HC Deb 14 May 1956 vol 552 cc1653-750

3.32 p.m.

Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)

This will be the fifth occasion in the last 18 months upon which the House of Commons has given attention to the serious situation in Cyprus. In the course of the debates that have taken place, it has been our major concern as an Opposition, since we have initiated most of these debates, to promote a just settlement of the Cyprus problem, for it has been our conviction from the very beginning that a settlement could, and should, have been made by Her Majesty's Government.

We have urged continuously that the one way in which the tragic state of affairs prevailing in the island can be brought to an end is by negotiation between the Government and the representatives of the people of Cyprus. When negotiations have from time to time taken place, we on this side, as the Government have acknowledged, have shown great restraint, because it has always been our desire to say and do nothing which would in any way prevent a settlement being reached. We have been grievously disappointed at the way in which the matter has been handled by Her Majesty's Government.

Earlier in the year, we were firmly of the view that the situation had been reached in which the points of difference between the Government and the representatives with whom they negotiated in Cyprus had been so narrowed that a settlement should have been arrived at. Perhaps I may recall that in the negotiations which took place between His Excellency the Governor of Cyprus and Archbishop Makarios, negotiations in the latter stages of which the Secretary of State himself took part, all the major problems had been settled and disposed of and that the difference, to use the words of the Secretary of State himself, had been "narrowed down" to three points.

The first of those three points was the definition of an elected majority; the second, the question of an amnesty; and the third, the problem of internal security and of the new constitution which it was proposed to draw up for Cyprus. It was our view then that having reached a point at which the points of difference had been narrowed to those three, none of which, in our view, was incapable of settlement, to abandon negotiations at that stage was an act of irresponsible folly by Her Majesty's Government.

Since then, the situation in Cyprus has become daily more bitter and more tense and we are now in danger of allowing the situation to drift until, in the end, a settlement with Cyprus will become impossible because of the depth of the bitterness that will have grown up between us and the people of Cyprus.

We have from the very outset deplored and condemned the violence that is taking place in Cyprus and the organised violence by E.O.K.A. We understand the terrible strain and peril to which the Governor and administrators and the members of the security forces are daily subjected in this tense and tragic situation. We sympathise both with those who are in Cyprus and with the relatives of our men in this country, who also feel this strain from day to day.

We have joined, and will continue to join, with the Government, the Governor and everyone else in continuing to make appeals that there should be an end to these acts of violence. As a Government and as a Parliament, however, the House of Commons has a primary responsibility of seeking the surest and best way of bringing these acts of violence to an end by seeking as early and as just a settlement as we can make in Cyprus.

We have all been disturbed about the trends in recent weeks and the danger that we are now reaching a stage in which there will be violence and counter-violence, more violence and still more counter-violence, with all the consequences that will follow. It is the duty of all of us to remember the history of our relations with other countries and the consequences of allowing the situation to drift into that position.

I want to make only one reference to the execution that took place last week. Some of us made representations privately to the Government, and through the Government to the Governor, that whilst understanding all the difficulties and the terrifying dilemma in which the Governor was placed in those circumstances, we still held the view that in the present situation in Cyprus an act of clemency might have transformed the situation and created a new opportunity for reconciliation and settlement.

It was not because we condoned in the slightest the acts of criminal violence for which the two men had been tried and found guilty that we made those representations, but because we firmly believed that in Cyprus what is needed more than anything else now is a real attempt to break through this tragic deadlock and to create the circumstances in which a fresh approach might be made which might lead to success.

Since those discussions earlier in the year, which ended in failure, a failure for which we hold the Government primarily responsible and for which we condemn them, the Government have deported Archbishop Makarios. Since then we have asked both the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister what the policy of the Government is now. I think I summarise quite fairly the replies we have had to those Questions thus, that the Government regard the first task and duty as being that of restoring law and order; and when law and order has been restored they hope and expect that someone in Cyprus may be found with whom they can make a settlement.

It is becoming clearer from day to day and week to week that this is a sterile policy, and that the sooner we change it the better. Let us look at the cumulative effects of these months of conflict, and of the events that take place in Cyprus day by day, and about which we read in our newspapers. It is important for this Committee and the country to realise what are the effects of the policy which is now being pursued by the Government in Cyprus.

The first is this. We have created between ourselves and the Greek people of Cyprus a feeling of deep bitterness and resentment which may take many years to erase. A friendly people have been transformed into a hostile people who day by day in every way are showing ever greater hatred of us. What are we to gain by creating amongst those friendly people a hostile population who are coming to hate us, by creating this deep well of bitterness which may last—who knows how long? It is quite clear that there is scarcely anyone—I know of no one—among the Greek community in Cyprus who is friendly towards us. Not one.

I would, therefore, ask the Government, if they are to continue this policy of seeking to restore law and order, with all it means in Cyprus, as we have seen in the past few months, what Greek Cypriot do they think will at the end of it all venture to sit at any table to discuss any kind of settlement?

The second effect of this policy is one to which I called attention in a Question I put to the Secretary of State a week or two ago. In Cyprus, there are two communities, the majority community of Greeks and the minority community, the Turkish community. In settling Cyprus —as we shall eventually have to—one of the problems is to enable arrangements to be made by which these two communities can continue to live in peace and friendliness together. One of the effects of our policy is, in addition to creating bitterness between the Greek Cypriots and ourselves, to allow to develop—indeed, we have created—hostility between those two communities.[HON. MEMBERS: "No."] We have. [HON. MEMBERS "Nonsense."] We have.

It is time the Committee and the nation realised that we have created bitterness between those two communities. [HON. MEMBERS "No."] Hon. Members may have their views, and they will have opportunity of stating their views. It is my view—and this is the information I have, which is confirmed by hon. Members who have been in Cyprus, and it is one of the things we ought to bear in mind —that those peoples, who had learned to live in friendliness together, are now coming to regard each other as enemies; and that is one of the consequences of the policy the Government are pursuing and of their failure to settle the Cyprus problem.

Thirdly, we have seriously impaired the relations between ourselves and the friendly ally and country of Greece, the Government and the people of Greece. No one can deny that. There is increasing evidence of it. No one can view that increasing evidence of these strained relations between us and the Government and people of Greece without being deeply concerned about it. For that reason, and for others, we have gravely weakened the position of N.A.T.O. in a vital part of the world.

I would here pause to ask a question. Recently, there was a conference of the countries which are associated in N.A.T.O. and this problem, I understand, was discussed. Perhaps the Secretary of State can tell us this: what is the view of the other countries associated with us in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of the effect upon N.A.T.O. of a continuance of the present policy of the Government in Cyprus? It is quite clear that in this very vital part of the world the policy pursued at present and what is happening in Cyprus and the effect it is having all over the world are gravely weakening the position of N.A.T.O.

I would remind the Committee and the Government, too, that the consequence of what is taking place in Cyprus is having a very serious effect upon our fair name all over the world, especially among the uncommitted nations, where the democratic world now faces its most serious challenge. I beg the Government, the Committee and the country to realise that our refusal to make a settlement when the issues at the beginning of this year were so narrow that the judgment of world opinion was, I believe, that it was indefensible not to settle them, and the continuing effect of our present policy and of the present situation in Cyprus, can do untold damage to our fair name at a time when our influence is so important in the world. All these things which are taking place in Cyprus, all the effects these things are having upon our relationship with the people in Cyprus and the people in Greece, upon N.A.T.O., upon our fair name and our influence in the world —all these could have been avoided by the Government in the early part of this year when there was an opportunity of settlement.

I would ask the Secretary of State to tell us how the Government envisage the future in Cyprus. Have they any new proposals? Are there any new suggestions? Are we to assume that the Government have nothing to add to the reply we have received to our Questions, that they are going on with their present policy, first, to restore law and order—[HON. MEMBERS "Hear, hear."] Very well.

Mr. Patrick Maitland (Lanark)

Does the right hon. Gentleman want us to run away?

Mr. Griffiths

I ask the Government, how long will that restoration take? What price shall we have to pay? At the end of it all, what will be the result? What do we get? Hon. Members in every part of the Committee are concerned that the settlement at which we shall eventually arrive should be one that will enable us to fulfil our international obligations in this part of the world, because Cyprus and its facilities must be available to us and to our associates in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, because it is, in the existing circumstances in the Middle East, an indispensable base

All we get from the Government is this policy of seeking to restore law and order, which means violence and counter-violence, more bitterness, more hatred—and for how long? Her Majesty's Government do not know, and no one else knows, either. At the end of it, if we have a base, it will be a worthless base, occupied by a hostile people. It is in our view, therefore, essential—[An HON. MEMBER: "To give way.] No, not give way. Give way to what? It is essential, in our view, that we should now make a fresh approach to this problem.

Mr. Maitland

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Griffiths

No, I cannot give way.

Not for the first time in our debates on Cyprus, I want to put forward the view which we have expressed continuously from this side, and also to put forward certain suggestions for action which could be taken now and which might, we believe, even at this late stage, lead to a possible settlement in Cyprus.

I begin with this proposition. There can be no settlement in Cyprus unless it is a settlement with the representatives of the people of Cyprus, and, particularly as far as the Greek community is concerned, a settlement accepted by the representative organisation of the Greek Cypriots—the Ethnarchy Council. I should like the Secretary of State to pay attention to this and to reply to it this evening. Does he think that any settlement is possible in Cyprus which is not a settlement made with the representatives of the Greek Cypriot Community—the Ethnarchy Council? I do not believe that a settlement can be made except with them.

The second point I want to make is that no settlement with the Ethnarchy Council is possible unless that settlement carries with it the assent and approval of Archbishop Makarios. We are, therefore, confronted with the problem that if we are to have a settlement, it is essential that it should be a settlement with the Ethnarchy Council, and, in my view, it is also clear beyond any doubt that the Ethnarchy Council will not agree to a settlement unless that settlement carries with it the approval and assent of Archbishop Makarios.

I would venture now to suggest for the consideration of Her Majesty's Government how that approach can be made to a settlement and on what terms at present I think it is possible for a settlement to be made. The Secretary of State may reject these proposals. The Government may reject them, as they are entitled to do, but I say that they have the responsibility. Their present policy of negation is a policy which this Committee cannot accept and which the nation does not support. If, therefore, they reject these suggestions which we now put forward, as they have rejected other suggestions which I and my right hon. Friends have put forward in successive debates, they will have the responsibility of providing the alternative policy themselves.

I put forward these suggestions. It is quite clear that no settlement can be made with anyone who can make a settlement with us in Cyprus—and a real and lasting settlement—unless we begin with an affirmation, clear and unequivocal, that the people of Cyprus are entitled to, and that provisions will be made by which they can have, the right to determine their own future. That clear and firm declaration affirming the principle of self-determination as being applicable to Cyprus is the first essential before we can make any progress toward negotiations or a settlement. If we make that clear and firm declaration, I think there may still be an opportunity for discussing how that goal of self-determination can be approached, not by a plebiscite, but by a constitution which would provide at a given time the opportunity and the right for self-determination.

In my view, that constitution, if it is to be found acceptable by the people in Greece, must, first, provide that in the Legislative Assembly set up under the new constitution, there must be an elected majority, which, clearly, means a majority of Cypriot Greeks. This is one of the points upon which the Secretary of State and the Archbishop failed to come to an agreement when negotiations took place earlier in the year. The Secretary of State then said, as I understood it at the time and as I understand it still, that there would be an elected majority, but that the composition of that elected majority would be left to a constitutional expert who would be sent out to Cyprus to discuss the matter with the separate representatives of the Greeks and the Turks.

That point had to be left with just that bare statement about an elected majority, but without any specific commitment to an elected majority of the people of Cyprus themselves, which means an elected majority of the Greek community. I do not think that this is a detail to be settled by constitutional advisers. I believe that it is an essential basic principle, and I do not think that any constitution which has any chance of being accepted by the Cypriot Greeks can be worked out unless we have a plain affirmation that in the constitution of self-government there will be an elected majority, which means a majority of Greek Cypriots.

The second point—and on this we are all agreed—is that there must he safeguards for the Turkish minority, and these safeguards must be enshrined in the constitution. This may have been one of the underlying suspicions in the discussions which prevented a settlement. if we are to provide at some time to be agreed upon that the right of self-determination shall be afforded to the people of Cyprus, and if the time at which it is to become operative is to be settled by negotiations between the people of Cyprus and Her Majesty's Government, it is important to provide in the constitution that the authority for those negotiations, and for deciding the date and the method of achieving self-determination, shall be the Cypriot Government elected upon the franchise, and in which there is an elected majority in the sense in which I have described it.

There are two other questions upon which the negotiations broke down and I want to make some suggestions about them. First, there was the question of internal security. The proposal of Her Majesty's Government and the Governor in the earlier negotiations was that the question of internal security was to remain in the hands of the Governor for as long as he thought was necessary. I do not think that there is any chance of a settlement of the constitution when one of the essential items of self-government is left outside the control of that Government for an indefinite period and without any provisions by which the matter can be raised at any time in the future.

I therefore suggest that we should now make the offer that the question of internal security shall remain the responsibility of the Governor for a limited period of one year from the date upon which the new constitution of self-government comes into operation, and that its transference to the new Cypriot Government shall be considered and decided between that Government and Her Majesty's Government at the end of that first 12 months.

The last issue upon which these negotiations broke down was the amnesty. We got bogged down in details. I now suggest that if new negotiations are possible, the terms of the amnesty should be left to be settled when settlement of the constitutional issues has been reached, because there will then be a better opportunity of settling the terms of the amnesty than in beginning to settle them before we have settled the other issues.

I put these suggestions to the Government as we have put forward previous suggestions. I have said that, in my view, no settlement of the Cyprus situation is possible unless there is a settlement with the Ethnarchy Council. The Ethnarchy Council is not likely to arrive at any settlement, unless it carries the approval of Archbishop Makarios. I said when Archbishop Makarios was deported that Her Majesty's Government ought to bring him back at once. I said that because I then held the view, which I still hold—and that view is now even more justified than it was then—that no settlement will be possible unless Archbishop Makarios is brought into it.

The Ethnarchy Council should be invited to send representatives to London for discussions and Archbishop Makarios should be brought to London for consultation and participation in those discussions. [Laughter.] I ask hon. Members opposite, before they laugh at suggestions of this kind, to realise what will be the consequences of continuing to act as we are acting in Cyprus. Believe—[Interruption.] I hope that neither hon. Members opposite, nor the Secretary of State, when we ask that Archbishop Makarios be brought to London, will again say "Never." I should have thought that even Her Majesty's Government have learned by now how dangerous it is to use the word "never" and how quickly they have had to withdraw the word "never" in more than one instance in recent years

I have put forward suggestions which are worthy of consideration and which offer a chance of bringing the Cyprus situation under control and of bringing about a settlement. The Government may reject it. If they reject it, the Committee and the nation are entitled to know what the alternative is. The alternative is to restore law and order. It sounds so well, but we know what it means in the context of Cyprus: violence, counter-violence, bitterness, increasing bitterness and, at the end, no settlement of any kind and with the people held down, a people whom we have converted and changed from a friendly to a hostile people.

From the very beginning, when an unfortunate statement was made in the House, right up to the present, Her Majesty's Government have mishandled the situation. We have sought to put forward constructive proposals and suggestions by which, we believed, a just settlement could have been made between us and them, a just settlement between the communities in Cyprus, a settlement which would restore our friendships and once more revive our influence, which is now steadily declining in this vital part of the world. We put these suggestions once more and if Her Majesty's Government reject them they should tell us what the alternative is. The fact is that they have no alternative. If they do not adopt these suggestions, then the sooner they make way for another Government which will adopt them the better.

4.6 p.m.

Mr. John Maclay (Renfrew, West)

The subject of Cyprus is much too grave to react as I might otherwise to some of the remarks which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) made. He has gone a long way to drag this tragic subject fully into the welter of party politics. I do not propose to follow him in that course of action, except that I will deal with one of his remarks at the beginning of my speech and, later, will deal with a most astonishing omission from his speech.

