whatever it costs. After that our obligation is to the peoples of Cyprus, not least to free them from terrorism and domination by gunmen whom they do not want and who are led from the mainland of Greece.
Throughout the Near East we—by which I mean Britain and the Commonwealth—face a crisis of the will. I thank God that the Government, having sought a reasonable accommodation, have not flinched from certain uproar, misunderstanding and misrepresentation abroad. I pray God that this is indeed the turn of the tide, and that we are now on the way to reasserting our interest throughout the Middle East.
§ 7.3 p.m.
§ Mr. E. L. Mallalieu (Brigg)
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Lanark (Mr Patrick Maitland) seemed to me to have rather too comfortable an idea about the attitude of the Cypriot people towards recent events. According to the hon. Gentleman they were almost glad that the Archbishop had been deported and, also according to the hon. Gentleman, they did not really want Enosis—
§ Mr. Maitland
I am much obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman for giving way. I know that I did not give way to other hon. Gentlemen, but he and I are old friends. What I meant to suggest was not that the people of Cyprus do not want Enosis, nor that they do not love their Archbishop, but that they are happy to be freed from their gunmen.
§ Mr. Mallalieu
And, presumably, happy to be freed of their Archbishop whom they love, because they are pleased with the deportation, according to the hon. Gentleman.
I was a boy at the time, but I can remember these things being said about Ireland. It was said that if only the British would take a sufficiently strong line there we would have the Irish behind us. It did not happen, and in General Election after General Election enormous majorities were returned for the popular 455 party. The situation is the same in Cyprus today. It would, indeed, be unwise for us to take that rather too comfortable view which the hon. Member for Lanark has taken.
As one who has watched the unfolding of the treatment of our fellow subjects in the Colonies by right hon. Gentlemen opposite in the last few years, being a fair-minded person—as on these benches we nearly all are—I had practically come to the conclusion that at long last the Tories were beginning to learn something from their past mistakes. For instance, they did not upset the movement towards the freedom of the Sudan. Also, they have been much more reasonable than the Tories had been in the past in the matter of Malaya. It is true that they made a crucial blunder about a certain federation in Africa but, all the same, I was coming to the conclusion that they were beginning to learn and that perhaps we would be saved in future from some of the rather more crude blunders to which their outlook on life had generally led them in the past.
Now, with regard to Cyprus, all fair-minded people on this side of the House and, I suspect, secretly a good many on the other side of the House, where there are one or two fair-minded people, are beginning to realise that about Cyprus there has been such blindness that it needs to be seen to be believed. For my own part, I believe that it would only be right to deprive a people of its right to self-determination if the effects of granting that right were so deplorable upon other people, minorities and their neighbours in particular, as to make the granting of that right morally wrong. I would not hesitate to say that in the case of Cyprus there are outside considerations. No one, on this side of the House at any rate, has pretended that the settlement of the Cyprus question was an easy thing to achieve.
In my submission, most of the ill-effects which might follow the granting of self-determination for Cyprus would come not upon us alone but upon all the Powers who are interested in N.A.T.O. Therefore, it is ridiculous for us to cling to the sovereignty of Cyprus and insist upon the flying of the Union Jack over that island, when, if only we were prepared not to appear the sole arbiters of its fate but to consult properly with those 456 whose interests ought to be consulted, a very different situation might have been reached. One can see this in the remarks of Senator Knowland, who realises that in America, they, being part of N.A.T.O., have as much interest in this matter as we have.
The Cyprus interest, so far as N.A.T.O. is concerned, is on two grounds. There is the interest of N.A.T.O. in having a base on Cyprus or, as the Government seem to prefer it, Cyprus as a base. There is also the interest of N.A.T.O. in keeping the peace among N.A.T.O. members. At present, the base is being jeopardised by the policies of the right hon. Gentleman there, and the keeping of the peace as between various N.A.T.O. Powers is jeopardised, to say the least of it.
To be frank, I do not suppose that this latter would be altered very much if we were to clear out. But, then, nobody has suggested that we should clear out, and most of the arguments of hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to be based upon the assumption that those who do not agree with them want to walk out straight away, which is very far from being the case. I have submitted before, and I submit now to this House, that it is ridiculous to have a situation wherein we, who derive no national benefit from being in Cyprus, should have the whole burden to bear instead of sharing it with those other countries which are just as much interested in it as we are.
What have we done? By clinging to this sovereignty in this rather old-fashioned way we have given three impressions. First, we have given the impression that we have a national axe to grind, which I think is quite wrong and, secondly, that we are against the principle of self-determination. Even this afternoon in this House there has been a great deal of shilly-shallying on that point, if not by the Front Bench opposite at any rate by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston, North (Mr. J. Amery), who proclaimed himself to be very much in support of the Government on this occasion.
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman was speaking with their knowledge? At any rate, he has given them such support and pressure behind the scenes recently that they have done what they have done in the last few days in Cyprus. I have no doubt that most hon. Members opposite realise that he and his friends have brought this 457 pressure to bear upon the Government and, therefore, presumably, their views on self-determination have now been adopted by the Government.
The third thing that we have given the impression of doing is that we are prepared to stamp on the rights of small people simply because we have the power to do it. I do not believe that any of these things are right, but how much more foolish it is on that account that we should appear to give these impressions. If we had been prepared to take other people—the N.A.T.O. Powers—into this affair at a very much earlier stage than now, we should most certainly have won the sympathy of the whole Western world in our difficulties.
I know that some people say—and, indeed, the Prime Minister himself said it this afternoon—that we have other interests in Cyprus beyond a mere N.A.T.O. interest—that we have certain treaty obligations, the Tripartite Declaration, and so forth, regarding the Israel-Arab dispute, for which we must have a base in that part of the world.
I am not a military man, and would not like to lay down the law on that sort of thing, but if it is true that we must have a base in that part of the world, let us have a base which we can use, and not one which every day we are making less usable by reason of our stupid policy. I believe that if we wanted such a base, we could perfectly well get it in Israel, but that is another story. If we did have that base there, we could no doubt carry out the obligations which we feel obliged to carry out under our treaties. What I feel sure we shall never do is carry out those obligations from a base surrounded by a hostile people.
As for the actual negotiations, which have been broken off in a rather crude manner by Her Majesty's Government, I must say that the impression has been made upon me, by reading the documents which we have been given to read in the White Paper, that the Archbishop has by no means been an unreasonable negotiator. Of course, he is a Levantine with a tortuous mind, who must be an exasperating person to deal with, but I believe that we could have had peace on honourable terms, as far as we are concerned, and on terms which would have satisfied the people of Cyprus, if only we had not rather crudely cut off these negotiations.
458 After all, defence was to be reserved to the Governor, along with foreign affairs; and even law and order was to be reserved for a very considerable time. There was some dispute on the wording, but it was only a dispute as to the wording with regard to the question of law and order. In my submission, the Archbishop would have been more than willing, had he had an assurance on one other point to which I shall come in a moment, to accept a form of words such as that the Governor should have power over law and order "until conditions return to normal," or some such words. I believe that he would have accepted the reservation of this power to the Governor if he had been satisfied on one other point, and, of course, it is a big one—the point concerning the membership of the Assembly which is to be set up under the new constitution.
Is there really any doubt that what has been happening was this? The Government had all along said that there should be an elected majority, and they stuck to that to the bitter end in the statement made by the Colonial Secretary and never budged from it one bit. And the reason why even in cross-examination in this House he has refused to budge from it is probably the reason which has never been denied but which I hope someone will deny tonight if it is not correct, that although the Government's intention was to see to it that there should be an elected majority yet they also intended lo have so many nominated members of the new Assembly that the nominated members and the Turkish representatives would easily be able to outvote the Greek elected representatives.
If that is not true, can it be denied tonight? Obviously the Archbishop is very strongly suspicious on this point. He believes that that was the intention of the Government, and if that was the intention of the Government it would have completely taken away from the generosity of any offer of self-government that we might make in a new constitution. I believe that even now, if the Government had the courage to reverse the engines and recall the Archbishop and negotiate with him—because they certainly will not be able to negotiate with anybody else—if they had the courage to do that and were prepared to tell him that there would be not only an elected majority in the Assembly but that there 459 would be no nominated members, he would accept everything else, including the law and order provisions which the Government have tried to put forward.
It is worth trying. It may very well be that a constitution would be set up in the calmer conditions which might then prevail, and I feel convinced that if that constitution were set up and those calmer conditions did prevail, the ultimate settlement of the future of the island would be one which we, the British, as well as the Turks and the Greeks, could all accept with a feeling that they had not been dishonourably treated and that the future was reasonably bright.
I believe that the right hon. Gentleman has made a profound blunder in cutting off these negotiations. It is always better to keep negotiations going rather than to take a step which prevents them taking place, and which must lead, as I would have thought, although I may be proved wrong, to a continuation of the bloodshed on the island which every one of us wishes to avoid.
If that is the case, the right hon. Gentleman should have the courage to try to get himself and ourselves out of the mess in which he has placed us, because really the party opposite has dragged the name of this country through the mud—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—in the way in which they used to gibe at us and say that we had pulled the country into the mire over some trivial matter of the taking away of some of their privileges. They have dragged the country through the mire, and if they want confirmation of that view they have only to read the world Press.
How have they done it? One can understand that somebody negotiating with a man with the character of a Levantine, which is tortuous to our way of thinking, might become exasperated. That is a human failing which we can all understand. It might happen to anybody, and any of us might make the mistake. If that is the reason, let the right hon. Gentleman come out clean and reverse the engines, as I have suggested, and say that there will be no nominated members. If he will not do that, are we not entitled to assume that the reason why the party opposite has got us into this mess—and, indeed, got the whole N.A.T.O. alliance into this mess—is because they have taken 460 such smacks in the last few weeks and months in this House that they have said to themselves, "We simply must show that we are men, and not cissies."[Laughter.] I suggest that, instead of laughting, hon. Gentlemen opposite might come out and stand up against the Government which has done this thing.
What is the way they thought of to show us what men they are? They lurked about in an aerodrome and jumped out on an unarmed Archbishop. I hope they are feeling better for it—bigger men in consequence of it all, that their virility has been enhanced by it in their own eyes; because it does not need me to tell them that it has not been enhanced in anybody's else's eyes, and least of all the eyes of their friends on the other side of the Atlantic in the American Republic.
I hope that, for a change, some hon. Members opposite will lead a revolt against this use of the big fist and the policy of getting tough in which hon. Members opposite have been so much encouraged to indulge by their newspapers. If that were to take place and they succeeded in overthrowing the sickly lot who have been leading them for so long, this country's reputation for justice, decency and dignity might be restored.
§ 7.20 p.m.
§ Mr. Ian Harvey (Harrow, East)
In his rather strange speech, the hon. and learned Member for Brigg (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu) recommended my hon. Friends to adopt tactics which I understand are more familiar to his own party. Let me tell him at once that there has never been any form of difference of opinion whatsoever on the Government benches about the policy of Her Majesty's Government, and my right hon. Friend has the fullest support of all hon. Members on this side of the House in the very difficult action which he has recently had to take.
I must at once deal with the observations of the hon. and learned Member about our handling of the Archbishop. Very noticeable in this debate has been the complete lack of consideration on the part of hon. Members opposite of outside considerations relating to problems in Cyprus and their complete disregard of the interests of the very N.A.T.O. Powers to which the hon. and learned Gentleman drew our attention. He seemed to consider that his description of the Archbishop as a Levantine with a tortuous 461 mind was accurate. I cannot believe he really thinks that of a man who, I understand on very good authority, has been found to have been the centre and mainspring of the agitation which has caused all negotiations about Cyprus to break down.
§ Mr. E. L. Mallalieu
If the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Ian Harvey) really believes this sort of stuff about the Archbishop, and if there is the unanimity among his hon. Friends which he says there is, why do they not put the Archbishop in court and try him? According to their estimation, the Archbishop has been found guilty of a charge for which I do not know what the punishment is, but he could at least be brought up in court and tried.
I should like to answer another point made by the hon. Member. He suggested that my hon. Friends were not interested in N.A.T.O. I devoted a third of my short speech to dealing with N.A.T.O., saying that hon. Gentlemen opposite had ruined N.A.T.O., and pointing out the way in which N.A.T.O. could be restored.
§ Mr. Harvey
With regard, first of all, to the point about the Archbishop, there is, admittedly, in this case the question of underlying national feeling. I should have said that my right hon. Friends have had very great regard for the national feeling which may have directed the Archbishop in his actions, and that would make it reasonable not to proceed against him more severely than has been done. However, there can be no justification for a man in that position who also holds a high religious office not only conniving at but using methods of force in the negotiations which we have been trying to carry through. There is ample evidence from all that has happened subsequent to the Archbishop's deportation that he was the mainspring of the operations against Her Majesty's Government's policy.
§ Mr. Harvey
The evidence has been disclosed. We are only at the beginning of these proceedings.
The hon. and learned Gentleman said that he had devoted his speech to proving that these actions could have been better undertaken by N.A.T.O. I thought he 462 showed a very considerable disregard of what are actually the N.A.T.O. interests in the Middle East. I failed to understand from his description of the measures which he recommended to us any comprehensive plan for an alternative procedure. In fact, anyone who can suggest that our base in Cyprus is not necessary to N.A.T.O. defence and can, furthermore, propose that it would be a good thing to move it to Israel at this stage of the proceedings just does not begin to understand the fundamental problems of N.A.T.O. defence in the Middle East. I can think of nothing more inflammatory, more unwise and more impossible than that suggestion. The hon. and learned Gentleman very wisely said, although he need not have done so, that he had no comprehension of the problems of defence. We can certainly accept that part of his argument.
The whole tone of the Opposition case this afternoon—if it can be called "tone"—was set by the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan), who said that Cyprus is only a small affair. We are given to understand that the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale would, in the unfortunate event of the Labour Party coming into power again, hold the high office of Secretary of State for the Colonies. Anyone who can in present circumstances say that Cyprus is only a small affair shows a lamentable understanding of the problem which confronts us. It is, of course, true that if we were considering this single problem in isolation from all other considerations—this point has been made abundantly clear in authoritative speeches from the Government Front Bench—the problems with which we are confronted would be very much simplified. It is, however, lacking in responsibility in regard to our obligations in the world today to think that such an attitude can reasonably be taken.
§ Mr. Harold Davies
The hon. Member has accused my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) of saying that Cyprus is only a small affair. He has left that remark out of its context in relation to the total logistics of the Middle East, bearing in mind the oil problem and the problem of the defence of the Middle East. My right hon. Friend said that in comparison with the whole problem, Cyprus itself was only a small affair.
§ Mr. Harvey
I am much obliged to the hon. Member for underlining what his right hon. Friend said, for it proves not only that the right hon. Gentleman does not understand the problem but that the hon. Member himself does not understand it. I realise that the hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Harold Davies) has always been more closely allied with the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale than many of his colleagues have been in the past, and I can quite understand the reasons for the attitude which he has now taken.
Another aspect of the debate has been the Opposition's general presentation of its case. It has been suggested that Cyprus has been a totally suppressed nation, that we have done nothing in the past Ito make it a better place, that we have neglected our obligations, and that the upsurge led by the Archbishop is a justifiable and reasonable one. The whole of that point was very comprehensively disposed of by the former Minister of State for Colonial Affairs who has now gone to another place. In a statement in this House on 28th July, 1954, he made it very clear that the British administration in Cyprus had brought prosperity to the island and had safeguarded the interests of all sections of the community. I thought this afternoon that the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale was surprised to learn that there were any other sections in Cyprus; in fact, we have begun to feel that some right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite think only of one man in Cyprus—Archbishop Makarios.
Furthermore, the then Minister of State made it clear that we had stabilised the position in the Middle East so far as it could be stabilised in the very difficult situation which has arisen. Over a period of ten years, £15½ million has been spent in Cyprus by the British Government. That is a reasonable record, and it does not in any way justify the picture which has been painted by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite.
I want also to refer to the point made by the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), with regard to the Government's negotiations. I fail completely to understand what his objection was. He said that if my right hon. Friend and the Governor of Cyprus intended to deport Archbishop Makarios the Governor had no right to express, 464 in his communication, his satisfaction about the Archbishop's seaming willingness to negotiate. I see no reason why we should not accept good fatih at its face value until it is proved to be bad faith. Subsequently, it was proved to be bad faith, and the Governor took action which I regard as being the right action to take in order to stabilise the position.
I am sorry for the right hon. Member who asked my right hon. Friend why the Government did not tell the House that they were going to take this action. I really think that that was probably the silliest question which has been asked in this House for a very long time. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that the Government should tell the Archbishop that they were proposing to deport him. This is rather like ringing up a murderer and saying, "In two days we are coming to arrest you." Apparently that is the way in which the right hon. Gentleman thinks that the Government should conduct their affairs in dealing with these critical situations.
Nobody on either side of the House believes that a policy of deporting any leader is one that should be resorted to except in absolute extremity. From all the facts which have been disclosed, it has been shown that the Government had done everything in their power to reach a solution, and that the situation had become one of absolute extremity. It is quite true that when we take action against a leader of this kind there is always the danger that we shall make a martyr of him, and thereby increase tension and resentment.
That is a risk which the Government have had to take; and I believe that they were right in taking it. If the Archbishop is the mainspring of this movement—as we believe he is—the action which the Government have taken may well prove to be the basis upon which law and order can be re-established. If that happens I am certain that the Government will find themselves acclaimed on all sides for their courage in this matter. Once that basis is re-established, negotiations can proceed, but it is quite impossible to conduct any further negotiations along the lines which have been adopted so far until that basis has been re-established. I am quite certain that my right hon. Friend has been right in taking this action.
465 I want to refer once again to the attitude of hon. Members opposite, who have dismissed completely from the picture the significance of Cyprus, first, in the sphere of defence—[Interruption.]—I have been listening to the speeches with the greatest care, and hon. Members opposite have dismissed the importance of Cyprus and have assumed that some other base can be found. Nobody has suggested what that base should be—
§ Mr. Harvey
—except for the hon. and learned Member for Brigg, who suggested Israel; and he knows what I think about that suggestion. It is quite clear that unless a satisfactory state of affairs exists in Cyprus to enable the base there to be properly maintained, it will not be effective.
§ Mr. Mallalieu
That is quite true. Her Majesty's Government are under an obligation to make sure that a satisfactory state of affairs is re-established, because if it is not the whole of our Middle East defence system will collapse. That is not a situation which any responsible Government can allow to develop.
Furthermore, the economic situation, as it is affected by oil, is very well known to all hon. Members. Any Government which allowed the situation to deteriorate to such an extent that these oil supplies were in jeopardy would reap a whirlwind of disaster for this country. My hon. Friends and I sympathise with my right hon. Friend in the action which he has had to take. We know that it has been distasteful to him. Because we know that, we honour him for the courage and determination with which he has taken it, and he will have the fullest possible support from all hon. Members on this side of the House when we divide tonight.
§ 7.36 p.m.
§ Mr. James Carmichael (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
On Monday last, when the Colonial Secretary made his report about the deportation of the Archbishop, he was congratulated by what is now known in this House as the "Suez rebels." My view is that the Suez rebels brought pressure to bear upon the Government in this matter. Every hon. Member who 466 has spoken from the other side of the House today has been associated with the Suez rebels.
§ Mr. Ian Harvey
I have never been associated under any circumstances with the "Suez rebels"—apart from my personal friendship with my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Leicester, South - East (Captain Waterhouse).
§ Mr. Carmichael
Surely the hon. Gentleman does not regard his right hon. and gallant Friend as anything other than the leader of the Suez rebels?
§ Mr. Harvey
The hon. Member really must not make this allegation. I have never subscribed to the policy of the so-called "Suez rebellion." It is quite wrong for the hon. Member to say that, all speakers from this side of the House have been associated with that group.
§ Mr. Carmichael
Most of the hon. Members who have spoken are. There was the hon. Member for Preston, North (Mr. J. Amery) and the hon. Member for Lanark (Mr. Patrick Maitland). They were associated with the "Suez rebels," who were quite obviously very pleased when the Colonial Secretary announced on Monday that he had deported the Archbishop.
In my view that was a disgraceful act of folly. The Archbishop was the principal negotiator in the discussions which were going on with the Governor, Sir John Harding. We are not now dealing with a people living in nineteenth century conditions; we are dealing, not with a primitive people, but with people who are educated and who want their independence. Why did we begin negotiating with the people of Cyprus, and why did we accept the idea that the Archbishop was the leading representative of the people?
One of the things which has been said today was that the Archbishop was the real cause of terrorism. It was said that he was undermining the basis of negotiations. An editorial in the New York Herald Tribune of 12th March says:Admitting all these difficulties, Americans are troubled by the Archbishop's exile and its probable effect on the fortunes of the Karamanlis Government in Greece, menaced as it is by Communists. They hope that the British move will prove less disruptive than now appears likely and that an equitable solution can be reached speedily. A reign of 467 violence in Cyprus, prolonged and bitter hostility among Greece, Turkey and Britain, can only profit the Soviet Union.That is the very grave mistake which this Government have made.
If we want to restore law and order we should remember what history has already indicated in the past. India has been mentioned today. If it had not been for the Labour Government India would probably not have been independent today. What happened in the case of Ireland? Strained relationships still exist between Ireland and this country.
Tension in the Middle East will aggravate the situation. One of the reasons for deporting the Archbishop was that he was a leader of gangsterdom in Cyprus. The Archbishop sent you a letter.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Carmichael) must remember that when he uses the personal pronoun "you" in this House he is supposed to be referring to me. If he addresses his remarks to me, he will keep in order automatically.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Further to that point of order. If the hon. Member means that I got a letter, I must explain that I did not get one either.
§ Mr. Carmichael
That is my mistake. The Archbishop sent a letter to Governor Harding on 2nd February. The Governor now regards him as a complete felon who never made any attempt at pacification, yet this is what the Archbishop said in his letter:To this pacification we shall contribute, naturally, in full measure of our powers by making the appropriate statement. However, such pacification will be brought about, more quickly than by anything else, by the policy to be followed simultaneously by Your Excellency. This should be a policy of appeasement capable of inspiring the citizens with a feeling of freedom and safety. Thus, emergency military measures and emergency legislation should be revoked and an amnesty should be granted for all political offences.The Governor replied to that letter on 14th February, less than a month ago. The reply indicated the Governor thought that the Archbishop had shown reasonableness; otherwise he would not have sent this letter, which said: 468I welcome the statement in your letter that Your Beatitude will contribute to the full measure of your powers in bringing peace to the island. I trust, therefore, that as soon as Her Majesty's Government make their statement of policy you will on your part make the appropriate statement as indicated in your letter and take active steps to use all your influence to bring an end to violence and disorder. I shall be glad to receive an early assurance from Your Beatitude on that point.The end of the letter from the Governor indicated that he was still prepared to meet the Archbishop and continue negotiations, because he said:In anticipation of a return to more peaceful and happy conditions I have submitted to Her Majesty's Government recommendations on the procedure to be adopted to sound all shades of opinion on the form the constitution should take, and I hope their decision on that subject will be published shortly. I trust that you will agree to participate in these deliberations which will set the stage for the political future of Cyprus.The policy has not been indicated.
Even in that hour, the Government were prepared to meet the Archbishop, who was, in the view of Her Majesty's Government, the leader of the Cyprus people at that time. Why did they deport him? Nobody has indicated why they deported him. If the Government thought he was the leader of the terrorist gang, why did they consult him? Why did not they examine him on what he was doing? The Government failed in that. They were entitled to put him on trial. They have put many people on trial in Cyprus, and there are many people in prison there. Why have the Government not accepted their responsibilities and put the Archbishop on trial?
The Government have made a serious blunder in deporting the Archbishop. If he had not been the leader it might have been possible to negotiate self-determination with some other person. The Government worked to the last minute with the Archbishop, and on the spur of the moment decided to deport him.
The hon. Member for Preston, North referred to the views of the American people. The Government must remember we cannot live in isolation in the world. The Press of the world has regarded the action of the Government in deporting the Archbishop as a serious blunder.
When are negotiations to start again? What will happen? There will be terror from all sides in Cyprus. What disturbs me, apart from the position of the 469 civilians in Cyprus, is the position of young soldiers going out from this country to Cyprus. They will be killed, because of lack of statesmanship on the part of the Government.
§ Mr. Ian Harvey
Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that the activities of Archbishop Makarios have already resulted in a number of young men being killed.
§ Mr. Carmichael
The hon. Gentleman said while the Archbishop was in Cyprus people were being killed. The reason was that the Government's negotiations with the Archbishop started too late. The hon. Member for Lanark said tension would be reduced as the result of the deportation, and that every time the Archbishop left Cyprus there was peace. That is an attack on the Government. If the Archbishop is a terrorist why did the Government negotiate with him as the responsible leader of the people of Cyprus?
The Colonial Secretary must tell us the future policy of the Government. It would be a great act, probably easy for the Opposition but difficult for the Government, to return the Archbishop to Cyprus. Government supporters have the idea the Government have done right in deporting the Archbishop, but they have increased tension in the Middle East. Our greatest friends, the Americans, are up in arms against us. If the Government get their vote of confidence they should then go to the country to see whether the people back their policy.
§ 7.50 p.m.
§ Mr. R. Brooman-White (Rutherglen)
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Glasgow, Bridgeton (Mr. Carmichael) has spoken on the easy assumption, widely made by critics of the Government's policy, that if we went a bit further and accepted the Archbishop's views peace would be restored, the shooting in Cyprus would stop and everything would be easy—
§ Mr. Carmichael
I did not think that the negotiations would be done quickly but, having accepted the Archbishop as the leader of the people of Cyprus, we should not have deported him.
§ Mr. Brooman-White
The argument that I want to pursue—although in the interests of time and in view of the very full discussion we have had already I shall not pursue at length—is not whether this or that concession should have been made during the negotiations. I make this premise to begin with. Having studied the documents, and having followed such news as we have had from Cyprus, and having some knowledge of the island, I think that the development of the negotiations has shown that the Archbishop was not prepared to settle unless our concessions went to the point of granting the full Enosis demand—either because he believed in it himself, or because he did not dare cross swords with, or expose himself to, physical danger from the extremists of the underground who hold that view. Hon. Members will differ in their views as to whether that assumption is or is not valid, but its pros and cons have been extensively debated already tonight, and I shall simply base the rest of my speech on the view that we could not settle with the Archbishop.
The matter I want in particular to deal with is that of our wider commitments in that part of the world, of which not nearly enough has been said either in this House or in the Press, nor has it been sufficiently appreciated abroad. For instance, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) did not once. in the course of his speech, mention the mainland of Turkey, although he did speak of the Turkish minority in Cyprus. A good deal has been said about the sentiments of the people of Cyprus. Hon. Members and others have been eloquent about the strain put upon our long-established friendship with Greece, but in the spring of last year—before the heat really came on in Cyprus—I was in Turkey and found myself having great difficulty in establishing the close personal relationships which I used to enjoy with many Turkish friends in Istanbul. They were all highly critical of the British policy.