Obviously, on a subject as serious as that of Cyprus there must be many opinions about the best course of action at any moment. The Opposition are obviously entitled to state their views and to criticise, if they feel like so doing, and to produce, as far as they can, constructive suggestions. The right hon. Member, however, said that "the policies of Her Majesty's Government have created hatred between the two communities in the island." [HON. MEMBERS "Hear, hear."] I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman and his supporters, who have just said, "Hear, hear," that there are other factors which have contributed to that hatred.

The first is the steady flood of propaganda which has poured into the island from a source which is only too well known to all of us, propaganda deliberately encouraging acts of violence. The second—and I say this with great hesita- ton in a debate like this—is some of the speeches and statements of policy by Her Majesty's Opposition.

Mr. Aneurin Bevan (Ebbw Vale)

indicated dissent.

Mr. Maclay

I hope that the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) will wait until I have completed this part of my speech before he tells me that I am wrong.

I must ask a straightforward question on this point. In the constructive proposals which the right hon. Member for Llanelly held that he was putting forward, he linked two points. He said that the first thing we needed was a clear and definite statement on self-determination. He will know the statement which was made in the course of recent negotiations, and which I had better repeat so that we may know exactly what is in the right hon. Gentleman's mind. The statement said:

Her Majesty's Government adhere to the principle embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.…It is not therefore, their position that the principle of self-determination can never be applicable to Cyprus. The right hon. Gentleman, in a later part of his speech, when going into details about his proposals, seemed somewhat to alter past statements of Labour Party policy. If this is not correct, I hope that he will correct it, because the impression, widely held all over Europe, in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, is that the official policy of the alternative Government of the United Kingdom is that if they were in power, there would be a clear and definite date for self-determination. Is that correct?

Mr. J. Griffiths

Speaking for the Opposition, I said that in our view we should first confirm definitely—not in this negative way, but affirmatively—the principle of self-determination and that the date upon which self-determination should become operative would be the subject of discussion and agreement between us and the Cypriot Government. I have said that there would be considerable advantages in agreeing upon a date.

Mr. Maclay

This is getting more and more confusing. Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that his words will be quoted in every newspaper in Greece tomorrow? They will also be quoted in many newspapers in Turkey.

Mr. Griffiths

So will those of the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Maclay

Mine are most unlikely to be quoted anywhere, but the words of the right hon. Gentleman will be quoted because he is speaking for Her Majesty's Opposition.

Mr. Griffiths

They may or may not be quoted, but what I have just said I have said in previous debates in exactly the same terms.

Mr. Maclay

This is of vital importance. I am making no narrow debating point, because this is critical to our discussion. The impression that has been held in other countries for a long time is that the Labour Party of this country believes that there should be a clearly expressed date, and a relatively early date, for self-government.

Mr. Griffiths

indicated assent.

Mr. Maclay

The right hon. Gentleman agrees. He said in the latter part of his speech that the method of arriving at that date might well be by the elected Government of Cyprus, under a new constitution. The right hon. Gentleman emphasised in the earlier part of his speech that the Government should have a majority of the type demanded by Archbishop Makarios. In effect, he claimed that there would be an elected majority of Greek Cypriots who would themselves be determining the date of self-government.

The mistake made on this subject, not only by the party opposite but by a great many sincere people in this country and abroad, is that they will try to judge the Cyprus problem as if it were another case of people with an urge for self-government being held back and frustrated by an out-dated colonialism on the part of the United Kingdom. I have heard these phrases used in recent weeks in reference to Cyprus—does the hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. L. Jeger) say it is?

Mr. Bevan

No, let the right hon. Gentleman tell us what it is.

Mr. Maclay

The problem of Cyprus is one which vitally affects not one nation, not two nations, but three nations as well as the people of Cyprus. What is outstanding is that throughout this critical period, when lives are at stake not only on the island of Cyprus but also on the mainland—I repeat that: lives are at stake—apparently the right hon. Gentle- man's party and others have not remembered the existence of Turkey.

I took the trouble to go carefully through the speeches made by the right hon. Gentlemen the Members for Ebbw Vale and Llanelly during our debate last month. The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, who opened the debate, spoke for 52 minutes and the right hon. Member for Llanelly, who closed it, spoke for 30 minutes. In neither of those speeches was there more than a passing reference to the Turkish problem, and then only in relation to the Turkish minority.

Of course, we all realise that a constitution could be devised which, with good will on all parts, could take care of the interests of the minority. Yet the crux of the problem is what is the view of the people of Turkey on Cyprus. Britain is involved, N.A.T.O. is involved, Greece is undoubtedly involved, but the nation which has this island 40 miles off its southern shore—an island which covers its key ports—her views on the future of Cyprus demand the closest attention, not only of Her Majesty's Government but of those critics of its policy who put forward what are sentimentally and democratically attractive proposals for a settlement, but which ignore the crux of the situation—

Mr. Bevan

If the right hon. Gentleman will look at the statement made by Archbishop Makarios, to which I referred on the previous occasion, he will see that the Archbishop also put forward proposals that would safeguard the rights of religious minorities on the island.

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson (Truro)

That is not the point.

Mr. Bevan

Does not the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay) realise that he could do no greater disservice to the settlement of the problem than to convince the majority of the Cypriots that self-government is denied them because of the Turkish minority?

Mr. Maclay

That is not the point. The point is that the right hon. Gentleman comes back on the question of the Turkish minority. I am speaking for myself on this, but I have had close talks throughout the last six months with a fairly representative group of Turkish Members of Parliament. I am sure they speak with real knowledge of what their colleagues think and what the people of Turkey think. It is not only the question of the Turkish minority, which can be protected; the real question is what would happen if tomorrow or next month or in a year from now Her Majesty's Government agreed to self-determination. I have not the slightest hesitation in saying, entirely on my own responsibility, that Turkey would fight.

I am choosing my words with the greatest possible care. Perhaps the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale will listen. I would not say a thing like that at this stage of the debate if I did not believe it to be essential for attaining a solution of the problem that this fact should be realised. Whether actual fighting would break out, one cannot tell, but the will is there. I am convinced that Turkish feeling will not allow Greece to take over the sovereignty of that island unless or until it is done on a basis which Turkey is completely satisfied will give her long-term protection of her southern coast.

That is a grave thing to say and I would not say it if I had not come to the conclusion that it is the worst danger of this problem. One cannot look at the Cyprus problem solely in the context of what has happened on the island, because far too serious a position exists on the mainland.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way. He is making an important point. I would put this to him. Would he say that no settlement of Cyprus should be reached at any time by Her Majesty's Government which does not carry the approval of the Turkish Government? Is he saying that this is not a problem of the relations with a Colony, but an international problem? Would he be willing that the matter should be referred to the United Nations for settlement as an international matter?

Mr. Maclay

There are about four questions in that one question, so if I miss one out perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell me? I speak purely for myself and I accept responsibility for my remarks in this Committee. I do not think that there can be a satisfactory solution of the Cyprus problem if there is not the complete agreement of the Turkish Government. This is not just a problem of the relationship of a protecting power to a territory for which it has responsibility. The issues involved are far wider. The phrase "self-determination", which is a vitally important one for democratic countries, has been misused in recent years—in the years between the wars—and has been the excuse for territorial grabbing. One cannot use that phrase without reference to the context in which it is used.

My own view is that the solution of this tragic problem, which no one is more anxious to solve than we all are here, can only come with the agreement not only of the people of Cyprus—I believe that this is difficult, but not insuperable—but that the real solution lies with the three Governments principally concerned, working by themselves —perhaps inside a wider body. I would not attempt to deal with that question. But I believe that special responsibility must lie with the British Government, the Greek Government and the Turkish Government. If one has not got that agreement, there is no solution that will last.

I know that strong feeling has been expressed in Turkey that the United Kingdom Government went too far in the recent talks with the Archbishop. One did one's best to explain the circumstances, but that feeling was undoubtedly strong. The Turkish Government have behaved with most magnificent restraint, but let us remember that there are things working under the surface. We have only to recall the tragic events of last September. No matter on which side of the Committee we are, or where we are outside this Chamber, let us be careful about advocating settlements which do not take into account the really critical element in the matter.

4.21 p.m.

Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)

I found myself in a great deal of agreement with some of the things said by the right hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay). I, too, have talked at length with representatives of the Turkish minority in Cyprus and of the Turkish Government.

I am convinced that Enosis—that is what is meant by "self-determination" in this context; let there be no doubt about it—will be resisted by armed force by the local Turks, and the local Turks will be supported by the Turks from the mainland with sufficient force to enable them to win. As a matter of realities, the alternatives for the island are Turkish rule or British rule. There is no other choice. That is a reality which we must face. Using democratic and high-sounding phrases can be very dangerous indeed if they are not in conformity with the realities of the situation.

We hear a great deal about self-determination. Self-determination is relevant only within a homogeneity. Where one has a division of people, self-determination resulting from a majority of one against the other does not give either the right to rule the other. In 800 years this country did not create a sufficient homogeneity of interest to entitle it to rule the Irish. Self-determination by the majority in the British Isles had to be swept aside because there was no homogeneity to base it on.

The position in Cyprus is just the same. There we have a Turkish population and a Greek population speaking different languages and not understanding each other's language, not marrying, not even working together, not living together, and not even worshipping the same God. We have these totally different societies, each resolved upon one thing, and that is that they will not submit to the rule of the other. That is the reality of the situation.

I differ from the right hon. Gentleman when he says that we can provide safeguards in the constitution for the Turkish minority. We cannot provide safeguards for the Turkish minority if we provide for self-determination, because who then remains to protect the minority? Certainly, the Turks are not going to accept the word of the Greeks or the paper undertaking of the Greeks about their safety. This is what one must realise.

What, then, is the solution? In the early stages the solution was relatively easy. This has been a hopeless muddle by the Government. Let there be no doubt about this. That things should have reached this pass is the Government's fault, through continual mishandling. Those who were putting forward the Enosis demand in the early stages knew that it was impracticable. What has happened is that the Greek Church is not allowed to take part in every-day politics—one cannot have an Orthodox Party in the same way as one can have a Catholic Party—but is allowed to take up an attitude upon a great question affecting the welfare of the flock. Enosis served the Church magnificently, and has done ever since 1878 when we went there.

This was the great question. This was the alternative to a demand for self-Government, which would have involved the creation of Greek political authorities which would have rivalled the Ethnarchy; but it was a policy which served the Church only as long as it did not happen. If it had happened it would have involved a Greek political authority placed above the Ethnarchy. Over and above that, it would be one which had disappropriated the church lands of Greece without compensation, and the Church of Cyprus was the largest landlord in Cyprus. Therefore, there was a certain insincerity about the Church's attitude to Enosis, but Enosis served admirably as the alternative to the demand for self-government.

Then came the Communist challenge to the Ethnarchy's leadership of the Greek people. A young and ambitious Archbishop stepped up his demand for Enosis in order to outbid the Communists. Then the Communists proceeded to climb on the band wagon and ask for it, too. As the Greek Government, under whom they were demanding to be put, shoots Communists on sight, that demand was perhaps even less sincere. However, one can see the unreality of the situation which was developing when I was there last autumn.

There was no doubt that Makarios, when I saw him at that point —1 saw him at great length—was an exceedingly frightened man who was extremely anxious to get away from the situation which he had built up. At that point Makarios was quite prepared, so long as the principle of self-determination was granted, to take it in a form which, in effect, made it subject to a Turkish veto. If he could have got a form of words which created no danger he would have accepted.

The only trouble was that the Government delayed in accepting the formula until the situation had passed out of the hands of Makarios. That is what really happened. The formula that we brought back from Makarios was the very formula which was offered by the Foreign Secretary six weeks later. Six weeks later the extremists had got out of Makarios's hands and he could no longer offer the terms which he had offered when we were there. That is the trouble, and that is how the Government got into the situation.

Now we are faced with a situation in which it is futile to talk about negotiation. There is nobody with whom to negotiate. We cannot negotiate any terms which do not involve civil war if we get them. Therefore, it seems to me that at this stage the Government have to make up their minds that the only alternative is to govern; and they must have the guts to govern.

Having got there, what do we do? What could be more utterly idiotic than the hanging of the two Cypriots? I warned the Government—the right hon. Gentleman may remember my speech—exactly what would happen when they did this. It creates bitterness. It builds up hostility against one. One recruits in an enormous way for E.O.K.A. We should remember that when the Germans shot Nurse Cavell we had a big inflow of troops and demands to do the same sort of job. When one shoots or hangs somebody who is believed to be a patriot, that is inevitably what happens.

We have to do things which look as if they will be effective and not which merely enrage. I say—and I said this at Strasbourg and in a letter to The Times —that there is one method by which we can provide a solution to this problem. If a crime is committed in a village and the local population make it quite clear that they are going to give us no collaboration, we serve compulsory purchase orders on the Greek property owners in that village. We take that property and we ship the inhabitants to Greece. If the Greeks will not accept them, we say, "Very well, we will land them at Smyrna. The Turks will accept them."

That puts the Greek Government in an unhappy position. Either they accept these people whom they claim to be their citizens or they do not. If they do not, they are in a curious position in claiming them to be their citizens. The same ship which takes back the Greeks brings in the Turks who will settle in Cyprus. The Turkish Government have assured me that they will give all cooperation in providing the necessary settlements. The Turks will settle, buying on reasonable terms the property which we have bought from the Greeks. At that point, it will be perfectly clear to the Greeks that if they continue violence and murder they will continue it until there is a Turkish majority.

I believe that one shipment would solve this problem, because we are then showing that the solution is there and that violence means their ultimate defeat and the creation of a Turkish majority. We show them that violence must fail their purpose. Unless we have the courage to do that, I do not see what solution we are to get to this problem, so long as the population believe that the terrorists are going to win; and until we provide an alternative they will go on believing it. Our forces are hitting in the air, they have no information and, in point of fact, E.O.K.A. is getting more out of control and not more under control.

We are getting a multiplicity of incidents, we are not curing them, the strength against us is rising and not decreasing. It will go on like that. Therefore, having come to the conclusion that we are condemned to stay there—and I think that we are—for heaven's sake do what is necessary to stay there and do not dither about.

4.33 p.m.

Mr. John Arbuthnot (Dover)

I find myself in complete agreement with the remarks which the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) made when he referred, in effect, to what would happen if we abdicated in Cyprus. There is no doubt that the Turks would then fight and we should find that we had landed Cyprus, in which the vast majority of the citizens are peace-loving and want only to get on with the job of tilling their farms, in civil war. The bloodshed which would result would be a disgrace to ourselves and to the whole of our history of government.

With some of the other points in the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech I do not find myself in quite such close agreement, for example, when he suggested that he would ship Greek Cypriots to Greece. The Achilles' heel in that argument, as he will be the first to recognise, is that we cannot ship British subjects to Greece or Turkey or anywhere else, and it would be wrong if we tried to do so.

Mr. Paget

There are powers to do so, under the emergency powers.

Mr. Arbuthnot

There may be powers, but it is not a thing to which we should be a party.

I was in Cyprus in February and I had conversations with Archbishop Makarios and the Mufti and with many other people there at that time. There are two fundamental considerations which we have to bear in mind. One is that we need Cyprus as a base from which to preserve the peace in the Middle East: that is the paramount consideration. The second is that we have responsibilities for the vast majority of Cypriots who are not participants in all the trouble that is going on, and who are anxious for the maintenance of peace and look to us to preserve it for them. We have, furthermore, a responsibility for the Turkish minority.

That Turkish minority fear that we may let them down. When they were talking to me they made no bones about it-that, in their view, we had gone too far. They felt that we were in danger of bringing in what would be government by Greek Cypriots, and they thought that the degree of authority which they had already experienced from Greek Cypriots in local government was not such as to encourage them to regard it as the sort of government which would give them fair treatment.

One case was quoted to me of a recent earthquake. A house there, belonging to a Turkish Cypriot, had a notice put on the door saying, "This house is dangerous to passing traffic and will be pulled down within three days." The Turkish Cypriot went to his architect and asked for a survey of the house. The survey proved it to be completely satisfactory. So the Turkish Cypriot then went to the Greek Cypriot mayor and produced the evidence of his architect, to which the Greek Cypriot mayor replied, "Thank you for your evidence. This is a question of conflicting views between your architect and those of the borough surveyor. Clearly, as mayor of this town, I must be guided by the evidence of the borough surveyor in preference to that of your architect."

So the Turkish Cypriot then approached a Greek Cypriot architect and asked him for a report, not telling him what was the object of the exercise. The Greek Cypriot architect reported that the house was in as good a condition as it had ever been. The three of them—the owner of the house, the Turkish Cypriot architect and the Greek Cypriot architect—all went along to confront the borough surveyor. The borough surveyor said, "I quite agree with what you say, but that was what the mayor told me to say."

If that is the sort of treatment that Turkish Cypriots are receiving under the comparatively small degree of autonomy that the Greek Cypriots have in local government, one cannot be surprised if the Turkish Cypriots feel disturbed at the thought of Greek Cypriots having greater power at a national level over them, until the Greek Cypriots have learned a greater degree of responsibility and until we see to it that proper conditions are laid down to make sure that the right of the minorities are properly protected. Therefore, I feel, bearing in mind all these factors, that Her Majesty's Government are absolutely right in the firm stand which they are taking.

Were I to make a criticism, it would be that, due to the pressure which hon. Gentlemen opposite are trying to exercise, we are not making it clear enough, and are not saying firmly enough, that we shall stand resolute; that we shall carry out our responsibilities, not only in the interests of Cypriots, both Greek and Turkish, but also in the interests of the preservation of peace in the Middle East. We have to make it clear to the world that we do not propose to follow the vacillating policy suggested by hon. Gentlemen opposite. We are not going to run out of responsibilities which are ours, because our duty in Cyprus is to govern.

Mr. Bevan

Before the hon. Gentleman concludes, I wish to ask him a question on a point which has interested hon. Members on this side of the Committee very much. There was a good deal of cheering from hon. Members for the suggestion by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) that he believed that if the property owners of a village refused to co-operate with the Government, their property should be expropriated. Does any member of the Conservative Party believe in that?

Mr. Arbuthnot

The right hon. Gentleman has asked me that question, but I think that if he was listening he will remember that I pointed out to the hon. and learned Gentleman the Achilles' heel in his argument, and why it would not work.

Mr. Bevan

No, I am not having that. The hon. Gentleman said that when he described the suggestion by my hon. and learned Friend as wrong, because we could not deport British subjects from Cyprus. That was not the question I put. My hon. and learned Friend put another interesting suggestion which I thought was applauded by hon. Members opposite and we would like to know whether it is to be applied in Kenya. If any property owner refuses to co-operate with the Government in carrying out emergency laws, are hon. Gentlemen opposite in favour of expropriating his property without compensation? I should like to know.

Mr. Arbuthnot

That has not been suggested from this side of the Committee. It was the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman's hon. and learned Friend.

4.42 p.m.

Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)

The debate has taken an extraordinary turn. I thought we were discussing when the people of Cyprus should have self-government. But after listening to the speeches of the right hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay) and the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) it would seem that what we are really discussing is our obligations towards another State, namely, Turkey.

I thought that our position regarding Cyprus was perfectly clear; that Turkey had given possession to us as long ago as 1878, and from that time onwards we were responsible; that in respect of Cyprus we were undertaking exactly the same responsibility as in respect of other countries similarly situated; that we would do our utmost to help those people, and to guide them and educate them until the day when we would be pleased to say, "The moment has come when you can govern yourselves." That, as I understand it, is the whole principle of our policy.

We are trying to bring to such people, whoever they may be, the same conditions as we think right here, and ensuring that they should have a democratic Government of their own.

Mr. Maclay

I hope that nothing I have said implies that I do not agree with the desire for self-government in Cyprus, which is not the same thing as Enosis.

Mr. Davies

The right hon. Gentleman, in his speech, departed a very long way from the policy which he used to follow, and I should imagine it is high time he got one part of the designation right. But to continue—

Mr. Maclay

rose

Mr. Davies

No, I cannot give way again. I think I have given the right hon. Gentleman his opportunity.

What is happening about Cyprus? The position was made absolutely clear in 1915. If there were any doubt about it prior to 1915, that doubt was set at rest when we made it clear that we were now annexing Cyprus, and that there would be no claim whatever allowed to Turkey. The Turkish people had determined that they would fight against us and they did so in our hour of greatest peril. The First World War might have been shortened a great deal, and probably millions of lives saved, had Turkey not taken the line she did. Not content with that, the matter was dealt with again in 1923. I recommend the right hon. Gentleman to read Sir Harold Nicholson's book, Curzon The Last Phase. Lord Curzon represented us at that time, and made clear beyond doubt our rights with regard to Cyprus.

Mr. Maclay

I feel I must interrupt the right hon. and learned Gentleman again. Nothing I said for one minute suggested handing the island over to Turkey. I said that the solution of the problem—and the right hon. and learned Gentleman, for all his Liberal principles must agree—is of vital importance to three nations. My only quarrel with the right hon. and learned Gentleman in his Liberalism is that one must deal with the realities in this world.

Mr. Davies

I was dealing with the position in Cyprus. What the right hon. Gentleman seemed to me to say was that Turkey is now, in the matter of the realities in this world, quite prepared to enter that island and to "go to war"— the very words he used, and that is a reality—against a land for which we are responsible and for which we have taken responsibility throughout.

Mr. Maclay

The right hon. and learned Gentleman is getting the whole thing wrong.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

The right hon. Gentleman said they would fight.

Mr. Maclay

I used the words "they would fight ", I did not use the words "they would go to war ". The whole point is this. There are certain Powers which are intensely interested in the solution of the problem in that part of the world and it would be folly to try to impose a solution which conflicts with the interests of those interested countries.

Mr. Davies

The right hon. Gentleman has a very short memory. I realise that he has a short memory about his political past, but he cannot even remember what he said half an hour ago. He said that he was choosing his words with the greatest care and that they were his own personal responsibility. He said that after a talk with members of the Turkish Parliament, he thought Turkey would go to war—

Hon. Members

No, "would fight".

Mr. Davies

Then we had another extraordinary statement from the hon. and learned Member for Northampton. So far from advocating our following the democratic line of allowing the majority to decide, the hon. and learned Gentleman wants us to deal with the situation in a way which would mean that the minority will rule: if the majority do not like it, they are to be taken away forcibly and put somewhere else. It strikes me that the hon. and learned Gentleman should not be occupying his present position in this House. That is the kind of doctrine which I seem to have heard from Berlin in the old days, and more recently from Moscow—that the right thing to do, if a majority—or anyone else—do not agree with you is either to imprison them or deport them: at all events, one has to be firm, even if the firmness means shooting them.

That is the extraordinary turn which this debate has taken. I should have preferred to take it back—

Mr. Paget

The right hon. and learned Member says "shoot them" but I say we should neither shoot them nor hang them. What I said, and it does not seem to me to be even so illiberal, is that when gentlemen under our flag refuse to obey our laws and allow our people to be murdered, refuse to co-operate with our Government in trying to make peace, they should, after being compensated for losses, be returned to the territory of the Government whom they claim to be their Government.

Mr. Davies

Again that sort of argument—which meets with so much approval from hon. Members opposite—reminds me, although I did not think I should have to refer to it once again, of those debates on the Irish question which I heard, and many of which I attended. Phrases were then all the time being used about our duty to preserve law and order —they were used at that Dispatch Box and there were loud cheers from hon. Members opposite—phrases to the effect that that was not only the primary duty, but the main duty, of a Government; come what may, law and order must be preserved.

I would interpose that we cannot maintain law and order by force alone; we can maintain law and order only when we carry along with us the people with whom we are dealing. It is a matter not of force but of persuasion and of a realisation that we are doing justice and acting fairly. If I may remind the House, those were the very words we heard time and again from Sir Henry Duke and Hamar Greenwood, with the terrible result that we lost the sympathy of Ireland and the people of Ireland even to this day. What have we not had to suffer because of the bitterness and anger created at that time?

I should not have touched on that question but for the two speeches which we have heard and to which I have referred. What we are really anxious about is what can be done at the present moment to put an end to this situation, this impasse, this tragic deadlock. Can something he done? I am quite sure that there is no one who would not desire at this moment to see it ended in some way or another. That, I am perfectly sure applies to the right hon. Gentleman and all his supporters and to all of us. I think it applies far outside this country. I am quite sure that at the meeting recently held in Paris there was distress that this situation should continue.

While I agree with the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) that the terms which he laid down will probably have to be agreed to in course of time, it may be that at this moment the Government are not in a position and that we cannot expect them to be in a position to say "Very well, we shall accept them". Will they not do something less at this moment? It has been suggested that no one will come forward to negotiate. I do not believe it. If I may revert to the Irish question, the statement was made then that no one would come forward. When eventually they came forward there had been a great many tragedies.

It is not much use saying again that we will send out someone nominated by the Government who will either negotiate or draw up a draft constitution. Whoever went would be the nominee of the Government, and therefore would be suspect. If Cypriot representatives will not go to Sir John Harding they will not go to anyone else. The proposal which has been made by myself and others to the right hon. Gentleman I reiterate to the House merely with a view to seeing if we cannot put an end to this impasse and once again get the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues on one side of the table with some representatives of the people of Cyprus on the other.

The suggestion was that Members should go from this House, not nominated by the Government, but as representatives of both sides of the House. They should go there with the responsibility which it is known that Members of Parliament have, and without any preconceived ideas. They would say, "We have come here to listen and to hear. If anyone would come forward we are prepared to hear them." Then they would come back here and report. It may very well be that by our doing that a new era would start, which we all desire.

We all want a settlement. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman wants a settlement. How to achieve it is another matter. At present all that has been said on one side is, "Our duty is to preserve law and order. We have to be obeyed." On the other side it is said, "No, we will not accept your law. We shall go on fighting." Is there not something that can be done to put an end to it? I am again putting forward this suggestion. It is not quite on the same lines as in regard to Malta, of course, but it is very near to those lines. I was honoured by being one of the members of the Round Table Conference. The mere fact that we who were representatives of this House said that we were willing to hear everybody made the whole of Malta interested. We were prepared to hear whoever came forward.

In the same way, I should imagine that if some hon. Members went out to Cyprus in that way and it were known that they were holding the responsible position of Members of this House and would come back to report, as in duty bound, to the House, they would be welcomed by the people, who would come forward and—as we all hope—we might put an end to this impasse.

4.57 p.m.

Captain F. V. Corfield (Gloucestershire, South)

I very much welcome the opportunity to intervene in this debate because two points were mentioned by the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) which I think deserve some comment in the light of the effect which they might well have on the position of our troops in Cyprus. I refer to his criticisms, first, of the recent executions and, secondly, of his suggestion that we should bring back Archbishop Makarios.

I think most people will agree that whether we call it the urgent necessity of stopping terrorism, or call it restoring law and order, it does not very much matter. But that is what we have got to do. I cannot believe that we shall solve the problem by bringing back a political archbishop who at no time in the past has even so much as expressed disapproval of these acts of terrorism which have disrupted the whole island and have disrupted it every bit as much before as since his deportation. The condonation of the sort of crimes that have been going on is not really evidence of the qualities we look for in a man with whom to negotiate as a possible leader of a democratic Government. We have to remember that those crimes have been committed, not only against our own soldiers and their families, but against Cypriots who happen to hold another point of view.

I want to pass from there to the criticism of the executions. When law and order is re-established, as we all hope it will be very soon, our troops in Cyprus will realise every bit as well as we in this House do that sooner or later there will be an amnesty, and if self-determination is really achieved there is no telling how wide that amnesty will be drawn. If the soldiers in Cyprus once get the idea that a terrorist is going to receive merely a comparatively short imprisonment to be released to become a national hero, I submit that that would have a very grave effect on the discipline and morale of our troops in Cyprus. The right hon. Gentleman said that he sympathised with those troops, but I should like him to exercise his undoubted imagination and to try to realise their position, because it is a position which, in a very much smaller way, I have been in myself and which I can understand.

They operate in extremely small groups in these very narrow streets. The operative unit is very often a section and at most a platoon, and when trouble breaks out the decision as to what action should be taken has not only to be taken quickly, but has to taken by extremely young officers and non-commissioned officers. The whole policy in such an operation must err, if there is any error in the decision, on the side of caution. It is essential that we should not risk unnecessary injury to civilian bystanders, however hostile and unco-operative they may be. When our troops are faced with a dangerous terrorist, they have not only to risk the danger of taking him alive, but they have probably to increase that risk deliberately in order to safeguard the interests of bystanders who may be not only hostile, but definitely provocative.

If we in this House make any suggestion that these terrorists, whatever their crime—even though they may have maimed or killed while resisting arrest—are not to he dealt with severely, we strike a mortal blow at the whole discipline and morale of our troops. These young officers and N. C. O.s have displayed a magnificent restraint in this operation and we in the House owe them every possible support. I believe that we owe them a wider support than merely support for their day-to-day duties. If we give the impression throughout the world that we are to be intimidated by threats of further violence, whether they come from Cyprus or even from Athens, we shall ourselves actively encourage that violence. I put it to right hon. Gentlemen opposite that that is the light in which the forces, if not the country as a whole, will judge their action in the debate today.

5.2 p.m.

Mrs. Lena Jeger (Holborn and St. Pancras, South)

Despite the speeches which we have heard from my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) and the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), I am sure this has been so far a most disappointing debate. Not only will many people in Cyprus have been listening most anxiously to what has been said today, but our allies in N.A.T.O. and fellow members of the United Nations will have been weighing carefully the words spoken in the House today. So far, in a situation of the gravest danger, distress and disgrace to our people, we have heard very little—

Captain Corfield

Disgrace to whom?

Mrs. Jeger

Disgrace to the traditions of this country.

Mr. S. O. Davies (Merthyr Tydfil)

After the horrible speech we have just heard from the back benches opposite.

Mrs. Jeger

The House and the people of Cyprus have a right to expect some constructive proposals and some positive suggestions for ameliorating this tragic and desperate situation. I will follow the hon. and gallant Member for Gloucestershire, South (Captain Corfield) only so far as to say that I share all his concern and sympathy for our troops in the task, the bitterly unfair task, which the Government have placed upon their shoulders.

When I was last in that country I spent as long as I could with our soldiers, watching them at work and discussing their problems with them, and I am convinced that they are doing the best they possibly can. But we are asking too much of them. Her Majesty's Government are putting a most unfair burden and responsibility on those lads, 60 per cent. of whom are National Service men, many having been sent out to Cyprus after only ten weeks' training.

Too much time has been spent in this short debate, I feel, on the question of Turkey, but because so many references have been made to a lack of appreciation of this aspect of the problem I will spend a little longer on it. I am amazed that from hon. Members opposite, the great protectors and champions of British prestige, we should hear it seriously suggested that the policy of Her Majesty's Government in Cyprus should be dictated by the Turks—should be dictated by a country which, in the history of alliances with us at any time in our mortal danger, is a disgrace. [HON: "Oh."] [Hon. Members say "Oh," but I wonder how many of them were at Gallipoli and how many have forgotten the history of the relationships between Turkey and this country? I would not have reopened old sores today; it is my earnest hope that in the present situation, in the 20th century, in which we have to co-exist, all together, with Turkey, Greece and our other allies—

Mr. A. E. Cooper (Ilford, South)

The hon. Lady should make it quite clear that what she is saying about the Turkish people is a view which is not shared by us all. She should realise that in the Korean war, particularly at the beginning, the Turkish army suffered the greatest number of casualties on behalf of the United Nations of any force taking part.