The situation subsequently continued to deteriorate, and even before things reached their present tension we had what in Turkey and Greece are referred to as "the regrettable events" of last September. Those have not so far been mentioned in this debate. But the simple 471 fact is that the Turkish people did not like the way things were going, and although hon. Members opposite have been speaking as though such things had not occurred or could be conveniently ignored—there were savage riots in Smyrna and in Istanbul. The World Council of Churches has estimated the damage resulting from these riots at about 150 million dollars—something which cannot be just brushed aside.
§ Mr. Brooman-White
I am not approving of the riots but simply saying that though the violence in Athens has been mentioned to the world the violence of these anti-Greek riots in Turkey has not been greatly publicised. Those riots show the feelings of the Turkish people. If any settlement reached in Cyprus was not acceptable to Turkish public opinion, such scenes, or worse, might recur. There is a Greek minority of 100 thousand people living in Turkey.
There is just one other point which concerns this minority position and the question of violence. The British commitment in the Middle East has been referred to and the hon. and learned Member for Brigg (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu) spoke of N.A.T.O. strategy and of the possibility of a N.A.T.O base in Cyprus to meet those commitments. Here I would assure the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bridgeton that I have not been associated with the Suez group—I was in favour of the withdrawal from the Suez and at various stages I have been in favour of concessions in the Cyprus negotiations going a good deal further than perhaps some of my hon. Friends would have wished. But there has been one very great difficulty to meet, and the more delicate the position in the Middle East as a whole the greater has become that difficulty. I refer not to the N.A.T.O. commitment in general, for which it would be relatively easy to provide, but to our special British Middle East commitments and to the Tripartite Declaration in particular.
To say, as the hon. and learned Member for Brigg has done, that we can abandon our base in Cyprus and move it to Haifa is to ignore the whole essence of that Tripartite Declaration which his 472 Government made in 1950. The Declaration is two-sided. It not only guarantees Israel from an attack by the Arabs; it also guarantees the Arabs against a preventive war launched from the Israeli side. How could that be done from Haifa? Where are we to do that from except from Cyprus? But if the Greek Government were to have sovereignty over Cyprus, or any material degree of responsibility for the position of forces in Cyprus, what action could we take? I ask hon Members opposite who have been so eloquent and who feel so deeply about this whole matter of the present dangers to Israel to ponder this. If the Greek Government had actual, or potential, power to interfere with British action in support of Israel against any Arab action which was supported by Egypt, what would be the position irrespective of political colour, of the Greek Government of the day? What could it do? or would it do?
§ Mrs. Jeger
The Americans, too, are signatories to the Tripartite Declaration. The American forces are based in Crete by arrangement with the Greek Government. If it is satisfactory for the American Government to carry out their obligations under the Tripartite Declaration from a base in Greece, why cannot a similar arrangement be worked out by ourselves?
§ Mr. Brooman-White
I ask the hon. Lady to follow my argument a little further. It may be that the arrangement in Crete is not as satisfactory to the Israeli leaders as they would like it to be. I am putting a hypothetical, but none the less valid question. If the Egyptians objected to us taking action from territory over which the Greeks had some say, remember that there is a Greek minority of between 80,000 and 90,000 in Alexandria. We saw in 1952 what the Egyptian mob could do in Cairo and Alexandria. What would the position of a Greek Government be? It may be that the Greek Government would defy the wishes of Egypt, and would not hamper or oppose any steps we thought necessary. But it is not a position that any politician would like to find himself in—to oppose the Egyptian wishes with a minority of his own nation a hostage in Egypt and subject to possible violence.
Those are the wider considerations and I have intervened in the debate only to 473 stress them. I do not think that they have been sufficiently stressed in the Press of our own country, nor have they been sufficiently appreciated in America or elsewhere.
The introduction to the White Paper says:It is not therefore their position that the principle of self-determination can never he applicable to Cyprus. It is their position that it is not now a practical proposition on account of the present situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.The time may come. It is the duty and the responsibility of Her Majesty's Government to work with continuing patience for an agreement which will satisfy the aspirations of the Cypriot people, which will smooth over the discord between Greek and Turk, settle the differences between Jew and Arab and, within the framework of a general easing of tension in the area as a whole, we can press forward along the road to an amicable settlement. We are now only at the beginning of that road. It is impossible to advance along it under the threat of gunmen in Cyprus and though I regret, as all of us must, the steps which the Government have now been forced by circumstances to take with their, we hope, temporary repercussions on Anglo-Greek friendship, I fully appreciate that this had to be done, and I fully support the action taken by my right hon. Friend.
§ 8.0 p.m
§ Mr. Francis Noel-Baker (Swindon)
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Rutherglen (Mr. Brooman-White) will forgive me if I do not follow his arguments in detail.
The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies knows—and I hope that right hon. and hon. Members in all parts of the House will guess—with what very deep regret it is that I take part in this debate. I will make what for me at least is an unsatisfactory and disappointing speech. I had hoped—and continued to hope until the moment last Friday when the Secretary of State telephoned to tell me, to my amazement and distress, of his decision to deport the Archbishop—that an honourable and just solution to the Cyprus problem would be found.
In those circumstances, the right hon. Gentleman had asked me for an undertaking, which I very willingly gave, not to make a speech in the debate. I wanted 474 to keep myself in a position where I might perhaps be useful to him, the Government, the Archbishop and to the people of this country in future negotiations.
The deportation has, in my view, for the time being shut the door on the possibility of any further negotiations towards constitutional progress in Cyprus, and in those circumstances the right hon. Gentleman has been good enough to release me from my undertaking, which, clearly, would have been very difficult for me to have maintained.
I want to thank him for that and for the courtesy and patience which he showed to me while I was in Cyprus at times, when I expressed to him in rather violent language, and perhaps in a rather impertinent way, my very strong views on the subjects which we were discussing. He conducted those negotiations in a very dignified way and I was happy to be working with him, much as I disagreed with his reactions on certain occasions.
I should like to assure the right hon. Gentleman that I still consider myself bound to respect the secrecy of anything which was told to me in confidence while I was in Nicosia or in London by himself, by the Prime Minister, by the Archbishop, by the Governor or by any other people whose confidence I enjoyed. I am extremely grateful for the confidence which I was given—perhaps in particular for the confidence shown me by His Beatitude the Archbishop, as well as by the various officials in the Colonial Office, Foreign Office, and elsewhere, who must have been terrified at this extraordinary, unorthodox and alarming intervention by a young back bench Member of the Opposition. This was a situation which, no doubt, also terrified some of the right hon. Gentleman's supporters. I should be sorry if anything I said in the debate offended any of the people who showed me that confidence while I was in Cyprus, but I have to do and say what I consider to be right, whatever the consequences may be.
I have to explain briefly my own position while I was out there, about which there has been some misunderstanding in the Press in this country and in Greece, and, possibly, in the minds of some hon. Members. I made my first visit to Cyprus from 2nd to 9th February on my own 475 initiative and at my own expense. I made it, like many other hon. Members, in order to look at a difficult and dangerous problem in which some of my constituents in the Wiltshire Regiment were involved. The only unusual features of my visit were that I had some previous acquaintance with the Archbishop and I had met the Governor on a couple of occasions, that I had followed the problem over a period, that I knew that part of the world fairly well, and that I was able to speak to the Archbishop in his own language.
When I arrived at Nicosia, I called at the Governor's house and I met the Archbishop, and I gradually found myself drawn into certain discussions which were taking place between the Governor and the Archbishop; and I did what I could to help. When I thought I had done all that I could usefully do at that stage, I came back to this country.
At this point, I hope it is not impertinent if I make clear my own personal feelings about the protagonists in this situation. As our talks progressed and as I got to know him better, I developed for the Archbishop a very sincere respect and admiration. It is my considered view that the Archbishop is a sincere, patriotic, honest, moderate and very remarkable leader of his people. Of course, he looks at the problem from his own point of view and, of course, that point of view is not identical with that of the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State or the Governor, but that the Archbishop was negotiating in perfectly good faith throughout the long months of talks and correspondence with the Governor I had not the slightest doubt.
If I had had the slightest doubt at any stage about the Archbishop's good faith, about his desire or ability to reach agreement with the Government, or about his desire or ability to contribute to the pacification of the island, I should instantly have withdrawn from the negotiations and returned to this country. I could easily have done so, because I was the only person involved in the negotiations who was responsible only to himself.
Of the other protagonist in the negotiations, the Governor, I hope it is not impertinent for me to say that I respect and admire him very deeply. I considered it a great privilege to be allowed 476 to work with him, as did everybody on the island, including the Archbishop, who had anything at all to do with him. He brought to his appallingly difficult task—perhaps in some ways uncongenial task—a combination of experience and personal qualities which it would have been very difficult to find anywhere else, and I hope that nothing I say can possibly be considered by anybody as an attack on Sir John Harding. All the responsibility for recent events must rest, obviously, not with the Governor but with the Government. As a result of their recent decisions, in my view the Government have placed the authorities in Cyprus, including the Governor, in an impossible position.
Next, I want to say a word about the extraordinarily patient and humane way in which, in my view, the British troops, many of them National Service men, have faced the dangerous, wearying and very unpleasant and degrading duties which they have been called upon to carry out. It is natural that many of them should not understand the complexities of the political situation in Cyprus. Why should they? It is natural that many of them should not understand the particular characteristics and the mental make-up of the Cypriots. That is not their job.
The troops are doing first-class work in very difficult circumstances, and it was a matter of amazement to me that so very few unpleasant incidents had taken place in view of what had been going on in recent months. I am bound to say, at this stage, that I was deeply impressed while I was in Cyprus by the absence of the dramatic atmosphere of hatred which I had been led, by reading the newspapers in this country, to expect.
Some hon. Members have referred to the fact that a great many Cypriots, like a great many people in other parts of the world, merely wanted to lead a quiet life. That does not mean that the feeling for union with Greece is not deeply rooted in the heart of every Greek living on the island. Nevertheless, I met with extraordinary kindness and friendliness, not only to the British but between Greeks and Turks on the island—a kindness and friendliness which left me speechless.
On one occasion when I went to a Greek village a little group of children collected shouting Eoka slogans. Five 477 minutes later I was sitting in the village café and the same children came to me with bunches of flowers. My driver, who was a Turk, was sitting on the other side of the café discussing the differences between Christendom and Islam. It is extraordinary how reasonable and how restrained the ordinary people of both communities are at present. I was very much impressed by that.
If I may briefly conclude my account of my own small part in this business, the second time I went to Cyprus I went there at the invitation of the Archbishop, with the knowledge and approval of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, but I did not go there as an emissary or representative of anybody at all. I think the Secretary of State will recall that I made it perfectly clear that I insisted that I was not to be used as a weapon in the negotiations on one side or the other and that if anybody in Cyprus asked me to do things which I did not believe to be right I should instantly clear out and go home.
Of course, that puts me in a very difficult position now. I speak, as I am bound to speak, much more in sorrow than in anger, and I certainly do not want to score any cheap party political points. I cannot, therefore, express my views about the negotiations nor publicly say where I think the responsibility for the failure lies. Perhaps I am entitled, however, to draw to the attention of the House a report from the correspondent of The Times, published today, in which he says that hehas come to the conclusion that the talks with Archbishop Makarios should not have broken down, at least when they did. This is not the view merely of one or two minor and possibly disgruntled or prejudiced philhellenic officials; apart from the Greek Cypriots or the Greek representatives here, who are naturally unanimous, and for the most part genuinely so, that the deportation of Archbishop Makarios was a blunder, there are evidently many others who think that agreement might, and should if possible, have been reached.I think I am also entitled to mention the views of the American Government, which have been put very clearly, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, to the Prime Minister and his colleagues. A report in The Times today says that there was growing concern in the Government of the United States over the deportation of the Archbishop, and a statement by an 478 official spokesman of the State Department said,The important thing is to get into an atmosphere in which negotiations can be resumed.Apart from quoting those things, I obviously cannot express any personal opinion about what happened.
I have been saddened by a great deal that has been said in this debate. I was saddened by the fact that the Prime Minister did not at any point in his speech say a kind or generous word about our old friends and allies the Greeks. I beg the Colonial Secretary, when he replies to the debate, to try to repair that damage. After all, if it is a realistic fact, as it is, that the Island of Cyprus is only a few miles from Turkey, it is also a realistic, hard fact that, in 1940, Greece was the only country fighting on our side with us in the Second World War. We owe an immense debt of gratitude for the support, loyalty and friendship shown to us by the Greeks during and after the war, and at times the same could not be said of some other countries to whose interests we have shown a great susceptibility.
I have been saddened by the fact that throughout this debate no adequate assurance has been given to allay the very natural suspicions and fears of the Turks. In my view, the Turks have two, and only two, legitimate points of interest in this matter. The first is that nothing that is done in the future should prejudice the rights and freedom of the Turkish community on the Island of Cyprus. The second is that Cyprus should never become a place from which the security of Turkey could be menaced. On both those points I think it is possible to give the most categorical assurance. Certainly, the Archbishop, for his part, was prepared to lean over backwards to make any concession suggested to him to protect the rights of the Turkish community. Among other curious things I did in Cyprus, I took a message of good will from the Archbishop to the Mufti to assure him that the Archbishop, and I was convinced that this was so, had much in mind the problems of the Turkish community.
Does anyone seriously believe that even with union with Greece, Cyprus could ever be a threat to the security of Turkey, as it looked as though Turkey might be a threat to the security of Cyprus in the early stages of the Second 479 World War? Throughout all the talks that have taken place the assumption has been that a British or an allied base would remain in Cyprus, not only in the transitional period, but even if there was a change of sovereignty in the future. Surely that should be an adequate guarantee for the Turks. After all, the Turks are our allies, like the Greeks in the Atlantic Pact.
I know that in the past I have been called pro-Greek. I am 100 per cent. pro-Greek and I am proud of it; but I am also 100 per cent. pro-Turkish, and I made that plain in Cyprus. I saw the representative of the Turks in Cyprus repeatedly. I do not want to say anything which might prejudice the rights of those people in that island, or to increase the bitter feelings which have been shown in the last few years. That would be a disaster for the Greeks, for the Turks, and for the whole free world. We have to reach a situation in which these peoples in Cyprus and in the Eastern Mediterranean can live happily and peacefully together.
I have been saddened by the attacks and allegations made about the Archbishop in this House during this debate, none of which would have stood up for one moment in a court of law. I believe them to be totally misleading and the Archbishop has been given no opportunity whatever to reply. A lot of wild things have been said about the relations of the Archbishop with E.O.K.A. and with the Communists. In a ridiculous speech made by an hon. Member opposite it was suggested he was a Communist agent. I am sorry that hon. Members have shown a complete misunderstanding of the point of view of the Archbishop.
About his relations with those responsible for acts of violence, I can only say this. I personally deplore the acts of violence which have taken place in Cyprus. I said that over and over again to the Archbishop when talking to him, but I understand his point of view absolutely. Of course, in anticipation of a full agreement with the British Government, he could not have taken part in a joint campaign with the Governor to pacify the island, if for no other reason than because the agreement and consequential measures taken by the Government would have been an essential part of the pacification process.
480 The Prime Minister said today, and I have heard the argument produced before, that we were not trying to tie the hands of the Archbishop, and asked why he could not agree to reserve his position about the constitution and meanwhile act with us in a campaign to pacify the island. Does not the Prime Minister realise that once the Archbishop put himself in a position where his enemies on the Left or Right would have denounced him as a British collaborator, his position would be absolutely impossible unless he was certain that collaboration with the British would be possible for him in the future? If, at the end of a long period of negotiations, we produced a constitution which could not possibly be accepted his whole position would have been finished. He would either have disappeared as a nonentity, or be driven into the hands of the extremists on one side or the other.
I very much hope that some of the wild things which have been said in this debate, for which I think there is no justification and to which the Archbishop has not had an opportunity to reply, will be withdrawn. Perhaps I could tell the House about the incident which occurred the day after our talks broke down. I went to the Archdeacon's house to say goodbye to him and said some things which might surprise some hon. Members. He asked me, "Did you hear those bombs go off an hour before we met?" I said, "Yes," and he said, "I do not know who did it, whether it was Communists or E.O.K.A. but whoever it was did it deliberately to try to wreck the talks, and if the Governor really believes that I can turn violence on or off like a tap he must think I am a peculiarly queer customer. I deplore those outbreaks."
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Would it not have been possible for him to have said that to a wider public than the hon. Member?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I do not want to get into a contentious argument with the right hon. Gentleman. This was said to me after the talks had failed, and at a time when the right hon. Gentleman had taken his decision to lock up the Archbishop. It was as I was leaving Cyprus. What opportunity was given to the Archbishop to say that publicly then? There was none whatever. As a matter of fact, the opportunities given to him to 481 express an opinion about violence he took wholeheartedly. There are references over and over again in the White Paper to his readiness to take such opportunities.
§ Mrs. Jean Mann (Coatbridge and Airdrie)
We were told this afternoon by the Prime Minister of three different occasions when negotiations had reached the stage that we could put down our case and await the reply, and the reply was to be based on the fact that the Archbishop would denounce violence. Can my hon. Friend tell us of one instance when, during that period, the Archbishop, the head of the Church, publicly denounced violence?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I think I have answered my hon. Friend. I deplore the violence which was used but I think I have made it clear that the Archbishop, in anticipation of a full agreement, could not have committed himself. He could not have committed himself to take part with the Governor in a campaign of pacification.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I do not want to be drawn into contentious arguments and talk about the negotiations. I can only say that I hope hon. Members in all parts of the House will believe me when I say that I am not trying to score party points. I am very certain of one thing: one day His Beatitude Archbishop Makarios HI will return to Cyprus as a hero. At that time some British Government will be only too ready to get the kind of agreement with him which, I believe, we could have got two weeks ago.
Above all, I have been saddened by the choice which appears to lie behind the action taken by Her Majesty's Government since the breakdown. I know that the dilemma that faced this country was a very difficult one. We had either to embark on a period of constitutional development and the grave risks that that involved. It might have been that the constitution would break down or that the Communists would get control of the island—all sorts of dangers had to be faced, and I do not minimise them in any way. On 482 the other hand, I see terrible dangers to the good name of this country and to the peace of the world in taking the other path.
At present, only two choices are open to the British Government. One is the path of constitutional development. In this, I believe that the Archbishop is not only an indispensable factor, but a very great potential British asset. The alternative is to give up all hope of constitutional development and to set forth on a path of direct rule, with all the consequences that that entails. It seems to me that that is the road on which the Government have now set their feet, and at the end of that road, I believe, lies disaster.
I end my speech with one last appeal to the right hon. Gentleman. I implore him, for the sake of the good name of this country, for the hope of peace in the Middle East, and for the sake of the lives of thousands of young British Service men and of thousands of Cypriots, to take up the negotiations where we left them off a few minutes before midnight in the Archdeacon's house in Nicosia, two weeks ago. I implore the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues to think again.
§ 8.21 p.m.
§ Mr. Hugh Fraser (Stafford and Stone)
It falls to me, as it might fall to any back bencher, on either side of the House, to pay tribute to the work of the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker), especially as we know that during the process of his work for this country he was bereaved. It is a notable fact, which some of our friends overseas, and, even more so, our enemies, might note, that it is possible for a Member from the Opposition side of the House to help the Government of the day in difficult and tragic negotiations. It has happened before. When the late Mr. Ernest Bevin was Foreign Secretary, he employed my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mr. F. Maclean) in the same way. It is a fine thing that that tradition should be maintained.
The hon. Member for Swindon talked of the Cyprus situation as tragic. No one is more ready to admit that than we on this side of the House. It is a tragedy, and, as the hon. Member said, it is a tragedy because all men appear to have been honourable. In that island of 483 Othello, there seemed to be no Iago present except one, and I suggest that the Iago of the plot was the question of violence and political trouble. Once there is political violence, all the other evils are overshadowed.
If the hon. Member for Swindon and some of his hon. Friends below the Gangway opposite look back on the history of Cyprus, they will see that the error throughout, whether we have had a Socialist or a Conservative Government in office, has been the rejection of a constitution and of democratic advance.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
If the hon. Member is inviting us to go back into history, will he tell us the last, or any, occasion on which liberty has been attained in the history of the British Empire without the exercise of violence by somebody?
§ Mr. Fraser
If the hon. Member looked closer at the history of Cyprus, he would see that the error has lain partially in the failure of the negotiations of right hon. Gentlemen opposite.
§ Mr. Fraser
I will answer it later. I refer the hon. Member to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. What about Nigeria, for example?
§ Mr. Fraser
The hon. Member is thinking of the Gold Coast. He should rub up his colonial history. He is thinking of Dr. Nkrumah. I will continue my speech The hon. Member should be better informed about colonial matters.
§ Mr. Fraser
When the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) and I were in Cyprus, we both suggested, as other hon. Members have suggested, that the easiest step for the Archbishop to take was to accept a constitution. The offer made by my right hon. Friend is far in advance of any offer made by right hon. Gentlemen opposite. The suggestion which we have put forward for the constitution is well in advance of anything that right hon. Gentlemen opposite could offer.
The party issue in this matter has arisen from the complete change of front by the 484 Labour Party in September, when it passed a resolution contrary to all the official pronouncements from its own Front Bench. Until then, hon. and right hon. Members opposite had said words to the effect that any question of change in the sovereignty in the Island of Cyprus was impossible. The right hon. Gentleman who was Minister of State in the Socialist Administration said so. Then, suddenly, in September, 1955, the resolution was put forward that self-determination should be granted as a right as soon as possible. I believe that that was one of the things which helped and abetted the violence which grew up in Cyprus It was inevitable that if its people believed that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite were prepared to support the case for self-determination, the atmosphere would immediately change. I believe that that was a major error on the part of hon. and right hon. Members opposite.
The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) asked whether we were talking about a base on Cyprus or Cyprus as a base. One only recalls the words of Mr. Balfour—a British base in Cyprus or Cyprus as a British base.It comes very oddly from some hon. Members opposite, who again and again have advocated that we should put teeth into the Tripartite Declaration, now to say that we should abandon the idea of Cyprus as a British base. Hon. Members who have been to the island will well know that if we have a base on Cyprus, Cyprus is a British base. So small is the size of the island that it is necessary to control the whole of it. That answers the elaborate metaphysical or semi-metaphysical question posed by the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale.
The other questions which have been posed, and which must be posed, concern the negotiations and when they were broken off or should have been broken off. No one else from the House was present except my right hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Swindon, but looking at the negotiations from outside it seems fairly clear that what had happened was that the Archbishop, whether or not he was an abetter or director of terrorism, had become a prisoner of terrorism and could not act without its support. That was the tragedy.
485 To my mind, the tragedy of Cyprus is the fact that, like many would-be revolutionaries before him, this man became the prisoner of his own organisation. The same thing has happened throughout revolutionary history. Doubtless, hon. Members opposite know more about that than I do. Again and again, an agitator has become a prisoner of his own Left-wing and could not move for fear of being destroyed by his own supporters. Even the hon. Member for Swindon, in his noble speech, said that one of the problems which had arisen was that the Archbishop could not come out against violence because had he done so he would have been destroyed by the Eoka movement. That is precisely the danger which arises in these matters.
Let us examine the evidence published in The Times. Is it possible to think that a man who allowed gangsters to work in his local printing presses and who had inside his house people who were well-known terrorists could move against such gangsters? The question of deportation is as simple an issue as it is tragic. The moment had come when the presence of Archbishop Makarios on the island of Cyprus was in itself a threat to law and order.
§ Mr. F. Noel-Baker
Does the hon. Gentleman really think it necessary, if that were the Government's view, to send the Archbishop to a remote island in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Could he not be allowed to go to Athens?
§ Mr. Fraser
Surely what we have got to decide is what should be done on this island. I do not take the same pessimistic view as the hon. Member for Swindon. I believe it is possible that the forces of law and order can be restored. I believe that the imposition of a tighter system of security will be salutary. I believe there are many people—there always are in countries where bombs are being thrown—who are waiting to see which side to support. That is true throughout the whole of the island. One sees, in other territories where there is agitation, people in the Government and in business and the ordinary civilians deciding which system will work in restoring law and order. I believe, therefore, that this action is salutary. I hope that my right hon. Friend will say something this evening about the necessary steps to be taken, such as the ship patrols, the special 486 branch and other action which should be taken.
There is a chance now in Cyprus to build up a democratic system. We cannot build it from the top, but let us at least start building something from the bottom. It is vital to know what people think, and the quickest way to find out is to ascertain how they vote. Hon Members may say that there is bound to be a reaction against this illiberal action of the Government, but I believe that this is a necessary action. It may be possible to build up organs of local government.
Some of the municipalities are still functioning, as are some of the development councils. I believe there is a sum of £37 million available, and it should be spent through local government administration. At this stage it would be a waste of time to try to go forward through the central constitution, but there is a fair chance of building up local authorities out of which would arise new leaders with whom we could negotiate on the wider issues.
This is a time when we can do something, and when law and order is enforced we can deal with the various problems which need to be solved in Cyprus. One matter which requires attention is land reform, for the holdings of the peasants have been broken up by inheritance. Surely here is a great chance to carry out a process of consolidation.
The Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus should be made into an officially established Church, and the question of Church land should be investigated. At the moment one of the great problems is that the bishops, through their control of Church wealth, have been able to keep the local parish priest on a stipend at their behest. There is this confusing situation in Cyprus where we have not merely the Archbishop but the political Ethnarchy of the people. Here is a chance for the political leadership to be divorced from the Church itself. The simplest way to do that is to establish the Church and see that the land is properly divided, with proper funds set up for the purposes of compensation, so that there will be a more prosperous peasant farming system.
There are possibilities also to go ahead with education and build up a system of 487 schooling which is more attractive than the purely humanistic teaching of so many of the Greek teachers. There is a chance for the schools established by the Government to run in parallel with modern schools which will be British and will teach technology and other advantageous subjects.
I am convinced that, in the difficulties of the Middle East and the necessity for a secure base, the Government have acted in the only possible way in which any British Government could have acted.
§ 8.34 p.m.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
It is important, when considering these issues, to concentrate one's mind on certain realities. The Prime Minister referred to one of those realities, which is the fact that Cyprus is a Turkish island thirty miles from the Turkish mainland and 600 miles from Greece. It covers the two new ports, Iskandoria and Mersa, which are the only ports that Turkey would be in a position to use in the event of a war with Russia. Therefore, its strategic importance to Turkey is as great as that of the Isle of Man is to Great Britain.
The second important point that we should bear in mind is this. There are some 250,000 Cypriots in Turkey, and in the very unfortunate riots last year they showed their strength. There are Cypriots here in London and in Greece but there are no Cypriots in Cyprus. In Cyprus there are Greeks and Turks, utterly separate communities with separate languages, a separate education and a separate religion, and therefore when we talk about self-government or self-determination what in fact we are deciding is which one of these communities shall submit to the other. That is something which neither of them is prepared to do.
Secondly, I would say that Enosis as a policy is simply not workable. It is to no one's advantage, and least of all to the Greeks' advantage. I discussed this matter with one of the leading Greeks and he said to me, "Please realise this. We lost one empire by committing ourselves on an island, Sicily, beyond the range at which we could control our communications. We do not want to do that again." That is what they most certainly would do. The Greek who wishes to be the new Alcibiades will, I think, have 488 an equally unhappy rôle in history. Finally Enosis is not workable because it would, I am quite satisfied, mean civil war and Turkish invasion.