Mrs. Jeger

I acknowledge the part which Turkey played in Korea as a member of the United Nations. Indeed, I am surprised that it should be seriously put to the House that Turkey, as a member of the United Nations, would be prepared to commit an act of aggression against another member of the United Nations. If that is the case, we shall all be in another Korean situation; and I hope that all members of the United Nations will then be as ready and as active to deal with Turkish aggression, if it occurs, in Cyprus, as Turkey was to help in Korea.

What a state of affairs it is when we are told that there can be no settlement in Cyprus unless it suits the Turks. Her Majesty's Government are thereby granting to the Turks a veto on our policy. I submit that we cannot dodge our responsibilities in Cyprus in this way. How can we maintain that an alliance with Turkey, and only with Turkey, should be the dominating factor? I submit that the United Nations has its methods of dealing with aggression and that, if necessary, Turkey should be reminded of her obligations under the Charter in the same way as other countries have had to be reminded.

This situation is quite different from that which would obtain between the Turks and the Greeks in Cyprus if only they were left alone. I support my right hon. Friend's view that Her Majesty's Government are contributing to the ill-feeling between the two communities, because nothing will create more ill-feeling between the two communities than a view held among the Turkish Cypriots that Her Majesty's Government are prepared to encourage hostile acts from the Turkish mainland. I am sure that if, on the contrary, Her Majesty's Government took a firm line to show that we did not intend to let the tail wag the dog in Cyprus, and if they put this clearly and firmly before the Turkish minority, the communities would begin to settle down and live together, as they have lived together for very many years.

Let us not forget that the problem of minorities is not limited to Cyprus. There are more Greeks living in Turkey than there are Turks in Cyprus. There are Turks living in Greece. In every country of the Middle East there is a mixture of nationalities. Surely at this stage in the history of the world people must get used to living together, in whatever country they happen to find themselves. It is our duty not to encourage the differences between the two communities in Cyprus, but rather to heal them wherever we can. It is not sufficiently widely known that at this stage there is a fair measure of understanding and of co-operation between the two communities.

I should like to remind the House that the only district commissioner in Cyprus who is not an Englishman is a Turk. He is the district commissioner for the Paphos district. He is a first-class man doing a very good job—and his two assistant district commissioners are Greeks. I spent a long time in January watching these three men working together. I went out of my way to ask every Greek I could in the district how they got on with the district commissioner. I heard not one word against that Turkish Commissioner, but, on the other hand, I heard praise for his fairness and impartiality.

I am sure that there are other similar examples which we should stress and underline. One morning I spent some time in a mixed village of Greeks and Turks. Honestly, it was difficult to tell which was which, especially as I do not speak either language. I found a group of women sitting and working under a tree. I asked one who could speak English whether they were Greeks or Turks. She pointed to one and said, "She is Greek" and to another, "She is a Turk." and so on throughout the group. There they were, sitting and working together. I must admit that the men were not so sensible, because all the Turkish men were together in one café at one end of the village and all the Greeks in another café at the other end.

I am convinced, however, that we are exaggerating this question—and allowing it to be exaggerated. We are not serving any useful purpose as long as we make possible Turkish reaction the excuse for the failure of Her Majesty's Government to do what I am sure is the right and fair thing for the majority of the people of that island.

All the arguments we have heard this afternoon—and which we have heard in previous debates—from the benches opposite, were raised in almost the same words at the time when the Ionian Islands were being granted their Enosis by Mr. Gladstone. We have heard all the reasons that were then used about strategy that the Ionian Islands were essential to our bases and our interests, for protecting our lifelines, and so on. Now it is quite forgotten that those islands ever belonged to us. I do not suppose that there are many hon. Members opposite who even knew that the Ionian Islands once belonged to Britain and that it was this House which acceded to the Enosis movement there.

This afternoon we have to face a grave decision. It seems to me that there are two clear policies which Her Majesty's Government can pursue. One is to continue a policy of unmitigated repression in the name of law and order. I am sure that we can do that. I am sure that we can increase the number of soldiers in Cyprus. We can meet violence with counter-violence. More lives can be lost on either side. We can hang every terrorist we find in Cyprus. We, too, can make a desert and call it peace. And at the end we will still be faced with the problem of coming to terms with the people of Cyprus.

I am certain that we shall find the people of Cyprus as determined, if not more determined, in the unity of their national aspirations. While we carry on in the name of law and order with a policy which punishes many innocent people, which creates the hardships which are bound to result from communal fines, from curfews and from corporal punishment, we are only adding to the bitterness which makes the eventual situation absolutely impossible to deal with. We have already deeply alienated the population. We have already lost many of our friends—people who have been our friends for years and who grieve bitterly at the turn which events have taken.

What is the alternative? I suggest that we have to make a fresh start. We have to put the whole question in a new context. I strongly support the constructive suggestions which have already been put forward. There may be others, and we are waiting for them, and the people of Cyprus are waiting for them. It is the barrenness of the Government's policy which is losing us so many friends in Cyprus. What we need above all at present is a bridge in Cyprus between ourselves and those people in the island who are as bitterly opposed to terrorism as we are, but, at the moment, we have left those people isolated and alone. There is no negotiating machinery in existence to which they can direct their loyalty and their efforts.

In this harsh, difficult situation we can only start afresh by introducing some fresh element. That is why I strongly support the proposal that an all-party delegation should go from this House to Cyprus, or that a round-table conference should be called which would bring new people into the picture and would give the co-operative and constructive elements in Cyprus some opportunity of cooperation. I do not think that this can happen if the present Governor of Cyprus has to deal alone with the political situation.

I pay my tribute to Sir John Harding who, I think, is doing an extraordinarily difficult job. Too much is being asked of him. He is a gallant soldier with a fine record, trying to do an impossible job. Whatever we may feel about the position of the people of Cyprus, Sir John Harding is inevitably associated with a policy of repression, and that will make it very difficult for Cypriot people to come forward

We have been told time after time in this House that the first job must be to restore law and order, following which all the moderate Cypriots will suddenly appear, go marching up the drive to Government House, knock on the door and say, "Please, we have come." That is a completely unrealistic picture. No one who knows the island can believe that that will possibly happen.

Who are the moderate people in Cyprus who will have to be the potential leaders? We know some of them. We know that there are two particularly pro-British Cypriots, who served us so loyally and with such distinction on the Executive Council—Sir Paul Pavlides and Sir John Clerides. They have both been forced to resign in protest against the policy of Her Majesty's Government. When I was in Cyprus the most frequent question asked me was, "How can you expect any of us to co-operate with the British when even Sir Paul Pavlides and Sir John Clerides will have nothing to do with the present policy?

The few elected representatives in Cyprus are to be found still in the municipalities. I refer to the six mayors in the island. Two of them are in prison. Three of them are closely identified with the Archbishop's policy and, I am sure, would find it very difficult in his absence to play the part of what to them would seem to be quislings. We on this side of the House should pay particular regard to the position of the trade union leaders. Where are they to be found? Not only are many of the Communist trade union leaders to be found in the central prison at Nicosia, but the leader, the general secretary of the anti-Communist trade union, is also in prison, together with many of his officials—in prison, I may say, without charge or trial.

Who is there who will co-operate in this situation? I ask the right hon. Gentleman to believe that I am perfectly sincere when I say that I cannot think of anybody in Cyprus who, in the present situation, will come forward to co-operate in working a constitution. That to me is one of the biggest tragedies, because I know that there was such a fund of good will in that country towards us. That is why I submit that we should send to Cyprus fresh people who are not associated with the difficulties of maintaining law and order, so that those who have hitherto felt that they could have nothing to do with the present policy might be able—I put it no higher than that, but surely we must try everything—to talk to representatives of this House.

I want to refer in particular to one of the saddest aspects in the present situation in Cyprus, and that is the fact that we seem to have lost the support of the rising generation there. Surely, no effort that we are making in what must essentially be a war of ideas can succeed if we have lost the future. I am sure that hon. Members will have noticed with regret, as I have done, the number of times that schoolchildren have been involved in demonstrations. There has been loss of life among children. I believe I am right in saying that over fifty of these young people are in prison at present. I saw some of them myself in the Central Prison in Nicosia—lads just over sixteen years of age—behind bars with the sort of criminals who are to be found in every population, the riff-raff of which we all have a proportion in our countries.

They were secondary schoolboys, sixth form schoolboys speaking very good English—boys who should be the future leaders of their country. They threw a stone at a policeman. They did something which they ought not to have done. But, looking at those boys and seeing their faces already setting into a mould of hatred, knowing that they have got two-and three-year sentences, I ask myself what will those boys be like when they come out of prison? What will their attitude be to our country?

It is part of the same policy of confusion to the younger generation in Cyprus that we follow this extraordinary practice of closing so many schools. After seventy years of British responsibility for Cyprus, there are now school places for 97,000 children out of a population of over 140,000 children of school age. The last time I had figures for Cyprus I was told that 12,000 secondary school children and 41,000 elementary school children were not at school because their schools were shut.

I do not know what is the psychology behind the instruction that has gone out to the effect that if a Greek flag is flying on a school, that school is to be closed for the day. That is a challenge to every high-spirited schoolboy to see who can be the first to run up the flag before the headmaster arrives. It has become among children partly a joke and partly a challenge to what is, without doubt, a very sincere feeling among many of them that they are in some way doing something brave and heroic. By attaching so much importance to whether or not there is a Greek flag on a building, we build up in the minds of the children an added importance and significance to the flag.

What happens? I have seen it. The headmaster arrives. There is a Greek flag flying on the school and all the children are laughing in the playground. The headmaster says, "No school today." The teachers come along and they see the flag flying. Someone goes to fetch the chairman of the school managers from his vineyard or from whatever he is doing. He sees the flag—no school today. Then there is an argument—who will take the flag down? Says the village policeman, "It is not my job to take down the Greek flag." Says the headmaster, "It is not my job either." So everybody goes off, the children pleased as can be, and what happens? They throw a stone at the first British soldier they see and the whole bitter trouble starts again.

There are hundreds of these children wandering around who should be in school and who, whatever explanation we produce, will feel in later life that this was part of a policy carried out by Great Britain which will alienate them from us for the rest of their lives. These young people feel bitterly anti-British. For every man who is detained, there is a family behind him, many of them in increasing impoverishment as the breadwinner is kept away. Every detainee has not only his wife and children, but a wide circle of relations. For every person detained without trial, there are a number of people directly concerned, like the ripples which emerge when we throw a stone into a pool.

I submit that coercion is not a policy worthy of Her Majesty's Government or of this House. Terrorism is a symptom of a bitterly wrong situation, and we have to deal with the causes of terrorism. I am sure that it is quite unfair and unrealistic for us to insist on a policy of law and order without at the same time offering a constructive alternative policy to which people can rally in support. At present, there is no such alternative in Cyprus, and I should have thought that the situation had gone on long enough for even the most obstinate hon. Member opposite to see that it is not working out.

There is less law and order now in Cyprus than there was two months ago. The Government jam Athens radio because they say it is an incitement to violence. Has there been less violence since Athens radio was jammed? Has there been less violence since Makarios was deported? The Government are not only pursuing a wrong policy—they are not even making that wrong policy succeed. They are doing neither one thing nor the other. Therefore, from whichever way the problem is approached, the Government are open to the widest criticism.

In this situation of bitterness and violence we have to introduce a healing element. We have to recreate the confidence of the people of Cyprus in the British people, and we have somehow to convince them that we still stand by the Charter of the United Nations, for human rights and justice, and for the rights of the people to determine the future of the country in which they live. These, I should have thought, were elementary principles.

I should have thought that our membership of the United Nations and our subscription to the Charter were things which we held in common. All we are asking is that those elementary principles should be applied in Cyprus, that in a situation of bankruptcy and depression we should try to make a fresh start with new talks and with negotiations. Let us start to talk again. I am sure that the very fact of our talking and of our accessibility to arguments will itself contribute to the restoration of law and order, appeals for which alone cannot succeed.

Knowing this island as well as I do, and respecting the people who live there, I am sure that it is the earnest desire of the vast majority of the people of Cyprus that there should be a restoration of law and order, but it must be consistent with their human dignity and with their status as people who have a right to decide their own future. That is a right which we have conceded in many parts of the Colonial Empire. I beg Her Majesty's Government not to continue to make Cyprus an exception to the principles we have applied, and applied to our credit, elsewhere.

5.31 p.m.

Major Patrick Wall (Hull, Haltemprice)

I hope that the hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. L. Jeger) will forgive me if I do not deal with the details of her speech. As she knows, I disagree with her so fundamentally, though I do not for a moment doubt her sincerity.

The hon. Lady referred to the lack of co-operation of Greek Cypriots. I am sure that hon. Members would be expecting a great deal to expect the co-operation of Greek Cypriots, when it is quite on the cards that if they co-operated their families might be murdered the next night.

The hon. Lady referred to the closing of schools. All Cypriot children look upon education in a rather different light from our own; they are far more keen on it. When the schools were first closed just before Christmas last year, it was a great shock to those people; they never thought the Government would really do this. However, it was done. After a week or two, a deputation of parents went to the director of education and other officials, saying that it was about time we opened the schools, which were important to their children's future. The director of education told them that school work was not being done—that the schools had become a more or less seditious assembly. The parents went away, returning a week later and asking what they were to do. The director of education told them that the matter was one for them to decide; he wanted the schools to teach as other schools did throughout the world; and not teach terrorism and violence.

After going away and coming back again a few more times, these people finally provided a solution of their own. The school governors and the parents themselves accepted responsibility for the behaviour of these children, and the children willingly signed undertakings that they would not become involved in politics if the schools were reopened. When I was in Cyprus in January three schools had been reopened on those lines and were working extremely successfully. In my view that is the right policy.

The only alternative is for the Government to take over those schools. That would then give some justification to the suggestion mentioned by the hon. Lady, that any resistance against the schools would be regarded as an act of patriotism against the British.

I should like to support the hon. Lady's eulogy of the Turkish Commissioner in Paphos and his two subordinate Greek Commissioners. The two races can work together, and I feel that the only long-term solution to this problem —it is, unfortunately, a very long-term solution—is to create Cypriot nationality.

One of the main arguments introduced by the Opposition in all these debates on Cyprus, which never fails to amaze me, is this suggestion that Britain is always the nigger in the woodpile. It is always Britain which does or does not do something, and whatever she does is always wrong. I would ask hon. Members to consider Greece and to think about modern Greek history. Surely, the story is one of continual expansion.

The Greek aim is to recreate the old Byzantine Empire. There was the expansion northwards in 1866, and the taking over of Corfu. There was then expansion into Asia Minor, which was checked by war with Turkey in 1921, and then further expansion into the Dodecanese, Rhodes, and so on. It has been stated by reasonable people in Greece, that it is the policy of Greece to bring all Greek-speaking minorities around the Eastern Mediterranean under the Greek Crown or under Greek administration. There is here, in my view, cause for considerable consideration by the Egyptian Government, because there are very large Greek colonies in Alexandria and elsewhere.

Enosis has been talked of for quite a long time—in fact, for many generations. It is only since the end of the last war that Enosis has become really prominent. Why is that? I suggest it is purely because it has now become a matter of party politics in Greece. No Greek political leader could stand up in Greece and advocate a sensible solution together with Turkey and Britain of this problem and expect to remain in power. The position of leaders of political opinion in Greece is analogous to that of similar leaders in the Arab States on the subject of Israel.

Athens Radio and the anti-British diplomatic offensive which has taken place throughout the Middle East have gone a long way to create the violence of feeling expressed in Cyprus at the moment. We must all remember these things. It would repay hon. Members on both sides of the Committee if they were to remember these things, without vilifying our own British part in this most unfortunate affair.

I wish now to speak briefly on the subject of terrorism. Like the hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South, I have visited Cyprus, and I was last there in January this year. I found two main problems so far as the terrorist aspect is concerned. The terrorist bands in the mountains and open areas were creating a certain amount of trouble. I should like to quote a very short extract from a diary which was captured from one of the terrorists; it shows the state of morale of some of the young men who are pressed into service in these E.O.K.A. bands and illustrates the point that the hard core of E.O.K.A. in the open mountain areas is very small.