What then is the situation with which one is faced? The situation had built up partly because the Greek Church had always found Enosis a most desirable aspiration since it provided the alternative to self-government, which would have meant a Greek authority that would have rivalled the authority of the Ethnarchy. Enosis was the alternative to self-government, which the Church has never wanted because it never wanted competition.
The heat was increased because of the competition of the Communist Party for the leadership of the Greek people, which the Church had enjoyed for 1,500 years. When that happened the Communist Party decided to adopt Enosis. Probably it was even less sincere than the Church, because the Greek Government shot Communists on sight. We had this artificial enthusiasm raised competitively. It was at that point that Mr. Hopkinson, as he then was, chose to say "Never." It is true that to most people in Cyprus Enosis was like heaven, not something which they wanted to go to today or even tomorrow; they wanted it as an aspiration, and to say "Never" was to remove from them the hope of salvation.
Then we followed that up by saying that we were going to reimpose the sedition laws. With a police force which could not be relied upon, without a special branch, without a single means of enforcement, the Government proceeded to tell the Cypriots that they were not to fly Greek flags. The sedition laws were defied. Jeeps went into the villages, were stoned and had to go away again. No one had backed down to a Cypriot in 1,500 years, and the sense of achievement which the Cypriots had in defying the laws which we were foolish enough to enact gave them a sense of achievement, enthusiasm and bigness which built up to make this an almost untenable situation.
That was the position when the hon. Member for Stafford and Stone (Mr. H. Fraser) and I went there in October. I believe at that point there was still the possibility to negotiate upon the only basis upon which negotiation was feasible. That basis was that Enosis should be restored as an aspiration so long as its 489 implementation was recognised as being unavailable in existing circumstances.
So long as that was good enough for the Archbishop, and it was in October, negotiations were possible. The real basis was that we never intended to give and could not give Enosis, and the Archbishop never intended to have a constitution. On that basis the two sides proceeded with negotiations. The delay meant that the Eoka organisation took charge of the Archbishop, and what was available in October was not available in the next month. Although I and the hon. Member for Stafford and Stone warned the Government that speedy acceptance was essential the terms we brought home were only offered a month later. Then they were no longer acceptable to Makarios because he was no longer in a position to control events, and he did not wish to face the onus of making terms which he could not implement.
That is the real background to the situation. We have dealt with it by security regulations which we could not enforce. We now deal with it by the next move, which is the deportation of Makarios. I regard that as the greatest possible folly. I have not the slightest doubt that he was involved in the violence and that he was guilty of these acts, but his guilt was to our advantage because so long as he was competing with "Digenis," whoever he may be, for the leadership of the movement, it was a divided movement. The leader in the open is the greatest possible embarrassment to the activist leader in the background. He is a liability to the activist leader, and is a means by which one can exert disruptive pressures on the movement. Remove him and one removes the fulcrum on which alone one can exert pressure. That is the mistake which we made in Kenya, and we have repeated it. The one person whom we have delighted by our action is Digenis.
Now that we have raised this whirlwind, how can we ride the storm? Certainly we have put negotiations outside our power. We cannot get a Cypriot Government. I do not think that we could ever have got a Cypriot Government at any time in which that Government had any purpose whatever but to prevent all government until Enosis came about. At any rate, the negotiations 490 which would have kept things moving have all gone.
What else can we do? Some say, "Restore law and order." That is a barren prospect and one in which I think we shall certainly fail. I said when I spoke a year ago that to try to assert law and order against the population is an effort in which we shall fail because we are inhibited from doing the sort of things that can make that succeed. We are not prepared to shoot hostages. We are not prepared to burn villages. One cannot police a country against the will of its inhabitants. It has been proved over and over again.
What then are we to do? We have to assess the facts, and the most important fact here is our own will. How is our will in this matter? Do we believe, in the light of the force that is necessary, that it is the right and duty of Britain to stay in Cyprus, or have we a guilty conscience about it? If we have the will we can do it, but only by offering an alternative which will ultimately end in our success.
We have created the situation in which either we or the Greek majority go. If we have the nerve to serve compulsory purchase orders on the inhabitants of some towns and villages, perhaps ones which have been difficult; if we have the nerve to inform the Greeks that, having compensated these gentlemen—who claim to belong to the Greek nation—for their property in Cyprus, we are returning them to Greece, and that the ships which return them will bring back Turks in their place who will desire to stay in Cyprus; if we say that that process will go on until there is peace in Cyprus or a Turkish majority to whom we can grant self-determination—if we have the nerve and the will and the conscience to do that, we can succeed. If we have not, then for goodness sake let us go: let us go now, instead of being pushed to the point where violence becomes more successful, where our troops lose their tempers, when we are faced with Amritsars, and when we eventually have to go.
As I say, I do not think that to hand this island to the Greeks is a solution which is available, because the Turks would not stand it. What is available is the solution of handing this island back to the country from whom we 491 received it—Turkey. If we are not prepared to do that which is necessary, to assert order ourselves, let us recognise that, and hand the island over to somebody who will.
§ 8.48 p.m.
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
I should like to begin by offering my thanks to my hon. Friend the Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) for the wholly admirable and noble part he has played in these discussions, and I should like to join him in the expression of regret that failure has been the sad end of his efforts.
There have been frequent references to the long, complicated history of Cyprus and to our association with that island. I do not propose to go back into the history of the days of pre-1914 or post-1914 for I think that the relevant history to the discussion this evening on the Motion we have proposed to the House comes much nearer our time. The fact that for very many years no constitutional progress was possible in the relationship between the United Kingdom and Cyprus because the Greek leaders in the island insisted that the only solution which they would even consider was Enosis by plebiscite with our permission, and successive British Governments rejected that proposal, including the Government of which I was a Member.
An important change took place two or three years ago, however. I think it was associated with the advent to his office of Archbishop Makarios, and that is important. The House may recall that in 1954, when the then Minister of State made what we have come to know as the "never statement", I made a suggestion in the debate that followed which I want to recall. I said to Lord Chandos, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, that I had reason to believe that Archbishop Makarios, and the leaders associated with him had made an important change in their policy and in their attitude towards constitutional development and progress, that they no longer put forward the claim of Enosis and only Enosis, but that they were prepared to enter into discussions for a constitution of self-government, on the understanding that it would eventually lead to the right of self-determination.
I made a suggestion in July, 1954, that the Government should enter into discussions with the leaders of the Cypriot 492 people, both Greek and Turkish, in order to discover whether there had been a change and whether there was a possibility of making a new and fresh approach to this problem by the discussion of a constitution of self-Government, on the understanding, to which I had referred, that eventually it would lead to self-determination. That suggestion was not adopted at the time, and I ask the House to remember that in 1954 when we made that suggestion from this side of the House, there was no emergency, no terror, in Cyprus. The Island was quiet. It was an opportunity which had not come to any previous Government for a new initiative and a new approach to this problem. I said then that we had formed the definite impression that the reason why the statement was made on that day was not connected with Cyprus, but was connected with Egypt, and that, instead of making a statement of that kind, if there had been an invitation to the leaders in Cyprus to join in discussions, some progress would have been made.
Some time after, in 1955, Archbishop Makarios came to this country, and I, along with some of my hon. and right hon. Friends had the opportunity of meeting him. We put the question to him whether he then stood for the traditional policy of Enosis and only Enosis, or whether he was prepared to consider a new approach to a constitution of self-government, on the understanding that it would eventually lead to self-determination, and his answer was, "Yes." It must have been known to the Secretary of State at the time, and it must also have been known to the Government, that here was an opportunity for a fresh initiative and a new approach to the whole of this problem. I begin tonight by saying that I think the Government at that time should have seized that opportunity and made a firm declaration that they were agreed ultimately on self-determination, and should then have considered the development of an agreement on a constitution of self-government in the interim period.
That was not done at that time. Other steps were taken, and I now want to run very briefly through the history and come to the situation which existed in December, I want also to speak about the Archbishop, because a lot of things have been said about him. In regard to the 493 position of the Archbishop in the whole of these discussions from the very beginning, I want to repeat something I said in the debate in December, which the Secretary of State will remember. In departing from the traditional policy, the Archbishop took great risks. I said in December, and I repeat now, that having taken that risk, it was essential for him, and for us with him to work towards a settlement, for if no settlement was reached, he would have been discredited and the leadership of the Island would pass over entirely to the Eoka. I expressed that view in December, for by this time it was quite clear that the proposals put forward by the Archbishop on behalf of the Greek people in Cyprus had been put before the Governor, Sir John Harding, and before the Secretary of State.
Let me repeat those proposals, because they are of vital importance. The first was that the Archbishop said that an indispensable condition of a settlement was a firm declaration by Her Majesty's Government that the principle of self-determination was applicable to Cyprus. The Archbishop said that if that declaration was made, he was then prepared to co-operate with Her Majesty's Government and with the representatives of the other communities in Cyprus in negotiating a constitution of self-government, it being understood that the constitution would make adequate provision to protect the minorities, that the constitution would reserve completely the strategic needs and rights of Her Majesty's Government, and that the date of self-determination should be left in abeyance to be decided between Her Majesty's Government and the Government to be established under the new constitution.
I was bold enough last December to urge Her Majesty's Government to take advantage of the new proposals and to settle upon their basis, and, in particular, to settle with Archbishop Makarios while there was still time. At the end of that debate we said something that we have fully lived up to since. We said that, knowing that the negotiations were to be resumed, it was our desire to do everything we possibly could to help them towards a successful conclusion and we were anxious to avoid doing or saying anything which would hamper the negotiations, and in the light of that we did not propose to divide the House.
494 Since that time, sometimes when we have been misunderstood by our hon. Friends, we have refrained from asking for debates or pressing the Government, because we hoped that the new initiative, which I believe was made possible from the other side by the change made by Archbishop Makarios, would lead to success. We restrained ourselves, and I think we have shown greater forbearance towards the Government than any Opposition that I have known in my time in the House.
Then we came to the statement by the Secretary of State on 5th March when we discovered that the negotiations had come to an end—and not on the major issues. I want the House to understand this, because this is indeed the gravamen of our charge against the Government now. In his statement the Secretary of State made it very clear that the major issues were no longer an obstacle to a settlement. I will quote what he said, for it is very important, and I want to ask him some questions in view of some things said by hon. Friends of his and also something said by the Prime Minister in his speech today.
The Secretary of State said:It was thus clear that general agreement had been reached on the need to establish self-government and that the principle of self-determination was no longer a stumbling block.When I pressed him as to whether we could now take it that the only outstanding point in the discussions—the points upon which in the end the negotiations had been abandoned—were the three points mentioned, the right hon. Gentleman replied:I can certainly say that the big issues—the principle of self-determination and the question of self-government—are in a sense out of the way and that now we are down to other points …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th March, 1956; Vol. 549, c. 1726–31.]
§ Mr. Griffiths
In view of what was said today I want to ask some questions. It seemed to me that the whole tone of the Prime Minister's speech was a denial of the acceptance of a settlement upon the major issues. For example, he said that Her Majesty's Government would accept no settlement unless it involved and included the unfettered use of Cyprus. I therefore ask the Prime Minister whether that statement was a 495 denial of the acceptance of the principle of self-determination at some time. If it was not, what did it mean?
Shortly after the Prime Minister's speech we had a speech from the hon. Member for Preston, North (Mr. J. Amery) who, for once, was on the side of the Prime Minister. It was very interesting to the House—and probably embarrassing to the Prime Minister—to find that the people who chivvied him over Egypt were his major supporters upon the Cyprus issue. The hon. Member for Preston, North said that he understood that the Government had said that they did not now take the view that self-determination should never apply to Cyprus, but that they had not committed themselves firmly in favour of self-determination.
§ Mr. Griffiths
If that is true, let us get the position clear, because it is very important. When the Secretary of State made his statement on Monday, 5th March, we took the view—as I believe the whole House did, and also the country; and it is quite clear from the very interesting and even important dispatch in today's issue of The Times, from their correspondent in Nicosia, that that view was also held by representative of opinion in Cyprus—that the principle of self-determination was now accepted. Were we right in assuming that, therefore, the two major issues were out of the way, and were accepted and agreed?
The Secretary of State said that there was general agreement about this. I think that we are entitled to have from the Government a firm, plain and unequivocal statement whether that is the Government's view and policy now. Do they accept that the major issues are settled? I would remind the House, as did my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale, that the terms of our Motion were based upon the understanding that the major issues had been settled. It was therefore, in our view, unpardonable for the Government to allow the negotiations to break down upon the three outstanding points. I hope that we shall have a very clear statement from the Government upon that question.
If that was the position, in our view—and, having listened to the Prime Minister's reply this afternoon, our view 496 remains completely unchanged—the three outstanding points should not have been the cause of a breakdown in negotiations, with all that follows from it. Of these three outstanding points, the crucial one appears to me to be the difference which exists about the elected majority. [Interruption.] I may be wrong, but I am giving my view. What was the dispute about the elected majority? The Archbishop asked for an undertaking that there would be an overall Greek elected majority in the legislative assembly.
The Secretary of State said they were prepared to consider a constitution on what he called "Liberal doctrine". What does "Liberal doctrine" mean, except democratic rule? If they accepted democratic rule, what prevented the Government from giving an undertaking to the Archbishop that, whatever might be the detailed arrangements about the constitution—the franchise, the method of voting, the appointment perhaps of nominated members, as there might have been—there would be an elected majority of the Greek people, who are the majority of the people of the island?
The Prime Minister said that that was an important detail which should be left to be discussed by the Constitutional Commission which it was proposed to send to Cyprus. That is not a detail. That is a fundamental principle, and the Archbishop was entitled, as is any other body negotiating a new constitution, to get it firmly laid down that the basic principle of democracy would find expression, and if it was that there would be a Greek elected majority.