The translation, in which "X" refers to the leader, reads: X wanted the operation to take place. Nearly all came. We prepared to set off; but the position was difficult. The gunner forsook us. I was agitated. X shouted; I listened. I was unable to think or to act. The ambush was not a success. That indicates, I believe, that the young Greek Cypriot is being pressed into service under the E.O.K.A. leaders without being very willing and without a very high morale. I believe that the problem of E.O.K.A. in the open country can be solved in the near future.

Next we have the problem of the gunmen—that is the only word to use—in the big cities and towns of Cyprus, where there are these daylight murders in the shopping streets. We must remember that 32 Greek Cypriots have been killed and 42 have been wounded by these gunmen. The only comparison which comes to my mind is with the number of Kikuyu assassinated by the Mau Mau. Not only do these assassinations take place in shopping streets and in the open, but they have taken place in hospitals. These gunmen have even gone so far as to commit sacrilege and murder a man in church.

For that kind of crime the only penalty is hanging. We must have the capital sentence to stop that kind of thing. If hon. Members doubt that, I suggest that they talk to some of the troops at the moment serving in Cyprus. If the extreme penalty is not exacted for that kind of thing, we shall be putting a premium on bad marksmanship and endangering the lives of our own troops, and not only their lives but the lives of Cypriots who are loyal to this country. I believe most sincerely that there are many Greek Cypriots in Cyprus who are loyal to this country but who are too frightened to say so in present conditions.

As to the position of Turkey, I will not say a great deal; it has been discussed in detail in the Committee this afternoon. Turkish Cypriots have made it perfectly plain to me that they would never accept subordination to the Greek Crown, and I believe that responsible circles in Turkey itself strongly support them.

I am very glad that this topic has been ventilated to such an extent today. I told the Turkish Cypriots, "Your side of the case does not seem to have been discussed at all in Britain. Why can you not do more to put your side of the case? After all, there are two sides to every case." The reply was, "We are a poorer section of the people. We cannot afford an expensive propaganda machine such as the Ethnarchy maintains in London. Therefore, our case goes by default." I think that we should pay tribute to the moderation of the Turkish leaders in Cyprus. The way in which Dr. Kouchouk has handled the situation and prevented his followers getting out of hand so far is a great tribute to his moderation.

I should like to quote a short extract from a Turkish Cypriot paper with an English leading article which refers to the type of thing that we have heard about this afternoon. This is what it says: Every time Government manages to get hold of the terrorist scourge by the throat someone or other comes forward with new peace proposals '. This new intervention by outsiders gives new life to terrorists as they start to feel that if they 'hang on' just a little longer more influential persons may take up their case and thus enable them to win an already lost battle. We have always maintained, and still do maintain, that a strong definite line of policy coupled with strong antiterrorist action will soon see the end of terrorism in this island. Now, I turn to the question of a solution. I understood from the Opposition in our previous debate that its solution was to grant self-determination—which means Enosis—to the island of Cyprus within five years. From the speech of the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) today, who put it rather differently, I gather that it is now proposed to shorten the period to one or two years. The right hon. Gentleman said quite clearly that there should be an elected Greek Cypriot majority, which would outnumber the Turkish and the British vote in the island, and that internal security and other matters should be handed over to them within a year or two years. In the present circumstances, that can only mean Enosis with Greece within two or three years, the inevitable consequence of which has already been pointed out—civil war in the island, and possibly war between Turkey and Greece.

Another point, which has not been raised today, is the suggestion by the Opposition that it would be far better to have a British base on the island under Greek sovereignty because the people of the island would then be friendly towards us and we should be able to run our base properly. That point of view, however, overlooks the fact that 60 per cent. of the Greek Cypriots are allies of the Communist point of view; and as I have pointed out before, that majority of Greek Communist Cypriots, together with the large number of Left-wing Communists in mother Greece itself, might well turn the balance and take Greece behind the Iron Curtain, togther with the island of Cyprus. That is the real reason why Turkey will not tolerate any change of sovereignty in the island.

Mrs. L. Jeger

Would the hon. and gallant Member not agree that the present policy of Her Majesty's Government in Cyprus is doing more than anything else to increase the membership and power of the Communist Party? I noticed that very much on my second visit.

Major Wall

I would not agree at all. The Government's policy is the only possible policy—that is, to root out terrorism as soon as possible. I believe that provided we can get the intelligence which will enable us to deal with the gunmen in the towns, and therefore protect the loyal Cypriots, the task of dealing with terrorism may not take too long.

Mr. Arthur Holt (Bolton, West)

We hear a great deal about the rooting out of terrorism. If one could see how it could be done, the case might be stronger. Will the hon. and gallant Member tell the Committee some of the methods not being used which he suggests should be used, and which a British Government would sanction, to root out terrorists against a population which would not co-operate because it was frightened of them?

Major Wall

There are two ways of rooting out terrorists. One is the German method, which no Englishman would countenance. It might be effective or it might not. It depends upon the backbone of the people concerned, and I do not think that it would be effective in Cyprus. At all events, we would not consider it. The other way is to do as we are doing now and have sufficient security forces to check the bands of E.O.K.A. ambushing convoys and so on in the open, and later to defeat the gunmen and gain the confidence of the people so that they no longer fear the terrorists.

At the moment, people are being shot if they co-operate with us. We must destroy the cause of their fear. It will not be as difficult as all that, but it will take time. Hon. Members opposite always seem to think that we can do these things in half a minute. It has been done in Malaya and in Kenya, where it has taken three years. I do not think it will take more than a year in Cyprus.

We should have faith in a man of the experience of the present Governor, with his liberal views and his ability. He can cope with the situation, as he has said on several recent occasions. When that is done, we must negotiate. Let it be remembered also that our offer of a liberal constitution for the island is still open; the Government have never withdrawn it. Once the people no longer fear that they will be, to put it crudely, bumped off, or, worse still, that their families will be bumped off because they co-operate with us, then they will come forward. I can think of large numbers of liberal-minded Cypriots who would then be prepared to negotiate with Her Majesty's Government to find a final solution for the island, which can only be achieved by joint agreement between Britain, Greece and Turkey.

5.47 p.m.

Mr. John Edwards (Brighouse and Spenborough)

The hon. and gallant Member for Haltemprice (Major Wall) seemed to suggest that the problem in Cyprus was very much the same problem as was to be found in Malaya and in Kenya. The reason I wish to address a few words to the Committee is precisely because it is a different problem. It is a different problem because it is a European problem, and because it is a European problem there are matters which we should consider which have not so far been raised in this debate.

If I had any doubts about seeking to catch your eye, Sir Charles, they were set at rest when I listened to the extraordinary speech by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). I am sorry that he is not now present. When he pleads, with applause from the Government benches, for a Government that will have the "guts" to govern and does this in the name of what he calls reality, I can only say that he seems to me to be in the most unreal world.

Let us suppose that we had a Government which had the "guts" to govern. What would they be governing in Cyprus? I am not at the moment concerned with the rights or wrongs, or seeking to apportion blame. They would be governing an area where two peoples are at enmity with one another—the Turks and the Greeks in Cyprus—quite apart from the British. They would inevitably have to govern by emergency rules and regulations and by military law. They would be governing a country where already there are serious problems arising from the demoralisation of young people. If this continues, we shall have a lost generation in Cyprus and all the difficulties that any Government has to contend with when a lot of youngsters have been brought up, many of them without schools, in the kind of atmosphere that exists in Cyprus.

If my hon. and learned Friend supposes for one moment that his idea of mass deportation is of any use, I beg him to think again. My hon. and learned Friend wrote a letter to The Times in which he said that that idea had met with approval at Strasbourg in the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe. I did not meet a single person there, not even among British Conservative Members, who took that suggestion seriously. The trouble is that my hon. and learned Friend mistakes applause which he rightly gets for his entertainment value for approval of what he is saying.

I have not been to Cyprus, but through the work of the World Council of Churches I have over the years had a number of contacts with representatives of the Orthodox Church and with people in Cyprus. Those people are people I trust and whose opinions I value, and I know them to be genuine friends of Great Britain. From them I have learned certain facts of which we should take account.

First I would say to the Secretary of State that we are completely mistaken if we suppose that a policy of mass fines does any good. If we were confronted with a situation in which everybody in the population knew what was going on and had an active responsibility for it. mass fines might be of some use, but when we are dealing with a highly organised underground movement, in which it is of the essence of the operation that a man cannot tell even his wife what is going on, we do not get any further with this policy. All we may succeed in doing is to create resentment and an unwillingness to co-operate amongst people who, otherwise, may be willing to help.

I am informed by the contacts to whom I have just referred that there is not the slightest prospect of any of these leaders of what we may call moderate opinion co-operating with the Government. By "moderate opinion," I do not mean what spokesmen on the other side of the Committee so often mean, those who support the Government; I mean people as much opposed to terrorism as any of us here, but who believe that mistakes have been made on both sides. As I say, I am informed that there is not the slightest prospect of any leaders of moderate opinion co-operating with the Government.

Why? It is not because they do not want to help. They do want to help. It is because they know that they would not be speaking with sufficient authority because they would not have enough people behind them if they came forward. The Secretary of State knows perfectly well, and better than I do, the names of people of moderate opinion, and he knows that he is getting no help from them at the present time. My guess is that as the weeks and months go by the situation will get worse.

I said that this was a European problem. We have discussed this matter in the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe on two occasions. On both occasions I had the privilege to follow the right hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay), and on both occasions I made the strongest possible plea for restraint, and for abandonment of terrorism. I said in my last speech that even if people in Cyprus could not make this appeal, at least Greeks might make it. If the members of the Consultative Assembly are, as I believe them to be, representative of European opinion, then it can be said that there is profound disquiet in Europe about the situation in Cyprus.

We have had these two debates, and the General Affairs Committee has included in its consideration of the situation in Europe generally consideration of Cyprus. The Bureau of the General Affairs Committee, of which I am one, has asked four wise Europeans to help the rapporteur on this matter. I have no kind of doubt that if an attempt had been made to inscribe this subject on the agenda of the Consultative Assembly there would have been an overwhelming majority in favour of appointing a special rapporteur on Cyprus. They would not have been irresponsible people, but people from countries having the same sort of colonial responsibilities as we have. They would have been people conscious of the enormous damage that this festering sore of Cyprus can do to the whole strategy of Western Europe.

On the last day of the Consultative Assembly it was suddenly revealed—or found out—that the Government had taken steps to abrogate certain parts of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. We have had a debate on Cyprus, but this fact had not been mentioned. I should like the Secretary of State, if he would, to be good enough to tell us more about this. So far as I am aware, the Government have not revealed here that they have done this.

On 7th October, 1955, they gave notice to the Secretary-General under Article 15 (3) by which they abrogated certain parts of the Convention so as to exercise power to detain persons. They followed that on 13th April, 1956, with another notice to the Secretary-General in which they said they abrogated the Convention to exercise powers to deport persons. I should like the Secretary of State to tell us more about it.

Will the right hon. Gentleman also tell us whether any further notice has been issued, and in particular, whether the Government have taken any other steps at all to abrogate Article 2? Article 2 is concerned with the circumstances in which people may be executed. While it is perfectly clear that under the Convention people may be executed for certain crimes in the ordinary processes of law, I should like to know whether the Government are satisfied that they are not in breach of Article 2 of the Convention, and whether, since April, they have given any notice to the Secretary-General about that Article.

I said there is great disquiet in Europe. Of that there can be no doubt. My hon. Friend the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. L. Jeger) talked about the need for a bridge between ourselves and the people of Cyprus. I have an uneasy feeling that we are getting dangerously near to the point at which no one in Britain will be able to provide that bridge. We are getting very near to the position where we must look for someone else to provide the bridge. My conclusion would be to ask the Secretary of State—and I ask him in all seriousness, if he is conscious of this difficulty, as I think he must be—to consider, not letting the United Nations loose on this matter, but letting the Council of Europe loose on it.

Would he consider using two or three wise men from Europe—and they exist—responsible people who, I am sure, would bend every effort to try to reach a reasonable solution which would be satisfactory not only to Her Majesty's Government, but to Turkey and Greece as well? The longer the situation goes on, the worse it becomes. There is an inevitable tragedy in this situation. It is only if someone has enough imagination to take the problem to a higher level and to take a new initiative that we shall avoid a further deepening of the tragedy.

5.58 p.m.

Sir Robert Boothby (Aberdeenshire, East)

I should like my right hon. Friend, if he could, to answer the question put by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. J. Edwards) about the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, because we regard that Convention as a considerable achievement on the part of the Council of Europe. It is rather important, and it may be very important for the future, if further additions are to be made to the Council of Europe, because it would be a sort of test of membership.

I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay) will agree with me that this is a matter to which those of us who have been Representatives at the Council of Europe attach great importance. I should like to know whether the Government are abrogating any of the terms of the Convention, and whether they gave the notices which they gave to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe to other member countries, too, or whether they gave them only to the Secretary-General. I think that we have heard nothing of that in this Chamber.

I should not have ventured to intervene in this debate if it had not been for one or two of the speeches that have been made, particularly that of the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), which might, if not sufficiently challenged, give to people outside the Committee the impression that we took a rather bizarre view of this very tragic problem. The emphasis put, with total sincerity, by one or two speakers on one or two aspects of the matter did not seem to be quite so vital to the issue as that put by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), the Leader of the Liberal Party.

I am mainly concerned about the security of this country. More important than any other single thing is the fundamental effect which this situation has at the present time on N.A.T.O. I am deeply disturbed about the disruption of the south-eastern flank of N.A.T.O. in Europe which has been caused by this business of a quarrel between ourselves and Greece and between Greece and Turkey. It has brought about a serious gap in our defences, and I think that it is the most serious gap that has taken place since what I may call the Stalinist offensive was begun or since the cold war began. It could be very serious indeed. What depresses me about this debate is that I feel that there are signs of sides being taken as between Greece and Turkey. I do not take either side as far as Greece or Turkey are concerned.

If we go back in history, we find that, on balance, we have received greater assistance from Greece in two world wars than we have from Turkey. We should never forget that it is quite possible that it was the Greek resistance to the Italian invasion in 1940 that caused the Germans to divert the main part of the Wehrmacht to Southern Europe, which delayed the invasion of Russia by two or three months, and might well have made a decisive difference to the whole course of the war. if the Germans had started on Russia some months earlier, their campaign might even have ended before the winter set in.

We owe the Greeks a great debt. After all, the alliance of friendship between this country and Greece is age-old. I regard it as a tragedy that our relationship should now be as bad as it is, and I think that somebody ought to get up and say so, because it is a pity. I am not blaming anybody, but it is time somebody said it. because it is a great pity as well as a dangerous thing, and bad for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as far as the south-eastern flank of N.A.T.O. defence in Europe is concerned.

We have heard again in this debate the old story about law and order and the words, "No surrender." I have heard the words "No surrender" on this side, and all that is true, of course, because we do get that point of view, but I could not help casting my mind back to Ireland. We remember Mr. Lloyd George saying. "We have the murderers by the throat," yet, a few months later, he was shaking hands with the murderers. He had to shake hands with them. I am not say- ing that my right hon. Friend has not been driven into the position in which he is today, which is, at the moment, a policy of straight repression, I think he has been driven into it, and I shall support the Government in the Lobby tonight for that reason. I am sure that my right hon. Friend knows in his heart that there is no future in this policy if carried on indefinitely without any constructive alternative at all.

If this debate is to be of any value, it will be because of the constructive suggestions which have been put forward from both sides of the Committee. There is no security for us in the continuance of this quarrel with Greece and Turkey. There is no base in a hostile island. There is no future in straight repression, and I know that a great many hon. Friends of mine feel very strongly on this question. I am not saying that the country is not behind the Government, but the country as a whole, or, at any rate, a large majority of people in it, do not like this Cyprus business. I certainly find that that is the case in Scotland. The people just do not like it, and there is no enthusiasm for it. There was enthusiasm in the case of Ireland in the old days, with parties clashing and the people feeling passionately on the subject of Home Rule and all the rest, but there is no such enthusiasm over this situation. We are doing what we are doing as a grim duty.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies, who is one of the most constructive of what we may call constructive-minded Colonial Secretaries which this country has ever had, would not have been driven into this somewhat arid policy unless he had been compelled to do so by the aridity of his opponents. We would like from him tonight a further assurance that this is not the complete end of this story.