The Secretary of State knows that in 1948, when my right hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) offered a constitution, which I wish had been taken up and discussed at that time, it was made clear in that proposal that there would be an over-all elected majority of the Greek people, in conformity with the proportions of the population on the island.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) also made it clear that they would not be allowed to discuss Enosis at all.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I agree. I have said that. It was laid down that there should be an elected majority of the Greek 497 people. May I, therefore, ask the Secretary of State why did the Government refuse to give that assurance? It seemed to us perfectly clear that that assurance was not a detail but a fundamental principle which they ought to have accepted.
I come to public security. The Prime Minister said that the whole dispute about public security was that the Archbishop took exception to public security being vested in the Governor alone for as long as he thought necessary. It was to be left entirely to the Governor, subject to the Secretary of State and Her Majesty's Government, to decide how long public security would be a reserved subject vested entirely within his authority. The Archbishop objected to that. The Prime Minister told us that, in the course of the discussion, two alternatives were discussed. It was not clear from the Prime Minister's statement whether they were put forward by the Archbishop.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I wanted to get that point clear. What the Archbishop put forward on public security was two proposals. He did not ask for public security to be vested in the Cyprus Government immediately upon its formation but that it should be transferred to the new Cyprus Government within one year of its formation. He made the alternative offer, to which the Prime Minister made no reference or comment, that it should be "or until the restoration of law and order." The Archbishop put that forward.
§ Mr. Griffiths
The Prime Minister told us that he could not accept a time limit. We accept that at once. Her Majesty's Government could not accept the time limit of twelve months. Why could they not have accepted a settlement on the basis of the second proposal? The right Hon. Gentleman made no reply. Why not agree to transfer public security when law and order had been restored'? The Secretary of State has agreed to transfer public security to the Malayan Government while war is still going on. Why not accept that suggestion from the Archbishop? Or why not have put forward some other suggestion?
Those two proposals should have been carefully considered, and I say again that 498 I think it was completely wrong and unjustifiable that the Government should have broken down discussions when the differences had been so much narrowed down by the Archbishop. The same thing applies to the question of the amnesty. There, too, the difference was so narrow that negotiations should not have been allowed to break down.
I say to the Prime Minister that general agreement having been reached upon the major issues, the points at issue having been narrowed down—and those are the words used by the Secretary of State—to those three points, then on those three points negotiations should have continued and Her Majesty's Government should have persisted in seeking a solution of them rather than risk a breakdown and all the consequences that flow from a breakdown. That is our case.
When he came to the end of his examination of these three points, the Prime Minister answered a question which I put to him, and having regard to all that follows from the breakdown of negotiations and the deadlock in which we are now placed, I wonder whether he would like to think about this point again. He said that there were other points; that if these three points had been settled others would have come forward—and he used that as part of the excuse for abandoning negotiations. When I asked him whether the Archbishop had made any suggestion or had given any hint that there were other points which he would raise if these three were settled, the Prime Minister said that he had no such information but that that was his impression.
I ask the Prime Minister and I ask the House—in such a vital matter as this are we to allow negotiations to break down on impressions—on fears? I say to the Prime Minister that if he allows impressions to prevent the continuance of negotiations in a matter so vital to our future—and I say this quite sincerely as one not without experience in negotiations—he has in that case conducted the negotiations in a way which justifies a vote of no confidence.
I come now to the most disappointing part of the Prime Minister's speech. He spent a long time in dealing with past history and gave us a recital of negotiations—and we waited. He is the Prime Minister of the country and I believe that this House and the country were this 499 evening entitled to hear something about which they have heard not a word—the future. We waited—not a word about the future; unless it be the word that now that negotiations have broken down we do not intend to make any renewed attempt at discussion or negotiation but intend just to hold down the island by force. The Prime Minister knows perfectly well that not only in this country but in the world it will be known that he has spoken today and has given no indication of any sort of new approach, or any attempt to renew discussions either directly or indirectly.
There has been nothing, except the vain hope that some day, at some time—we have heard the words "some time" before—some new leader will arise—and the right hon. Gentleman knows that that is a vain hope. Apart from that there is no suggestion at all about the future. The House and the country therefore are to understand that we are just to go on holding the island down, with the people becoming more embittered, the relationships between us and our Allies strained, our prestige in the world—[HON. MEMBERS: "Rising."]—badly injured and our good name as a country badly affected in other Colonial Territories, in the Commonwealth and the rest of the world.
We had from the Prime Minister not a suggestion that the Government have any proposal of any kind for a settlement in Cyprus—nothing except for a continuation of the emergency and the conflict. For how long? It is my considered view that no settlement is possible in Cyprus unless it is a settlement with the representatives of the Greek majority which amply safeguards the interests of the Turkish minority, and, indeed, our strategic needs. Each one of those three has been possible in these negotiations. That is clear. We could have made a settlement which would have safeguarded all three with Archbishop Makarios.
There is now no one left with whom to negotiate and discuss the situation. It is my belief that eventually, before a settlement is reached in Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios will have to come back to the island. I beg of the Government to bring him back now and resume negotiations while there is still time, for unless 500 we resume negotiations and arrive at a settlement the only alternative is to go on. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, Hear."] I know hon. Members opposite cheer that, but I believe that I speak for the country when I say that a Government which is faced with a situation in which all that remains between us are those three points, all of which are capable of settlement, and which throws that chance away, does not deserve and will not get the confidence of the country.
§ 9.18 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)
The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) said in his opening speech, if I remember his words accurately, that if territories are denied self-government, then the proper guardian of those territories is this House of Commons. After five months of protracted negotiations in and out of Cyprus, in an effort to get self-government for Cyprus, I can hardly be expected to agree that Cyprus is one of the territories which has been denied self-government, but this I certainly can say: this is, indeed, a very proper matter to be discussed in the House of Commons.
I would once more repeat what I have often said before—that I realise the self-denying ordinance which hon. Members on both sides of the House have put on themselves during the last few months so as not to prejudice the negotiations which have been going on.
This has been in many ways a most extraordinary debate. I have sat here, with the briefest of interruptions, since it started. I must confess that I do not remember for very many years, if at all, a Motion of censure with so little fire in it. Indeed, a patient scrutiny of HANSARD tomorrow will find a great many of the Opposition speeches cancelling each other out. The only really practical suggestion, from his point of view, put forward in the debate was that by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), who suggested that one way out of Great Britain's difficulties would be to hand the island back to the Turks, from whom we first received it.
The speeches which have been made have certainly lacked vehemence or conviction, but the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) did his best to 501 retrieve those particular charges. He has used very strong language indeed, including the implication—or, indeed, the suggestion—that it was on my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's personal impressions that the talks in Nicosia came to an end. I shall hope to deal at some length with those talks, at which I was present, and to show that nothing could be further from the truth. They broke down because the Archbishop was not prepared to accept a very reasonable statement of policy, taken as a whole and in three particulars, and was not prepared to utter a word to try to bring violence to an end.
Throughout this debate, after the speech of my right hon. Friend, there has been an almost complete disregard of strategic and defence considerations. They were barely glanced at by the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, mentioned by the right hon. Member—but without any of the inevitable implications, if he meant what he said, being faced—and wholly ignored by the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), who might not have realised in the least degree the present situation in th Middle East. It is true that there have been a number of back bench speeches—from the hon. and learned Member for Northampton, who certainly appreciates strategic arguments, and my hon. Friends the Members for Rutherglen (Mr. Brooman-White) and for Stafford and Stone (Mr. H. Fraser)—but, by and large, the immensely important strategic position of Cyprus today and in the history of the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean has been very largely ignored.
There has been one speech today to which I know all hon. Members on both sides of the House listened with sympathy and with understanding. That was the speech made by the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker). I should like to repeat what I said in this House a few days ago, the personal gratitude I feel for the work he did and for the generous understanding that he showed of my and the Governments' point of view. I know that at the time he was suffering great personal sorrow, but it is not unreasonable also to say that the fact that we were very ready to avail ourselves of the services of the hon. Member—a 502 rather unusual departure of amateur diplomacy—shows, I think, the lengths to which we were ready to go in order to try to arrive at an agreed solution.
The hon. Member, as he frankly recognised, is under some disadvantages in that he was present at some of the conversations and knows a great deal which it would not be proper for him to disclose in the House of Commons. I wrote to him, therefore, before the deportation of the Archbishop had actually taken place, but when I knew that it was about to take place. I wrote a letter which, I think, was delivered to him almost immediately after the news of the deportation had broken.
I recognised that this action could not possibly commend itself to the hon. Member and to that extent released him from any obligation not to take part in this debate. But the hon. Member will, I think, forgive me if I make one or two comments on what he said, not of a controversial character, for I recognise the generous impulses that prompted his actions and the good that his visit did.
The hon. Member spoke of the Governor in very glowing terms. All who know the Governor would, I think, share what the hon. Member said about that brave, generous, patient, liberal soldier and statesman. If all this is true—and I believe that it is true and that the hon. Member accepts it as true—I only hope that when the Governor gives his solemn assurance that he is fully satisfied that certain things 'have happened concerning conspiracy and terrorism, some reliance should be placed upon the words of a Governor who commands such universal tributes.
After all, in the case of the deportation of the Archbishop, the Governor said:The Governor has scrutinised the information collected with the greatest possible care and has reluctantly reached the conclusion that it establishes beyond all reasonable doubt that the Archbishop has not merely countenanced but has actively fostered terrorism in order to promote his political aims.I wish I could share the view of the hon. Member—
§ Mr. F. Noel-Baker
The right hon. Gentleman must allow me to say that my very strong personal impression is that the conclusions drawn from the information which has been produced would not 503 stand for one moment in a court of law, that the Archbishop has been given no opportunity to reply, and that it gives a totally misleading picture of his situation in relation to violence in Cyprus.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
It is not the hon. Member's fault. I do not think he knows all the facts. [HON. MEMBERS: "What are they?"] If hon. Members will wait, I will give the House the benefit of what information it would be proper for me to give.
The hon. Member has had the benefit of some talks with the Archbishop that I did not have, and I, also, have had access to information which the hon. Member has not enjoyed; and I put myself fairly firmly and fully behind the Governor in the interpretations that he has placed upon that information. It is my reluctant conclusion that the Archbishop was not prepared to surrender the weapon that an appeal to stop terrorism presented, he was not prepared to surrender what he regarded as a very powerful weapon in his armoury, lest he might later fail to get everything that he wanted politically and then find himself in great personal difficulty in starting up the campaign of terrorism again. These are serious and solemn conclusions, but they are conclusions to which I have come on adequate evidence and on evidence which the Governor fully endorses.
Some people ask, not unnaturally, whether all the evidence should not be published. The right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery talked about circumstanial evidence. The information on which the Governor's statements are based is derived from Intelligence sources. Neither the sources nor the detailed reports can be disclosed—anyhow, at the moment—for internal security reasons.
If hon. Members dislike that conclusion, I ask them—their memories, surely, will extend so far—to think back to last week and to look again at the White Paper published on 9th March (Cmd. 9715) reporting the findings of the Conference of Privy Councillors on Security. It is not asking much of the House that hon. Members should refresh their memory with a White Paper that was published only last week. Perhaps hon. and right hon. Members have forgotten that taking part in that conference of Privy Councillors were the 504 noble Lord, Lord Jowitt, the right hon. Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison) and the right hon. Member for Vauxhall (Mr. G. R. Strauss). They said, as is shown in paragraph 16 of the White Paper:The Conference recognised that some of the measures which the State is driven to take to protect its security are in some respects alien to our traditional practices. Thus, in order not to imperil sources of information, decisions have sometimes to be taken without revealing full details of the supporting evidence.But even without more information, what an incredible and shocking story the document already published reveals. Polycarpos Ioannides was the coiner of the phrasePolitical assassination is no murder.Papastauros Papa-Agathangelou was one of the main instigators of the schoolboy rioters and probably more responsible than anybody else for turning bright youths in Cyprus into thugs and murderers.
There is the Bishop of Kyrenia; what a monstrous record the document already published shows about him. Here, I am not complaining of his consistent opposition to a constitution of any kind. I share the view of the hon. and learned Member for Northampton that many of the leaders of the Ethnarchy are wholly opposed to a constitution because they fear that it may take away their own authority in Cyprus. I am not objecting in the least to what is a perfectly proper reservation in the mind of the Bishop of Kyrenia of his own rights and the rights of the Ethnarchy. But what about the work that he did in starting the Orthodox church youth organisation, with other people, which is now the main recruiting ground for Eoka? When the hon. Member for Swindon said that the Archbishop said to him the morning that I left, "Did you hear that bomb? I do not know whether it was a Communist or an Eoka bomb," does the hon. Gentleman not remember that the Bishop of Kyrenia said, "We are all Eoka, from the youngest to the oldest of us," and publicly proclaimed his own association with a movement whom the hon. Gentleman recognises may have been responsible for that particular bomb?
§ Mr. F. Noel-Baker
I must appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw some of the things he said in trying to use me to bolster up his suggestions. It 505 is really quite irrelevant to tell me what the Bishop of Kyrenia thinks about things, when he knows as well as I do that the Bishop of Kyrenia and the Archbishop are poles apart in their approach to the problem.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I have no intention whatever of taking advantage of the difficulties in which the hon. Gentleman finds himself, but neither must he take advantage of me, as might well be done. It is not unreasonable for me to point out that our action in welcoming his aid was an ernest of our genuine desire to come to some solution.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
All I am asking the right hon. Gentleman is to leave me out of his speech this evening.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I have too much respect for the hon. Gentleman to want to get involved in a long argument with him, and in any case, as far as I know, he will not figure in the remainder of what I have to say.