We have heard suggestions from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths), from the right hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough and other hon. Members about the Council of Europe. There have been other suggestions that Lord Radcliffe should be instructed to try to draft a constitution, which might ultimately become a basis of discussion. It seems to me that there is a great deal to be said for that, because Lord Radcliffe is a very solid and stable sort of chap, and a constitution which he drafted would command respect from anyone.

Article 2 of the North Atlantic Treaty lays it down as the absolute duty of members of N.A.T.O. that they are to sit down together and make every attempt to resolve any disagreements or quarrels that might arise between them. I am not aware that any attempt has been made by N.A.T.O. to sit down and try to resolve this problem, which is, after all, fundamentally a problem between Greece, Turkey and ourselves, and a problem which affects N.A.T.O. as a defence organisation.

That is my suggestion. The Secretary of State cannot say that he has not had some constructive suggestions today. I stand by N.A.T.O.. To us it is, I believe, the most important international organisation in the world, and I therefore ask my right hon. Friend to attack the problem from that angle.

Mr. Bevan

I should like the hon. Gentleman to realise this. We have been accused from that side of the Committee today of making speeches which make the situation in Cyprus worse. In fact, we have done our very best, as the Colonial Secretary knows very well, to settle the problem peacefully. We asked for a debate a little while ago, and after the date for the debate was fixed—may I have the attention of the right hon. Gentleman?—Archbishop Makarios was deported. I then went to the right hon. Gentleman, myself, about a fortnight ago, and suggested a commission from this House▀×an all-party commission. We did not put Questions on the Order Paper, so that he would have time to consider this suggestion. The right hon. Gentleman had told me that he would want a little time, because the Governor was coming home. In the meantime, the Governor's action in having two young men executed worsened the situation. The degeneracy of the situation lies there.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)

The right hon. Member has made certain references which were clearly directed to me personally.

Mr. Bevan

No.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Certainly. When the right hon. Gentleman came to see me a little while ago, he said that the Opposition had shown restraint in the putting down of Questions, and in postponing a debate, because it was hoped that the Governor was coming here soon. At that time, the Governor was deciding whether or not to exercise the prerogative of mercy which is vested by Royal instruction in the Governor himself. It was impossible for me to tell the right hon. Gentleman what the decision of the Governor would be, so I could not, at that time, give him any warning that, when this debate took place, it might be on the morrow of executions in Cyprus. I would deprecate the suggestion that I kept from the right hon. Gentleman something which was relevant to this debate.

Mr. Bevan

I made no suggestion of any sort. Indeed, when I saw the right hon. Gentleman neither of us mentioned the young men under charge at that time. The point I am making is that we on this side of the Committee have done our very best, by restraint at Question Time and by refraining from asking for a debate until we thought that it suited the Government to have a debate, to make some constructive suggestions; but each time every attempt at restraint which we have exercised has not met with a similar response from the other side, because actions have been taken to make the situation far worse than it was before.

Sir R. Boothby

If I may get a word in edgeways in my own speech, may I say that I rose with the object of pouring oil on the troubled waters? I criticised absolutely nobody. I did not criticise the hon. and learned Member for Northampton, though I would rather like to have done so. I did not criticise the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan), and I am not criticising the Secretary of State or anybody, yet the lightning and the thunder have broken out over my head from both right hon. Gentlemen, which was the last thing I wanted. I shall, therefore, try to end my speech on a quiet note.

Let us forget this bitter quarrel, which only adds fuel to the fire and can do no good. Let us sit down and try to get a constructive solution. I do not believe that we can do it alone, but I believe that probably the best medium through which we can do it is the medium of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

6.10 p.m.

Mr. E. L. Mallalieu (Brigg)

The whole Committee will agree that a considerable amount of oil was poured by the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire. East (Sir R. Boothby) on the troubled waters which we are discussing. He made a suggestion —his constructive suggestion, as he put it—that N.A.T.O. was perhaps the body most intimately concerned with this matter and he asked the Government to see to it that N.A.T.O. should have the matter under consideration. He said that nobody had put forward that solution today, but I am sure he will agree that that suggestion has been advanced from this side of the Committee on many occasions. Indeed, before the recent meeting of the N.A.T.O. Powers there was considerable pressure to persuade the Government that the matter should be brought before N.A.T.O.

Here is an issue which intimately concerns Greece, Turkey and ourselves as well as the Cypriots. N.A.T.O. is a body which might only too well have been seized of the matter so affecting three of its members. The hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, East said that constructive suggestions had been made from both sides of the Committee. He has been present for a long time and I have been in the Chamber throughout the debate, but I had not heard a single constructive suggestion from the other side of the Committee until the hon. Member spoke. The reason for that is that all who have spoken for the other side of the Committee have been hammering away at this law and order business, just as the hon. Member himself said. Hon. Members opposite are, therefore, in broad agreement with the solution to the problem which the Government themselves have put forward and so feel themselves absolved from making further constructive suggestions.

There have been references to Ireland on many occasions in this and other debates on Cyprus. At the time of the 1916 rebellion fewer than one-fifth—and possibly fewer than one-twenty-fifth—of the people in Ireland were in favour of the rebellion; but when Pearse and Connolly were executed, as a matter of justice and in accordance with the law and order about which we hear so much, within a fortnight the vast majority of the people of Ireland were in favour of Sinn Fein; and every succeeding General Election confirmed this.

Does the Secretary of State really believe that there is a future in the policy of executions, however just it may be? Does he really think—and justice must be decided by whether it is according to law, and, of course, it is according to law that these things are done—that it will lead to a restoration of order? I submit that it can do nothing but exacerbate feelings of bitterness which already exist. Our object is surely to get back to normality in Cyprus and that will never be done as long as one is merely provoking reprisals by further executions.

To ask our soldiers—who have done a magnificent job within their terms of reference—to do this thing, while, at the same time, we pursue a policy which cannot possibly lead to the end which we hope, is to ask too much of human beings. We all want to see these soldiers continue to behave as they have for the most part behaved hitherto—that is to say, decently and fairly. It is asking too much of them if at the same time we pursue a policy which cannot possibly lead to the restoration of order.

The use of the death penalty, the hanging of those whom we happen to catch, does not help our soldiers to restore order and to behave themselves as we would have them believe. Even our young National Service men have read enough and know enough about the world to see that merely calling terrorists people who are, in fact, patriots and hanging them if we catch them, will not lead to the desired result of the restoration of law and order. Nationalists are, for the most part, very brave men and will not be cowardly in the face of death when threatened with execution.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Will the hon. and learned Member agree that as British soldiers serving in Cyprus have been killed by being stabbed or shot in the back, people who do that are hardly very brave men?

Mr. Mallalieu

That does not help the matter at all and is merely bringing in passion. We have to see what we want to achieve. I submit that we want to achieve order. How shall we achieve it by this method? The main lesson of Ireland, which a great many people have learned, and which the right hon. Gentleman particularly ought to have learned, is that one cannot stamp out nationalism by repression, unless one is a Hitler, or my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget).

Those are the only two ways in which one can do it. There is the way advocated by my hon. and learned Friend and that of Hitler, which is to have a gas chamber at one end of the island and then to ask the people, "Do you want to belong to this end or that end?" Democrats cannot do that. It behoves the right hon. Gentleman to think again and to negotiate again and to put forward constructive proposals, as did the Archbishop of Canterbury, at whom the right hon. Gentleman scoffed. We might then achieve peace and order in Cyprus before we are forced to do those very things by world public opinion.

6.18 p.m.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)

The hon and learned Member for Brigg (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu) should not think that he has made a contribution to the solution of the problem by calling attention to the dilemma itself. It is, of course, a cruel dilemma, but the logical conclusion which I drew from his words is that when a British soldier has been murdered and when an ecclesiastic overtly refrains from condemning terrorists, we should leave the murderers free and negotiate with that archbishop, as though he were living up to his Christian beliefs. I cannot reconcile that with my own conscience, nor refrain from supporting a Government which, when soldiers or civilians are being killed, faces the facts and enforces the law. Merely recalling the Irish situation and saying that one does not stamp out murder by enforcing law and order does not get one out of the situation in Cyprus.

Mr. Paget

One does not contribute to a solution by using emotive words like "murder." When we hanged two men, everybody in Cyprus said that we were murderers. It depends on which side one is.

Mr. Nicholson

I do not wish to use emotive words and I shall use the word "killing," which comes to the same thing.

We have had three constructive speeches, from the hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. L. Jeger), from the right hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. J. Edwards), and from my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Sir R. Boothby). The hon. Lady made a sincere and knowledgeable speech. To her and to other hon. Members opposite I say that there is one prerequisite in any sort of settlement in Cyprus, and that is that the Cyprus problem should not be used as a weapon of partisan warfare in our party disputes in the House of Commons.

I heard the right hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough make a fine speech in the Council of Europe. It was remarkable in that he was the first prominent member of the Opposition to condemn terrorism. One hon. Member of this House went to Cyprus a year or two ago and practically encouraged terrorism. I am not saying that the feelings on the other side of the Committee are not as sincere as on this side in wishing for a settlement, but the fact remains that there is a great deal of partisan attitude and approach to this problem.

The second prerequisite was mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East, namely, to recognise that it is the European point of view which matters. As he said, the real tragedy is that we are quarrelling with Greece. I regard that as an even deeper tragedy than the strain on N.A.T.O. in that part of Europe. I believe that this country has an immense affection for Greece which dates from 120 years ago. If this debate has no other message for the world, it should go out from this Committee that the people of this country are deeply grieved that old friends have become present enemies. I hope that my right hon. Friend, when he replies to the debate, will stress this point.

My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East was right in saying that, although the country is behind the Government in Cyprus, it is intensely anxious and intensely worried. I hope that my right hon. Friend will tell the Committee this evening that, strongly though he and the House of Commons are on the side of law and order, though we believe that our first commitment to the people of Cyprus and to the N.A.T.O. Powers is to maintain law and order, we shall not get bogged down in that sterile position but will keep it dynamic. I hope that the Government are at least considering asking advice from the Council of Europe, or asking the N.A.T.O. Powers to intervene, or even, although I do not like the idea, are considering the suggestion put forward by the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), an all-party commission of this House. The great danger is that in a mood of mixed despair and resolution we shall allow the position to become static instead of dynamic.

Lastly, can we be sure that if the Opposition had been the Government today they would have found themselves in a very different position? Would they have refused to face the facts? Would they have refused to face the fact of Turkey and of the Turkish minority? The hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South sneered at Turkey and the Turkish minority and asked how could we allow the Turks to have a veto on our actions in Cyprus?

Turkey and the Turkish minority are facts. My right hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay) said what I believed to be the literal truth, in that the Turks—not necessarily Turkey—will fight if we hand over Cyprus to Greece. Would the Opposition, with the great importance they attach to the Tripartite Agreement on Israel and the Arab States, have rendered that agreement utterly incapable of fulfilment by the evacuation of Cyprus? Would they have jeopardised completely our power and influence to maintain peace in the Middle East by the evacuation of Cyprus? I do not think that they would. I do not think it lies in their mouths to sneer at the Government over the present position. I think they should recognise that this is a national commitment, and that if they had been in power they would have found themselves in much the same position.

I see the hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West (Mr. Popplewell) sitting opposite. I shall not forget in a hurry a speech about Cyprus which he made in the Council of Europe, in which he preached the purest party politics and attacked his own country. There are, of course, two sides to the House of Commons and nobody asks that they should try to agree artificially. Yet I am convinced that in positions of great national and international danger, it is their duty—[HON. MEMBERS: "TO agree?"] Not necessarily to agree on our policy, but to exercise more statesmanship and more public spirit than they have shown hitherto.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that it is on record that the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister have said more than once that this Opposition have exercised throughout great restraint and responsibility in this matter.

Mr. Nicholson

I agree that the Opposition have exercised restraint, but would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that there has been much party spirit injected into this matter, not to the benefit of Cyprus and not to the benefit of peace?

The Chairman

Mr. Francis Noel-Baker.

6.25

Mr. Francis Noel-Baker (Swindon)

rose

Mr. Ernest Popplewell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West)

Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that if there is a difference of opinion with the Government—

The Chairman

Order, order. The hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. Godfrey Nicholson) has already sat down and I have called the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker).

Mr. Noel-Baker

I am obliged for your protection, Sir Charles, and I hope that the hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. Nicholson), for whom I have considerable personal regard, will not think it offensive of me if I say that I wish he had sat down half-way through his speech. I was grateful to him, and I am sure that many other people in other places will be grateful to him, and I am also grateful to the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire. East (Sir R. Boothby), to whose speech I listened with respect and emotion, for their generous words about Greece, which were perhaps overdue from that side of the Committee. They will certainly do something to assuage the bitterness which is felt by our loyal friends in that country.

I intervene again with the greatest reluctance in a debate on Cyprus, as I did the last time we discussed this subject. I do not complain, because it is my own fault, but I am in a curious and delicate situation. The Committee will recall that at the beginning of this year I became involved in a way which caused some alarm to back benchers opposite; indeed, perhaps it caused some to my hon. and right hon. Friends on this side of the Committee. I became involved in negotiations which made it extremely difficult for me, the last time this subject was discussed, to express my strong personal convictions and emotions.

I feel that however bleak the outlook may seem today, it is still my duty to try to avoid giving offence to any of the parties to this problem who in the past, have either asked for or used the very small services that I was able to render. I am afraid that my attitude may be misunderstood by some of my hon. Friends on this side of the Committee, who might think it more appropriate for me to make an all-out attack on the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Indeed, it might be that the Secretary of State himself would have preferred me not to get up—

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

indicated dissent.

Mr. Noel-Baker

I have, unfortunately, no means of knowing what is the view of my good friend, for whom I retain considerable affection and respect, and from whom I was glad to receive a personal message the other day—I have no means of knowing what would be the reaction of my good friend the Archbishop of Cyprus to my attitude today, but I am reasonably certain that my position will not be misunderstood by friends whom I revisited recently in Nicosia and in Athens.

The thing that impressed me most about my last visit to Nicosia was how undramatic, how much less hopeless, the situation in the island seemed in spite of all the tragic things that had occurred since I was there before. Of course, with every day that passes, with every act of violence on one side or other, the difficulties become more acute. There is no doubt, however, that in spite of everything that has happened, Her Majesty's Government, and the Secretary of State for the Colonies in particular, still have an opportunity of settling this problem in a fair and honourable and just way, a way which would maintain and preserve all our legitimate interests in the matter and, at the same time, restore the unity between ourselves and our Allies which has been so badly shaken in the Eastern Mediterranean by recent events.

The Secretary of State knows very well that even at this moment there are ways open to him and to his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister for getting out of the impasse in which we now find ourselves, and I am still hoping that those opportunities will be seized. I know the arguments. What has been described as the "light at the end of the tunnel" argument has been used by certain well-qualified officials in Cyprus. They say that our task is now to try to restore law and order, that if one looks at precedents in other places one cannot predict the situation in four or five months' time, and that it may be, with all the resources we have behind us, after a long period of violence and depression we could reach a situation in the island which no one can foresee at the present time.

However, I am bound to say that I am terrified at the risks which seem to me to be involved in such a policy. I am terrified at the probable effects on the island itself and the effects in the Eastern Mediterranean and, indeed, throughout the world where our prestige and influence is important.

Therefore, I want to make another appeal to the right hon. Gentleman again to consider whether he cannot tell us at the end of the debate that, whereas the Governor must continue to discharge his duty to try to restore law and order to the island, we shall, at the same time, leave unexplored no possibility of simultaneous political action. I know very well that there are ways in which the British Government can now make a move. I believe with the utmost conviction that we can get out of the situation in which we find ourselves. I do not believe that it will be a very long time before the Archbishop of Cyprus comes back as one of the participants in a joint campaign for the pacification of the island.

At all events, I want to make this one brief sincere appeal to the Government not to close their minds to the necessity for taking parallel political action with the other action that they are now taking and to realise how deadly the risks are of delaying one day longer than is necessary.

6.31 p.m.

Mr. C. E. Mott-Radclyffe (Windsor)

The House of Commons aways listens with great respect to the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) when he speaks on this subject. Whether or not we agree with everything he says, we all know how genuine is his love for Greece, and that is a love which I share with him, though, with him, I deeply resent many of the things which have recently been said on Athens Radio.

When I entered the Chamber this afternoon I did not intend to intervene in the debate, but I felt compelled to try to do so by the speech made by the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths). The right hon. Gentleman was not only provocative, but was also studiously and almost dangerously vague when pressed as to what he would do about the date of self-determination.

There was one remarkable omission from the right hon. Gentleman's speech. He said nothing whatever about the constitutional offer made in 1948, when the Labour Party was in power. Unless my recollection is wrong, the 1948 offer to Cyprus, which was turned down by the Cypriots, specifically excluded any question of change of sovereignty—quite rightly, too. I believe that the right hon. Gentleman, when sitting on these benches, found himself in precisely the same difficulty and up against precisely the same problem as my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary in recent months.

The right hon. Gentleman accused my right hon. Friend of having broken off the negotiations with Makarios too soon. From the debates that we have had on the subject in recent months and from the White Paper, I should have thought that no Government in the world could have behaved with greater patience and greater restraint during the prolonged negotiations with Makarios than the British Government have done. It was clearly brought out in the White Paper and by the details given in the earlier debate that every time a fresh point asked for by Makarios was conceded, another point was demanded, and it got to the stage when it was clear that there was no limit to the number of concessions for which the Archbishop was asking.

The right hon. Gentleman also said that the Labour Party did not condone terrorism and was anxious to re-establish law and order. We are glad to hear that. It is not, of course, much good saying that one does not condone terrorism and that one wishes to re-establish law and order and then running away from the unpleasant necessities which dealing with murderers brings in its wake. That is to condone murder, and it is not the way to establish law and order; it is simply giving lip service to the cause of law and order.

It is interesting that since the emergency was declared 34 Greek Cypriots have been killed and 42 wounded, whereas only one Turkish Cypriot has been killed and only 13 Turkish Cypriots have been wounded. I invite the Committee to ponder over the disparity between those figures. Why should there be so many more Greek Cypriots than Turkish Cypriots killed and wounded? The answer is that those who perpetrate the murders and commit the acts of terrorism are trying to force their fellow-countrymen to go with them when they do not want to do so, whereas they are terrified of reprisals from the Turks.

The right hon. Gentleman said it was entirely the fault of my right hon. Friend and of the present Government that communal relations between the Greeks and Turks in Cyprus had become so bad. He must remember that for very many years the Greeks and Turks have lived happily together in Cyprus and communal relations deteriorated only when the Turks were afraid that we were going to leave. At that point, and at that point only, communal relations became acerbated.

I can confirm every word of the speech by my right hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay). I, too, have recently had contact with the Turks in a completely different context from that of my right hon. Friend. I could not agree more with every word that he uttered. It is not a question whether there is a Turkish minority in Cyprus. It is not a question of the basis upon which a minority on one side and a majority on the other can get on together. We have to face the fact of international politics, that it is impossible to arrive at a satisfactory settlement of the Cyprus problem unless the settlement is some- thing with which the Turkish people, and not merely the Turkish Government, will agree. Otherwise, the repercussions are almost unending. It is not merely that Turkey, like Greece, is in N.A.T.O. We should not forget, also, that Turkey is a member of the Bagdad Pact.

If the Turks were to have any suspicion —they had at one time—that we were going to concede the maximum Greek demands and grant self-determination now, two things would follow as night follows day, and both would be very unpleasant. The first would be violent anti-Turkish riots in Cyprus. The other would be anti-Greek riots in Asia Minor and in Constantinople. There is a very large Greek population there; it is numerically in the minority, but represents a considerable hostage to fortune. There would be very serious repercussions for both the Greek minority in Turkey and the Turkish minority in Cyprus, and the age-old, but, happily, until recently latent, antagonism between the Greek Orthodox Church and the old Muslim rule of the Ottoman Empire would be blown up with unending repercussions, not only in that corner of the Eastern Mediterranean, but in large areas of the Middle East.

The right hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. J. Edwards) referred to the Cyprus question as being a European one. I think he was oversimplifying it. It is not only a European problem. I do not think it is even mainly a European problem. It is in part European, but a great part of it affects the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean, and, thus, the Middle East.

I do not agree with the suggestion that has been made that we ought to have Archbishop Makarios here in London for further consultation. I should have thought that his complicity in and knowledge of the many acts of terror which are being committed—not in his name but by his consent; his tacit consent anyway —was beyond any shadow of doubt I cannot at the moment see that the slightest use could be served by bringing him back from exile to London to take part in a conference.

I should not have thought that there was the slightest hope of any further progress with him at the moment. We have all been much too impatient in these matters. It seems unreasonable to suppose that in a matter of months the whole atmosphere in Cyprus, so hotted up by Archbishop Makarios and his colleagues, will change. The temperature will not drop quite suddenly. It may take a year or more, but I am sure that the Government are right to insist on the cessation of terrorism before they can begin to talk about the constitution, for the simple reason that we cannot work out a constitution in an area where law and order has broken down. That is why it is so essential that law and order should first be restored.

Taking a much longer view—and I ask my right hon. Friend to say a word or two about this when he replies to the debate—I think that we have to pay much more attention than we have done in the past to educational facilities for the Cypriots, for it is from education, in the long run, that responsibility will come. Looking back over the years, I think it is a disaster that, 20 years ago or more, we did not build a university in Cyprus. What could be more absurd than the position—and all Governments equally share the blame for this—that today, when a Cypriot achieves university standard and wants to go to a university, he has, if he is a Greek Cypriot, to go to Athens or, if he is a Turkish Cypriot, to Istanbul? I cannot believe that that is right. I believe that in the long run we must develop to a much greater extent than we have done hitherto educational facilities, both secondary and university, for the Cypriots.

The last point which I want to make is one which I think will meet with approval on both sides of the Committee. We may disagree quite violently about the immediate policy on Cyprus, but I am sure that every hon. Member will want one thing to emerge from this debate, and that is a message of encouragement, admiration and congratulation upon the way in which British troops, as usual, with great restraint, great discipline and great efficiency are carrying out a task which must be for them and everyone else singularly unpleasant.

6.43 p.m.

Mr. Ernest Popplewell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West)

I am sure that the whole Committee will join with the hon. Member for Windsor (Mr. Mott-Radclyffe) in paying tribute to our British troops for the way in which they are carrying out a very unpleasant task. I think that the conduct of the British troops, National Service men and others, in Cyprus, in view of what they are being subjected to, has been exemplary, and the House of Commons owes a debt of gratitude to them. Would that we could pay that same tribute to this Government, who are responsible for placing our troops in such an invidious position.

We are accused of making partisan speeches likely to inflame public opinion in Cyprus when we do not agree with the Government's policy. Surely it is not only in this House that people disagree with the Government's policy. Recently we had a meeting of the Council of Europe at Strasbourg, and out of fifteen speakers taking part in that debate, apart from the right hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay), the noble Lord, Lord Chesham, and two Turks, not one of those speakers supported the Government's policy except my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). It was intriguing that among all our Continental colleagues not one voice was raised in support of the Government's policy.

Many of those people who formed part of the underground movement in the war years, fostered by the British Government, felt themselves to be placed in an invidious position when those who were fighting for the freedom of Cyprus were termed murderers and traitors. That is the background against which we have to approach the whole of this problem. Who has created this feeling? We talk so much about these murderers, these traitors, this contempt for law and order, but who has created the conditions which have brought this about? Naturally we all want to get this state of affairs ended as quickly as possible. What are the Government doing to bring an end to it? One would have hoped that the Colonial Secretary would have taken part earlier in the debate because it is the policy which he is following that demands an answer. It is wrong that he should wait until the end of the debate before he tells us what he hopes to achieve by accentuating the difficulties that are now there. Are these last two executions brought about by the refusal of the Government to exercise clemency conducive to establishing law and order?

What has been the result? The first consequence has been that the Government have had to establish a curfew in Cyprus. That will restrict the freedom of movement of British soldiers and all Britishers and their wives and families for at least a period of ten days—Why? Because the Colonial Secretary and everyone else expects—we see it developing—that the answer is that further atrocities will be committed. How can we get over that difficulty? I hope that the Colonial Secretary, when he replies to this debate, will give some indication of the Government's change of heart and change of policy, because fear of power and suppression will not ultimately win through. What has brought it about?

We want Cyprus as a base, if a base is any use in that area in these days of the hydrogen bomb. Our object, when we left the Canal Zone, was to establish a base in Cyprus against the common enemy. When we commenced to establish that base it was a friendly people who welcomed us there. What a remarkable change has taken place. The Government first said, "Never, never". Then they promoted the culprit who made that statement in this House to another place. The Government have now changed about and agreed on negotiations on the basis of self-government or self-determination. There are four points in respect of which the Government have fallen down in the negotiations.

The Government must realise that they cannot stand on their dignity for an indefinite period, because these are points of peculiar substance when it comes to preserving the friendliness of these island peoples. We cannot possibly hope to keep a base there and to play our part in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation when the people are against us. Surely we have had that problem already indicated to us in no uncertain terms in the Canal Zone. How can we possibly expect that we shall get a different situation in Cyprus?

There is this talk to the effect that law and order must be restored first. As I said earlier, we all want to see the restoration of law and order. Before we can get that restoration of law and order the Government have to indicate to the peoples there an entirely different line of approach.

The right hon. Member for Renfrew, West took the view that we could not do anything in Cyprus because we would offend the Turks and, if we offended the Turks by giving the Cypriots the right of self-determination— even of joining Greece if they so determined—the Turks would fight. It has been pointed out that we have an obligation under the United Nations to prevent any act of aggression. Is it the threat of Turkey that if the Cypriots were allowed self-determination, she will, because Cyprus is so near the Turkish shores, intervene and see that a Turkish Government is installed and not a Greek Government? Surely if we accept that, it would be the very negation of everything that we stand for. It would be the very negation of the Charter of Human Rights which we signed at San Francisco and to which so much lip-service has been paid in the House of Commons.

When all is said and done, what is the population of the island? There are about 460,000 Greeks and between 50,000 and 60,000 Turks. Because there were treaty obligations entered into as long ago as 1879, is that to determine matters for all time in view of the change in population which has taken place? The people have shown how they want to be governed, and we should take some cognisance of that.

The tragedy attached to the policy of the Government is felt in another way. It is the very reversal of everything that we have been doing since the end of the Second World War. Our aim and objective since the end of the Second World War has been to encourage self-government amongst people in undeveloped territories and those who are ripe for self-government. In Cyprus there is a strong case for that, in view of Greek civilisation and Greek democracy through the ages. One cannot liken the people over there to the Mau Mau movement in Kenya. There is a vast difference of approach and friendliness, in the first instance, of those peoples towards us. We are destroying that friendliness and reversing everything that we have done since the end of the Second World War.

We witnessed in Strasbourg, at the Council of Europe, a few weeks ago that there was not even a friend on the Continent prepared to defend the actions of this Government. That is the writing on the wall. Not only shall we find that attitude in Europe, but we shall find that this act of aggression by this Government at home will leave us completely friendless. We shall have no friend anywhere, even in the United Nations, and will have to follow a lone policy, which will make it very difficult for us.

I beg and plead with the Colonial Secretary, when he replies to the debate, to give the Committee some indication that he is now going to follow a line of approach that will bring the conflicting parties together again as soon as possible, with the full determination to allow the Cypriot people their right to establish their own fate, either by self-government or self-determination as they desire.

Mr. Nicholson

Is the hon. Member quite sure that his recollection about Strasbourg is right? My recollection is that not a single foreign representative in the Council of Europe, except the Greeks, spoke against the British action in Cyprus.

Mr.Popplewell

Oh, yes, there were the Danes and one other. I have the list.

6.55 p.m

Mr. Arthur Creech Jones (Wakefield)

This rather chequered debate has reviewed the genuine anxiety of the Committee about our problem in Cyprus. It is rather a disadvantage to have to carry on the debate without having heard a further statement from the Secretary of State about official policy in this matter, but we are all conscious that here is a situation which has deteriorated very seriously and that something must be done if that deterioration is to be arrested.

Some of us despair of reaching any solution of the problem along the lines which Her Majesty's Government are following. My right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) has already expressed on this matter the deep feeling of my party, the Opposition. I need hardly say how deeply conscious we are of the tragedy of the situation in that island.

As an Opposition, we have shown during the long-protracted discussions on Cyprus, patience and tolerance. We certainly have shown no desire to embarrass the Government in their anxiety to find a solution to these difficulties, but we must say that we do not find the possibility of solution along their present line of policy. Emergency regulations, capital punishment, collective fines, reprisals and radio jamming—those things are not calculated to bring about a settlement conducive to the happiness of the people of the island.

An hon. Member opposite suggested that we on this side of the Committee should stop vilifying Britain, and that we usually took the view that Britain is always wrong. That, of course, is quite a travesty of the position of the Opposition. It is our public duty as an Opposition to direct the attention of the House of Commons and of the country to the serious condition into which Cyprus has fallen. If we are dissatisfied that the present line of policy is not achieving any reasonable solution, then, as Her Majesty's Opposition, we must say so. As my right hon. Friend said, we believe that the Government have blundered and have made a whole variety of mistakes. While not attributing the whole of the blame to the Government, we say that none the less the Government cannot escape some responsibility for the deterioration and for the deplorable chapter which has been written in the history of Cyprus.

The results of the Government's present policy are seen in the increasing bad feeling between the Turks and Greeks in the island. They are seen in our loss of prestige as a colonial Power. They are seen in the damage that has been done to the Powers associated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and also in the relations between this country and the Cypriots.

I would make this personal remark. I carried some responsibility in the Labour Government for trying to find a constitutional settlement in Cyprus.

Experience from 1948 onwards taught me that a new departure in policy was called for and a line of action somewhat different from the orthodox course of securing a constitution which granted a limited form of self-government. It was obvious that Cyprus was a problem which could not be resolved on rational grounds. It was felt deeply, emotionally. It was obvious that other methods would be necessary and that a somewhat unorthodox way would have to be found to reconcile the Cypriots with a. constitution which, in their judgment, would serve their purpose

We have reached a deadlock and tension and bitterness continue to mount. What is the Government's policy in those circumstances? It has been briefly stated as the restoration of law and order in the hope that thereby terrorism can be suppressed, that the moderates in the country will emerge and seek to negotiate a settlement and that we can find some way of satisfying Cypriot aspirations within the terms of the Commonwealth.

This policy is clearly leading to more terrorism and repression. It is a negative policy which does not get us along the road at all; rather does it lead to greater chaos and tragedy. Nor does it win the moderates in the island, if that section of opinion exists, largely because they see no positive policy in which they can put their faith and which can act as a rallying point for opinion out of harmony with the extremist line and reactionary opinion as expressed by the terrorists.

What is the Government's explanation for their present line of policy? I had a brief interview with a group of distinguished German journalists who were in this country recently. The one question which bothered them was British policy in Cyprus, which seemed out of harmony with the enlightened colonial policy which they expected Britain to pursue. They thought there were perhaps special reasons beyond their grasp, but they certainly understood that our traditional policy was to acknowledge the right of self-government and to negotiate constitutions accordingly.