I was speaking about a far less honourable gentleman, the Bishop of Kyrenia. I mentioned various activities to which the Bishop had put his hand. In addition, as is now known and was known at the time, he is the man who, publicly, in the middle of the day, to a large crowd in the street, lauded the murderer of Police Constable Poullis, and, later, said that isolated incidents such as the throwing of a bomb or the murder of Police Constable Poullis were not enough. If anything more is wanted to justify a man like that and with a record like that being treated in the way that he has, I am at a loss to understand credulity of hon. Gentlemen.
As to the Archbishop himself, infinitely, of course, the most important figure in the Ethnarchy of Cyprus, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave a catalogue of various offences which have figured in the Governor's indictment of the Archbishop. We know that he it was who invited Valvis over to Cyprus in 1954, and presided over the meetings which may well have planned the more violent aspects of the Eoka campaign. He is known personally to have supplied funds for arms, including the smuggling affair, and the Governor, whose word I certainly take in this and all matters, assures me that the Archbishop, in his 506 view, has provided large sums of money to irredentist agencies in Greece, and, in so doing, was aware that they would be used for the shipment of arms and explosives to Cyprus.
In the recent search of the Archbishopric, as the hon. Gentleman will know, there has been quite a number of curious finds. We have known in the past of specific reports of grenades being issued from the Archbishopric for particular terrorist outrages carried out the same night as the grenades were issued. Unassailable security information proves that that charge is true. Sources of information of an equally reliable kind have convinced the Governor that the Archbishopric has also been used for the temporary storage of arms and grenades and with the recent find of a priest with a pistol and three magazines under his robes, rounds of ammunition and a petrol bomb in the garden of the Archbishopric and ten other bombs in the process of manufacture in the Archbishopric garden, can anyone seriously say that the Archbishop is not implicated in this right up to the neck?
It may not have been from that particular store of bombs that the bomb was taken, shortly after I left Cyprus, and placed in the aircraft that was about to have taken 68 passengers from Nicosia to England, including 16 women and children. I would say that even though the bomb might not have come from that garden, the Archbishop, whose word could at least immensely have reduced the amount of terrorism, must share the responsibility for that wicked and dastardly crime.
The hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South (Mr. Elwyn Jones) asked me a number of important questions about the deportations, and they certainly are worthy of answer. I was, of course, very conscious of the need to see that the regulations were observed scrupulously in regard to these deportations. I hope that there are no hon. Members on either side of the House who would think so ungenerously of me as to believe that I am anxious for deportations of this kind, and the warm and friendly cheers which I received after I had made that announcement would, I assure the House, have been even more welcome had I been able to return from Nicosia announcing 507 a settlement to the House and to the country. The deportations in Cyprus itself were carried out by the Governor under the authority of Emergency Regulation 7. The hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South is right in thinking that the aircraft was ordered to the Seychelles. That covers the second point he made.
When they arrived to refuel at Aden they were held under the Immigration Ordinance No. 8, 1955. When they arrived in Mombasa they were held under the Control of Detained Persons Ordinance, 1947, passed by the Socialist Government. Their movements from the East African ship "Rosalind" on to the "Loch Fada" that took them to the Seychelles were also properly covered by Regulations, and in the Seychelles they are detained by virtue of an Act which became law on Monday authorising their detention.
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones
Would the right hon. Gentleman not gloss so quickly over the vital stage of the landing at Mombasa to be taken on to the Navy frigate? What was the authority for that. Was a special deportation order issued on Monday to cover it?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I will send the hon. and learned Member a copy of the Emergency Regulations. He asked, as did a number of other hon. Members—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."]—whether the Archbishop could not have been brought to trial in Cyprus itself. A number of other hon. Members asked whether it would not have been possible to deport him to Greece or the United Kingdom. As to trial in Cyprus, it is, of course, true that the Archbishop could have been detained under the Detention of Persons law. There was ample evidence to justify that, but I ask the House to apply a touch of realism to the present security situation in Cyprus.
As to bringing them to trial in open court, with witnesses who exist but who could scarcely be asked to give evidence in public, I would again ask hon. Members to think realistically of the situation there. Of course, if we had chosen we could have deported them from Cyprus and then prevented them entering again under the Aliens Immigration Law, once more passed by a Socialist Government, 508 who left so many things behind which are useful in tragic circumstances of this kind. But it seemed to us infinitely preferable, if this action had to be carried out, to remove the Archbishop and the other detainees well out of mischief's way.
I come to what is clearly much the most important part of what I want to say. I am bound to ask myself, as all in my position would ask themselves: could the talks have succeeded in a conceivably acceptable way? I would ask hon. and right hon. Members to cast their minds back over the last few months. From the moment of the Governor's arrival in Cyprus he continued the discussions which Sir Robert Armitage and I started in Cyprus in June of last year. There were talks from October, 1955, to 2nd February, mainly on the formula of self-determination, its principle and application.
It is perfectly true to say that though the Archbishop did not accept the formula, he was prepared to regard it as adequately satisfactory to justify him in turning to the second stage of discussion which dealt with constitutional matters. Therefore, I think that I was entitled to say that the principle of self-determination was in a sense out of the way of the talks, and it was never once mentioned in my talks with the Archbishop. The words "self-determination" were never even used. Then there was the second stage on the outstanding issues and I have explained to the House what the difficulties were. The Prime Minister elaborated on them earlier today.
Some hon. Members have made up their minds as to exactly what was the main cause of the disagreement. It might perhaps interest the House to know how we spent our time in the course of those two hours and ten minutes. We began the conversations at 9.15, we continued talking about the amnesty until 10.10. We then talked about public security from 10.10 to 10.50, and we had only a five minute talk on the question of the elected majority. If there are hon. Gentlemen who are so naive as to believe that the talks broke down because of our refusal to anticipate the decisions of the constitutional commissioner, I hope that that time-table will do something to make them change their minds.
Now as to the problems on which the talks came to shipwreck. In the case of 509 the amnesty, I first intended that it should cover all those guilty of any crimes other than violence and incitement to violence. The Archbishop sent me messages to suggest that incitement to violence might be taken to be too general a phrase and might include newspaper articles, leaflets or slogans on the walls. I agreed that we should take out "incitement to violence" and made that subject to the amnesty. Then the Archbishop said that violence should only be violence against the person and not violence against buildings which were, by the mercy of God, unoccupied at the time. I agreed once more. Then the Archbishop said that violence should not be counted a crime from the point of view of the amnesty if it had been unsuccessful—if, in fact, the blow has not struck its target—a sort of premium on bad markmanship.
Then, eventually, as the House knows, we got down to the problem of the possession of arms and bombs. On this, I was absolutely clear that I could not possibly commend to my colleagues or to this country that if people had been frustrated in their wicked purpose, not by any change of heart but merely by the mercy of God, they should enjoy the amnesty which might have come about in a few weeks' time. I defy any hon. Gentleman in my position to have reached any different conclusion.
Then the next difficulty turned on internal security. At first, I had thought that the Archbishop recognised the need for internal security to remain reserved for the Governor as long as the Governor thought necessary. Then I heard it was to be for six months, though it might be extended for one year after there had been a return to law and order. Now, an outward return to law and order in a country like Cyprus does not by any means argue that the country has returned to tranquillity and over the relations with all the detainees, including all the Communist detainees, a security problem would arise of the very first importance.
The Governor told the Archbishop that he could envisage a situation in which law and order had been restored outwardly but where, under the surface, extremely dangerous activities were going on. The Governor made it clear to the Archbishop that he and Her Majesty's Government looked forward to the day when it would be possible to hand over 510 progressively to Cypriot Ministers all responsibility for matters of public security, but that this was bound to depend upon the development of confidence and cooperation between Ministers and himself, and upon Ministers acquiring experience in a country where there has been no Parliament for the last twenty-five years.
Indeed, the Governor explained—and I thought he made an impression on the Archbishop—that the exercise of this very grave responsibility must depend on the possession of full information about the security situation in an island which, in the present situation in the Middle East and in the Eastern Mediterranean, must be vested in the Governor.
Then we had a very few minutes' talk about the elected majority. Here, may I say that I think it is considerable hypocrisy on the part of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly to talk as if the constitution offered by Lord Winster and his own Government was more liberal than this constitution would be. It is true that there was an undertaking in advance that there would be a majority of elected Greek members, but it was also true that they were not to be allowed to discuss the one subject they wanted to discuss, the question of self-determination.
I said to the Archbishop that the commissioner whom we had hoped to send to Cyprus, and whom we had already approached, would approach his problems with a knowledge of the facts of life and the facts of the situation—and one of the big facts of life is, of course, that there are far more Greek-speaking Cypriots than there are Turkish-speaking Cypriots—but that there were other interests and other obligations. For example, the commissioner might want to have a second house with different representation there.
He might want to have certain Bills reserved to the Governor or want to have certain Bills needing a majority of both Greek and Turkish representatives in order to be carried. He might want no constitutional change to be made without a two-thirds majority and problems of that kind. His hand should not be tied in advance, and I was not prepared to say, before we could see the picture as a whole, the Greek elected members would swamp in the Lower House all others, nominated and Turkish elected representatives alike.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
The Secretary of State said only last Monday week that the only outstanding issue about self-government was the question of the composition of the elected majority. Now he tells us that there were other problems, none of which he mentioned in his statement.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Perhaps I am talking a little fast, and the right hon. Gentleman may have difficulty in following me. I hope he will also read on which he did not do, from the statement he started to read. I said:I must confess with distress that as soon as one obstacle is out of the way another one, unheard of until a week or two before rears its head."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th March, 1956; Vol. 549, c. 1733.]The hon. and learned Member for Brigg (Mr. Mallalieu) asked me a question on a point which also figures in the Greek protest Note to U.N.O. about British insistence—it is said, in the Greek Note—on the so-called Governor's right to appoint an undisclosed number of nominated members. When I was asked about this, I said I was not prepared, in this matter, to anticipate the judgment either of the constitutional commissioner, but that when we said that there would be an elected majority, clearly we envisaged that there might well be some nominated members, but that we must rely on the good sense and the sense of liberalism, according to the directive of the commissioner, to arrive at a worthwhile arrangement.
I have been asked a number of questions by the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery and by other hon. Members, which I will do my best to answer, dealing with the precedents in Malaya, Ireland and Kenya. The right hon. and learned Gentleman asked why could we not have an act of oblivion, as in Ireland. In regard to the 1922 Act, that was an amnesty that came after an agreement, and after an agreement had been ratified by the Dail. It was, in fact, a Treaty between a Government and a provisional Government. This is a wholly different matter. The right hon. and learned Gentleman then referred to the 1917 releases, which were announced in the House.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
If the right hon. and learned Gentleman will look at it, he 512 will see that when Mr. Bonar Law made the announcement, it was made clear that the Government had satisfied themselves that public security would not be endangered by such an act of grace, and that in none of the cases concerned was there evidence that participation in the rebellion was accompanied by individual acts which would render such clemency impossible.
As to the amnesties in Kenya and Malaya, they applied only to those who came in in the future, and, in no case does either of them apply to people who had already been captured. A very different situation existed. Indeed, the "Green Branch" amnesty in Kenya, which is still in force, provides that surrendered terrorists would not be executed but would be detained.
I think we all recognise that we have a very considerable responsibility also for the future, and I repeat what I said before—that I myself did my utmost to impress upon the Archbishop the fearful consequences for all of us of our failure to reach agreement. Many—indeed, I think, all—of the points raised by the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery could have been discussed calmly and dispassionately had only the Archbishop agreed to call off violence and to accept our suggested basis for discussions. But the Archbishop did not so agree.
We have to face a future of immense difficulty—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I am not in any way disguising that—but one which is also full of great obligations and opportunities for our people and for the people of Cyprus. In the critical situation in the world today, we must see to it that terrorism is defeated and that people in Cyprus are allowed once more to speak and think for themselves. We must ensure that British military requirements are fully met—that has never been more important than it is now—we must press on with measures on the economic front, and we must then re-examine thoroughly and with an open mind all possible methods of reconciling the conflicting interests which are at the root of the political problems. In this task we must never for a moment lose sight of the strategic and defence requirements which today centre round Cyprus.
There are some questions which have been asked by hon. Members which it has not been possible for me to answer 513 in detail, but the House knows the reason why. I am grateful to the right hon. Member for Llanelly for having sat down early and given me an unusually long time in which to make my speech. Nevertheless, the subject is vast and the questions have been very varied. I have done my best to pick up the points to which a number of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen have attached importance, and
§ I will gladly take up with them afterwards, either on future occasions in the House or personally, any of the problems which still remain outstanding.
§ Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 252, Noes 317.517
|Division No. 121.]||AYES||[9.59 p.m.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Fienburgh, W.||McInnes, J.|
|Albu, A. H.||Finch, H. J.||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Fletcher, Eric||McLeavy, Frank|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Forman, J. C.||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)|
|Anderson, Frank||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Mahon, Simon|
|Awbery, S. S.||Gibson, C. W.||Mainwaring, W. H.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Gooch, E. G.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Baird, J.||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)|
|Balfour, A.||Greenwood, Anthony||Mann, Mrs. Jean|
|Bartley, P.||Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Grey, C. F.||Mason, Roy|
|Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Mayhew, C. P.|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Mellish, R. J.|
|Benson, G.||Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Messer, Sir F.|
|Beswick, F.||Hale, Leslie||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Monslow, W.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Hannan, W.||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Mort, D. L.|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Hastings, S.||Moss, R.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Hayman, F. H.||Moyle, A.|
|Boyd, T. C.||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Mulley, F. W.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Herbison, Miss M.||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|Brockway, A. F.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Holman, P.||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Holmes, Horace||O'Brien, Sir Thomas|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Holt, A. F.||Oliver, G. H.|
|Burke, W. A.||Houghton, Douglas||Oram, A. E.|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Orbach, M.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Howell, Denis (All Saints)||Oswald, T.|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hoy, J. H.||Owen, W. J.|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Paget, R. T.|
|Carmichael, J.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Chapman, W. D.||Hunter, A. E.||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)|
|Clunie, J.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Coldrick, W.||Irving, S. (Dartford)||Parker, J,|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Parkin, B. T.|
|Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury)||Janner, B.||Paton, J.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Peart, T. F.|
|Cove, W. G.||Jeger, George (Goole)||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. Pncs. S.)||Popplewell, E.|
|Cronin, J. D.||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Probert, A. R.|
|Daines, P.||Jones, David (The Hartlepools)||Proctor, W. T.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Randall, H. E.|
|Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Rankin, John|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Redhead, Edward Charles|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Kenyon, C.||Reeves, J.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Reid, William|
|Deer, G.||King, Dr. H. M.||Rhodes, H.|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||Lawson, G. M.||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Delargy, H. J.||Ledger, R. J.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Dodds, N. N.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Dye, S.||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Edelman, M.||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Ross, William|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||Lewis, Arthur||Royle, C.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Lindgren, G. S.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Short, E. W.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Logan, D. G.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||McGhee, H. G.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Fernyhough, E.||McGovern, J.||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)||Thomas, Iowerth (Rhondda, W.)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Slater, J. (Sedgefield)||Thornton, E.||Willey, Frederick|
|Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Timmons, J.||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Snow J. W.||Turner-Samuels, M.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)|
|Sorensen, R. W.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Sparks, J. A.||Usborne, H. C.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Steele, T.||Viant, S. P.||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Stewart, Michael (Fulham)||Warbey, W.N.||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich)||Watkins, T. E.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Stones, W. (Consett)||Weitzman, D.||Winterbottom, Richard|
|Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)||Woof, R. E.|
|Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.||West, D, G.||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Swingler, S. T.||Wheeldon, W. E.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Sylvester, G. O.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Taylor, John (West Lothian)||Wigg, George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Thomas, George (Cardiff)||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.||Mr. Bowden and Mr. Pearson.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hope, Lord John|
|Aitken, W. T.||Deedes, W. F.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Horobin, Sir Ian|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)|
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Doughty, C. J. A.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.||Drayson, G. B.||Howard, John (Test)|
|Armstrong, C. W.||du Cann, E. D. L.||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)|
|Ashton, H.||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.|
|Atkins, H. E.||Duthie, W. S.||Hughes-Young, M. H. C.|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Hulbert, Sir Norman|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (Warwick & L'm'tn)||Hurd, A. R.|
|Balniel, Lord||Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)|
|Banks, Col. C.||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Hutchison, Sir James|
|Barber, Anthony||Errington, Sir Eric||Hyde, Montgomery|
|Barlow, Sir John||Erroll, F. J.||Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.|
|Barter, John||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Fell, A.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Finlay, Graeme||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Bell, Phillip (Bolton, E.)||Fisher, Nigel||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam)|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald||Foster, John||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)|
|Black, C. W.||Freeth, D. K.||Joseph, Sir Keith|
|Body, R. F.||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot|
|Boothby, Sir Robert||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Kaberry, D.|
|Bossom, Sir A. C.||George, J. C. (Pollok)||Keegan, D.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Gibson-Watt, D.||Kerby, Capt. H. B.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Glover, D.||Kerr, H. W.|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Godber, J. B.||Kershaw, J. A.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan||Kimball, M.|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Cough, C. F. H.||Kirk, P. M.|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Gower, H. R.||Lagden, G. W.|
|Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)||Graham, Sir Fergus||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Bryan, P.||Grant, W. (Woodside)||Lancaster, Col. C. G.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||Langford-Holt, J. A.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Green, A.||Leather, E. H. C.|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Gresham Cooke, R.||Leavey, J. A.|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Leburn, W. G.|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.|
|Campbell, Sir David||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)|
|Carr, Robert||Gurden, Harold||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)|
|Channon, H.||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||Linstead, Sir H. N.|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Llewellyn, D. T.|
|Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||Harvey, Air Cdre, A. V. (Macclesfd)||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Lloyd-George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W.|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)|
|Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Hay, John||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||McAdden, S. J.|
|Crouch, R. F.||Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||McKibbin, A. J.|
|Cunningham, Knox||Hill, John (S. Norfolk)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.|
|Dance, J. C. G.||Hirst, Geoffrey||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Maclean, Fitzroy (Lancaster)|
|McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Storey, S.|
|MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Pitman, I. J.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)||Pitt, Miss E. M.||Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)|
|Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Pott, H. P.||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Maddan, Martin||Powell, J. Enoch||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Teeling, W.|
|Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Markham, Major Sir Frank||Profumo, J. D.||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Marlowe, A. A. H.||Raikes, Sir Victor||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Marples, A. E.||Ramsden, J. E.||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.|
|Marshall, Douglas||Rawlinson, Peter||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Mathew, R.||Redmayne, M,||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)|
|Maudling, Rt. Hon. R.||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Mawby, R. L.||Remnant, Hon. P.||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.||Renton, D. L. M.||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Medlicott, Sir Frank||Ridsdale, J. E.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Rippon, A. G. F.||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Molson, A. H. E.||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Robertson, Sir David||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Moore, Sir Thomas||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Vickers, Miss J. H.|
|Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Robson-Brown, W.||Vosper, D. F.|
|Nabarro, G. D. N.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Nairn, D. L. S.||Roper, Sir Harold||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Neave, Airey||Russell, R. S.||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Nicholls, Harmar||Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.||Wall, Major Patrick|
|Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Nield, Basil (Chester)||Sharpies, R. C.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.||Shepherd, William||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Nugent, G. R. H.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Webbe, Sir H.|
|Nutting, Rt. Hon. Anthony||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)||Whitelaw, W.S.I,(Penrith & Border)|
|Oakshott, H. D.||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Soames, Capt. C.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Spearman, A. C. M.||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Speir, R. M.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)||Woollam, John Victor|
|Osborne, C.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Page, R. G.||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Partridge, E.||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)||Mr. Heath and Mr. Studholme.|
|Peyton, J. W. W.||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)|
§ Question put, That the proposed words be there added:—518
§ The House divided: Ayes 317, Noes 251.521
|Division No. 122.]||AYES||[10.11 p.m.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Deedes, W. F.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Digby, Simon Wingfield|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Dodds-Parker, A. D.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Brooman-White, R. C.||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)||Doughty, C. J. A.|
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Bryan, P.||Drayson, G. B.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.||Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||du Cann, E. D. L.|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)|
|Ashton, H.||Burden, F. F. A.||Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Butcher, Sir Herbert||Duthie, W. S.|
|Atkins, H. E.||Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Campbell, Sir David||Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (Warwick & L'm'tn)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Carr, Robert||Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)|
|Balniel, Lord||Cary, Sir Robert||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn|
|Banks, Col. C.||Channon, H.||Errington, Sir Eric|
|Barber, Anthony||Chichester-Clark, R.||Erroll, F. J.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Farey-Jones, F. W.|
|Barter, John||Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||Fell, A.|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Finlay, Graeme|
|Beamish, Maj, Tufton||Cooper-Key, E. M.||Fisher, Nigel|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Fletcher-Cooke, C.|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Foster, John|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald||Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Crouch, R. F.||Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Freeth, D. K.|
|Black, C. W.||Crowder, Petre (Ruislip-Northwood)||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.|
|Body, R. F.||Cunningham, Knox||Garner-Evans, E. H.|
|Boothby, Sir Robert||Currie, G. B. H.||George, J. C. (Pollok)|
|Bossom, Sir A. C.||Dance, J. C. G.||Gibson-Watt, D.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Davidson, Viscountess||Glover, D.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Godber, J, B.|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Redmayne, M.|
|Gough, C. F. H.||Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Gower, H. R.||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Llewellyn, D. T.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Grant, W. (Woodside)||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||Lloyd-George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G.||Rippon, A. G. F.|
|Green, A.||Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W.||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Robertson, Sir David|
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||McAdden, S. J.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Gurden, Harold||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry||Russell, R. S.|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||McKibbin, A. J.||Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Sharples, R. C.|
|Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Maclean, Fitzroy (Lancaster)||Shepherd, William|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Hay, John||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)||Soames, Capt. C.|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Maddan, Martin||Speir, R. M.|
|Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)|
|Hill, John (S. Norfolk)||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Holland-Martin, C. J.||Marples, A. E.||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)|
|Hope, Lord John||Marshall, Douglas||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Mathew, R.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Horobin, Sir Ian||Maudling, Rt. Hon. R.||Storey, S.|
|Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence||Mawby, R. L.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C-||Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)|
|Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Medlicott, Sir Frank||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Howard, John (Test)||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Molson, A. H. E.||Teeling, W.|
|Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Hughes, Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.||Moore, Sir Thomas||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Hughes-Young, M. H. C.||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Hulbert, Sir Norman||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Hurd, A. R.||Nairn, D. L. S.||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.|
|Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)||Neave, Airey||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)||Nicholls, Harmar||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)|
|Hyde, Montgomery||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.||Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Nield, Basil (Chester)||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Nugent, G. R. H.||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Nutting, Rt. Hon. Anthony||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam)||Oakshott, H. D.|
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Vickers, Miss J. H.|
|Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Vosper, D. F.|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Joseph, Sir Keith||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot||Osborne, C.||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Kaberry, D.||Page, R. G.||Wall, Major Patrick|
|Keegan, D.||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Kerby, Capt. H. B.||Partridge, E.||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Kerr, H. W.||Peyton, J. W. W.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Kershaw, J. A.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Kimball, M.||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Webbe, Sir H.|
|Kirk, P. M.||Pitman, I. J.||Whitelaw, W.S.I. (Penrith & Border)|
|Lagden, G. W.||Pitt, Miss E. M.||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Lambert, Hon. C.||Pott, H. P.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Powell, J. Enoch||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Langford-Holt, J. A.||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Leather, E. H. C.||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Leavey, J. A.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.||Woollam, John Victor|
|Leburn, W. G.||Profumo, J. D.||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Ramsden, J. E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.||Rawlinson, Peter||Mr. Heath and Mr. Studholme.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Awbery, S. S.||Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)|
|Albu, A. H.||Bacon, Mist Alice||Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Baird, J.||Benson, G.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Balfour, A.||Beswick, F.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Bartley, P.||Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)|
|Anderson, Frank||Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Blenkinsop, A.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Hoy, J. H.||Popplewell, E.|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Bowles, F. G.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)|
|Boyd, T. C.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Probert, A. R.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Hunter, A. E.||Proctor, W. T.|
|Brockway, A.F.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Randall, H. E.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Irving, S. (Dartford)||Rankin, John|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Redhead, Edward Charles|
|Burke, W. A.||Janner, B.||Reeves, J.|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Reid, William|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, c.)||Jeger, George (Goole)||Rhodes, H.|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. Pncs. S.)||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Carmichael, J.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Chapman, W. D.||Jones, David (The Hartlepools)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Ross, William|
|Clunie, J.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Royle, C.|
|Coldrick, W.||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Short, E. W.|
|Collins, V. J.(Shoreditch & Finsbury)||Kenyon, C.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Cove, W. G.||King, Dr. H. M.||Simmons, C. J, (Brierley Hill)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Lawson, G. M.||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Cronin, J. D.||Ledger, R. J.||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Daines, P.||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Snow, J. W.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Lewis, Arthur||Sparks, J. A.|
|Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||Lindgren, G. S.||Steele, T.|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Logan, D. G.||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich)|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Mabon, Dr. J. D.||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Deer, G.||McGhee, H. G.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||McGovern, J.||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Delargy, H. J.||McInnes, J.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Dodds, N. N.||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Swingler, S. T.|
|Dye, S.||McLeavy, Frank||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Edelman, M.||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||Mahon, Simon||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilslon)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Thornton, E.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)||Timmons, J.|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mason, Roy||Usborne, H. C.|
|Fienburgh, W.||Mayhew, C. P.||Viant, S. P.|
|Finch, H. J.||Mellish, R. J.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Fletcher, Eric||Messer, Sir F.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Forman, J. C.||Mitchison, G. R.||Weitzman, D.|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Monslow, W.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||West, D. G.|
|Gibson, C. W.||Mort, D. L.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Gooch, E. G.||Moss, R.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Moyle, A.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Mulley, F. W.||Wigg, George|
|Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|Grey, C. F.||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Willey, Frederick|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||O'Brien, Sir Thomas||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Oliver, G. H.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)|
|Hale, Leslie||Oram, A. E.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvll (Colne Valley)||Orbach, M.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Hannan, W.||Oswald, T.||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Harrison, J. (Nottingham, H.)||Owen, W. J.||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Hastings, S.||Paget, R. T.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Hayman, F. H.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Winterbottom, Richard|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Harbison, Miss M.||Palmer, A. M. F.||Woof, R. E.|
|Hewitson, Capt. M.||Panned, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Holman, P.||Pargiter, G. A.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Holmes, Horace||Parker, J.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Holt, A. F.||Parkin, B. T.|
|Houghton, Douglas||Paton, J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Peart, T. F.||Mr. Bowden and Mr. Pearson.|
|Howell, Denis (All Saints)||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
Question put and agreed to.
That this House welcomes the patient efforts of Her Majesty's Government to secure agreements in Cyprus which would safeguard the interests of all communities, and the strategic requirements of Her Majesty's Government and their Allies; approves of the action already taken towards the restoration of law and order as an essential preliminary to constitutional progress, and pledges its full support to Her Majesty's Government in the furtherance of these aims.