I could only answer that I felt that strategic considerations alone accounted for the difficulties which we were experiencing in Cyprus. If they are strategic considerations, the odd thing is that they are of a comparatively recent emergence and, we pursue a policy of regarding the Cyprus issue as a private one of our own. It is to Her Majesty's Government a question of sovereignty and not an issue debatable in international assemblies. We refuse to discuss the problem at the United Nations; we do not like discussion of it at the Council of Europe and, as far as I understand the matter, we are not prepared to carry discussions further for some modification of the arrangements in the Eastern Mediterranean in connection with N.A.T.O.

From the discussion which has taken place this afternoon it appears that because of the views of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean we are to retreat form the long-established policy which Britain has adopted towards her Colonies and we are to allow Turkey to exercise a veto over the policy which we pursue in Cyprus. This situation has been discussed by Members of the Opposition from time to time in debates in the House, and I should like to correct the right hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay), who suggested that the question of Turkey had seldom been raised by the Opposition. In a debate a few months ago, I discussed at some length the special problem of Turkey in relation to the future of Cyprus, and it is wrong to suggest that that important consideration has been outside our range of thought.

In any case, I am sure that the position of Turkey in any negotiations need not baffle statesmanship in that part of Eastern Europe. It is within the bounds of possibility that negotiations could find some accommodation which would give reasonable guarantees for the safeguarding of the Turkish mainland. There ought also to be no difficulty about the differences between Turks and Cypriots in Cyprus. Certainly, clauses could be entrenched in a constitution which would give the Turkish minority its proper rights.

I therefore tend to regard Turkey, while a difficulty, not as a serious problem in the way of negotiations. In any case, if a solution is sought to the Cyprus question with the Greek Cypriots, it is extremely unlikely that the position of the Turks in Cyprus or the position of Turkey would be ignored. It would not be a fait accompli which would be enforced on Turkey; rather, she would share in the discussions which provided an appropriate solution to the problem of Cyprus.

Mr. Maclay

I welcome what the right hon. Gentleman has said, because this is the clearest expression I have heard from that side of the Committee that Turkey will be considered from that point of view.

Mr. Creech Jones

I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that this is a vital point which has not escaped our attention. The policy which has been pursued has caused an embittered Cyprus. In any case, if the present policy is not succeeding, we must find another line to follow. In the end, we shall be forced to negotiate not with the people with whom we should like to negotiate but with those who are the representatives of the Cypriots themselves. Rather than allow this problem to become increasingly difficult and for negotiation to become more difficult, it is far better that we should cut the cost and see whether we can find another way out of our difficulties.

I am sure that the public must feel profoundly disturbed at the rather negative approach of the Government to this matter. Many suggestions have been made in the newspapers and by public men as to how this problem might again be tackled. There have been the proposals of the Archbishop of Canterbury; suggestions have been put forward in the Sunday Times and by Cyprus Conciliation Council. Responsible journals such as the Manchester Guardian and The Times have also from time to time expressed views on this particular problem. I would, therefore, emphasise again to the Secretary of State the importance of the proposition offered by my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly this afternoon.

Surely we can give some reassurance at this stage by making another positive declaration about the object of our policy —a declaration which concedes the principle of self-determination. Further, there is no reason why we should not make a declaration that we are in favour of a democratic constitution for Cyprus being worked out which would create a Government that would be in a position to negotiate with the United Kingdom Government on the application of that principle.

Moreover, we can, at this stage, declare the lines on which such a constitution might be worked out. By that I mean, that we should make it perfectly clear that there would be a legislative council composed of representatives of the people of Cyprus democratically elected, with a number of seats reserved for representatives of the Turkish minority. We should declare that an executive council should be set up which would be responsible to the legislative council in respect of its policy and actions, and that, for a limited period, the responsibility for internal security should be with the Governor.

We must make it clear that we are out for a responsible self-governing legislative, and our offer must be more liberal than that which we were able to make in 1948 and again in 1954. Whether we appointed a commissioner, as has been suggested, to go out to sound opinion and discuss the skeleton of some such constitution; whether we send out a Parliamentary commission to contact all sections of opinion in the island, or whether we call a conference of the kind suggested by my right hon. Friend does not matter at the moment. It is important that some step should be taken because, in the end, we shall be obliged to negotiate.

We cannot impose a constitution on the people of Cyprus. We cannot, ourselves, prepare a cut-and-dried constitution which the Cypriots will accept. This is something which has to be negotiated. We must, therefore, make quite clear what our intentions are, what kind of constitution we are prepared to recognise. And we must state that when that constitution comes into operation we will discuss how and when the principle of self-determination can be applied.

It is of no use our proclaiming that we do not like the people with whom we may be asked to negotiate. It is clear, too, that the Archbishop —who, as we all know, has been deported—is the only recognised mouthpiece of Greek Cypriot aspirations, and that, if there is to be negotiation, he has to be brought back. I do not know whether it is desirable that the conference should take place in London or in Cyprus, but whether we like the Archbishop or not —whatever his record may be; however much we may think that he has to some extent condoned some of the terrorism which we all deplore—none the less he is the recognised mouthpiece of the Greek Cypriots and there is no alternative but to discuss matters with him. We have to face what many right hon. and hon. Members believe is an ugly fact and see how soon we can get round the table and negotiate along the lines I have suggested.

The situation in Cyprus today is tragic and we, as a House of Commons, have a great responsibility for bringing it to an end. Our duty as an Opposition, there- fore, is to press the Government hard for the follies they have committed in handling this problem, to urge a fresh initiative, and to press that this heavy burden imposed now on our soldiers—and even on the Governor be removed; that this heavy anxiety which is felt throughout the whole of this country, this situation which is worsening our prestige as a colonial Power should be brought to an end. A solution must be found by negotiation rather than our waiting an indefinite time in the hope that the present policy of law and order will bring about a situation in which we can apply a constitution which will keep Cyprus inside the Commonwealth.

7.18 p.m.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)

Our last debate on Cyprus was two months ago today. I do not in the least quarrel with the fact that today we are having another debate, because I know of the very great anxiety that there is on both sides of the Committee about affairs in Cyprus, and the passionate desire of all our people that the violence there should come to an end.

When we had the previous debate on Cyprus I gave a rather lengthy recital of the events leading up to the long discussions with Archbishop Makarios—the last discussions being between me, the Governor and the Archbishop—and the many talks that the Governor himself had had previously with the Ethnarchy. I then spoke about the breakdown of the talks and of the deportation of the Archbishop. I went in some detail into Command Paper 9708, which describes the prolonged efforts of Her Majesty's Government to bring about a settlement, and sketches in broad outline our long-term policy.

That policy still stands. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) used words to the effect, "If only the Government would concede the principle of self-determination." If he looks once more at that White Paper he will see that that principle has been conceded; but where we part company is in the application of that principle in the present difficult situation in the world. I do, therefore, wish that right hon. Gentlemen with wide popular appeal and a wide public would be very careful when they make remarks such as that made by the right hon. Gentleman just now, for they will confuse people who have, perhaps, not had all the opportunities which we have had to read the White Paper very carefully.

Then I said—and I repeat it now —that this is no simple problem to which there are short-cut solutions in a manner that satisfies everybody. It cannot be dealt with solely by the time-honoured means whereby British Colonial Territories in other parts of the world have been brought steadily to a state of full self-government by varying stages and at differing rates.

The right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. Griffiths), who opened the debate, began, if I may say so, on a rather astonishing line. He said—and I think I have his words correctly—that the effect of the Government's policy has been to create hostility between Greeks and Turks. I venture to say that a wilder or more inaccurate statement has never fallen from his eloquent lips. This nonsense was promptly exploded by my right hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay).

The right hon. Member for Llanelly, like others, notably the hon. Lady for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. L. Jeger), who repeated her continual error as to what it is that irritates the Turks, talked as though it was the question of the Turkish minority that was of prime concern and first anxiety. While the mainland Turks and the Turks on the island are very concerned to see that in any settlement justice shall be done to the very important Turkish population, I think it is fair to say that infinitely more important in their eyes is the strategic position of Cyprus, so close to the shores of Turkey. That fact is known and was mentioned by a number of Members, notably by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) and by my hon. Friends the Members for Dover (Mr. Arbuthnot), Haltemprice (Major Wall) and Windsor (Mr. Mott-Radclyffe).

The right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), who followed on two speeches which dealt largely with the Turkish point of view, said that the debate had taken an extraordinary turn. Did he mean that it was an extraordinary turn for the debate to take because some people had recognised, perhaps for the first time, the very real strategic concern of the Turks? It seems to me that there has been an extraordinary inability on the part of many hon. Members to recognise the first strategic facts of life. I should prefer to say that, if it is an extraordinary turn, all that it means is that perhaps today for the first time some hon. Members have approached this problem in a more realistic way. The hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South has uttered words to the effect that it was a waste of time. She certainly suggested that we had not got on to the real purpose of the debate in the earlier speeches dealing with the Turkish problem. It is because of this very real Turkish interest and the real difficulty which that represents that this problem is so extremely complicated.

1 should like to congratulate my right hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West on his speech, and I should like to return to one aspect of it and the effect that I believe it has had already on European opinion. In the course of this debate the right hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. J. Edwards) made, I think we would all agree, a very moving and eloquent speech, as indeed he always does. But when he was talking of the Council of Europe, I understand from various hon. Friends of mine who were there that his recollection is very much at fault.

He said that a formal motion to put Cyprus on the agenda of the General Assembly at Strasbourg would have been carried. I am assured that the reason such a motion was not put down was almost certainly that it was known that it would not get the requisite majority, and I am also assured that the main reason this was so was the immensely favourable effect that the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West had on the delegates. No less is the debt of gratitude that I, as a successor of his in another Government Department, offer him for the educational work that he is now undertaking on the Continent of Europe.

The right hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough also asked me some very important questions about the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, and though it is a little out of its place in what I want to say, perhaps I should deal with it at once, and then I shall have fairly answered the points made by the right hon. Gentleman. He asked me four questions. The replies are these. Her Majesty's Government notified the Secretary-General of this derogation from the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights in respect of detentions in Cyprus under the Detention of Persons Law, 1955. Notification was sent to the Secretary-General of the Council on 7th October, 1955. The procedure for this notification was as laid down in Article 15 (3) of the Convention.

Similarly, the reply to his second question is that the Secretary-General was notified, as I told the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Holt) in the House a week or two ago, in respect of the deportation of Archbishop Makarios and others and their detention in Seychelles.

The reply to his third question is that Her Majesty's Government have not derogated from the provisions of Article 2 which deal with death sentences. There is no provision for notifying the Secretary-General in respect of executions.

Finally, to reply to his last question, there have been no further notifications to the Secretary-General because there has been no occasion to notify him other than on the occasions I have already mentioned.

Many things have happened, some of them inevitably tragic and some of them things that should have been prevented since the House debated Cyprus two months ago. But one thing has not changed, and it is a curious and rather distressing thought that very few speeches in this debate have stressed this aspect of the problem at all. The strategic importance of Cyprus to the British Commonwealth and to the free world is as it was two months ago and is, if anything, more important.

I said that some things have happened that should have been prevented. By reciting to the Committee some of the tragedies and horrors that have happened in Cyprus in the last two months and more, I do not want still further to exacerbate feeling. But I think it is important that we should keep a right perspective about these matters, and so often some of the beastliness that is being conducted in the name of democracy, and very largely against their own people, by the gangsters in Cyprus, tends to be forgotten.

There is a tendency to describe these people, to use a phrase of the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West (Mr. Popplewell), as Cypriots who are fighting for their freedom. There is also a tendency to describe the whole movement as if it were a resistance movement in which every person in Cyprus was more or less implicated. Nothing could be further from the truth. I hope that hon. Members read the letter in The Times on 8th May by my hon. Friend the Member for Wembley, South (Mr. Russell), which I think put admirably the real aspect of this problem that matters, and referred to the small and well-organised minority who have terrorised a large number of people and whose offences and very callousness are now tending to drive people away from them.

Mr. E. L. Maliallieu

Has the right hon. Gentleman read the letter in The Times this morning, which says just the opposite?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I have. I am always quite prepared to be convinced by any argument, even if it does not suit me; but I must confess that I remain convinced by the view I have just expressed, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Wembley, South gave such eloquent expression.

Some people—though no members of this Committee, I hope—may be inclined to think that the thirty Service men in Cyprus who have been shot or stabbed in the back, being on military duties in Cyprus, could expect that sort of risk. I am not one of those who look at the matter in that way. Nor do I believe that the sixty-eight people in the British Army transport plane, in which a bomb was placed and which was saved by a miracle, would have been fair victims of that conspiracy. Even assuming that all who have gone out either on business or travelling as members of soldiers' families are, to put it crudely, fair game for the murderers, what of the fifty Cypriots who have been murdered by their own fellow-countrymen or by those who have come from mainland Greece.

I was very interested in what was said by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Captain Corfield) and by my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor. I think it is really very interesting to analyse the number of Greek Cypriots who have been murdered, as my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor did, and compare those figures with the number of Turkish Cypriots, drawing the conclusion that my hon. Friend so well developed.

Remembering those fifty Cypriots murdered, of whom twenty-seven were civilians, many of them killed under conditions of almost unbelievable callousness, how can anybody pretend that those who do these things can claim to do them in the name of democracy? They are murdering people who do not agree with them, and doing it precisely because of that disagreement. If anybody really seriously suggests that Her Majesty's Government as now constituted, or Her Majesty's Government as previously constituted, could possibly surrender to that form of murderous blackmail, then he does not understand the real feelings of the British people.

Where do the Socialist Party stand in this long and very involved affair? frankly do not know, having listened very carefully to the speech of the right hon. Member for Llanelly, exactly what his party's policy now is. My hon. Friend the Member for Windsor said it remained studiously vague. Self-determination, a principle on which we have agreed was, so the right hon. Gentleman said, to be applied on a date mutually to be agreed. What does that mean? Does it mean that the British Government have a veto on that date? If mutual agreement means anything, it means that both parties must agree. What is the point then? How can the right hon. Gentleman seriously argue that this is in fact conceding the application of self-determination? A date to be mutually agreed implies just as much a veto for the United Kingdom as hon. Members opposite have claimed we say the Turks themselves should have.

A little later, in response to an interruption, the right hon. Gentleman mentioned, almost casually, five years. Then my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor thought he understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that it should be applied in two years. I remain completely vague, and I would be very glad indeed to have the matter cleared up.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I said in an earlier debate in the House—and the Secretary of State will perhaps remember it—that I believed it was possible to make a settlement, having affirmed and accepted the principle of self-determination, as to a date at which that right would become operative. I said then that I believed it was possible to settle on ten years from the date on which the constitution came into operation; and then I said five years. I have said that before; I said it again today.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

In the intervals in the Singapore Conference tomorrow, I will read HANSARD, and I trust that I shall understand more clearly at the end than I do now. Is the right hon. Gentleman saying five or ten?

Mr. Griffiths

I said five. [HON. MEMBERS: "Ten"] If I said ten, then I am sorry. I have said that I thought the Secretary of State would remember that in an earlier debate I said five years; and I say five now.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The right hon. Gentleman means that the principle of self-determination would, if his party were successful, be applied five years after they came into power, whatever the circumstances?

Mr. Griffiths

Five years after the new constitution came into operation.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

It would be applied five years after the new constitution came into operation, whatever the circumstances in the Eastern Mediterranean. That is very interesting to know, and some people can certainly draw their own conclusions from that.

If vague on that particular matter, the right hon. Gentleman was very precise in regard to internal security, which, he said, should be handed over within one year of the coming into force of the constitution. Internal security, carrying with it the control of the special branch, carrying with it all the information on which government in a difficult part of the world depends for the security of the State, should be handed over within one year, in a country where there have been no ministers nor members of the legislature for twenty-five years, to an elected minister, not yet chosen, and who, with the detainees let out of prison, might well be a Communist. It is a most interesting suggestion about our responsibilities as one of the guardians of the free world.

All that is very interesting, but is astonishingly at variance with the line taken by right hon. Gentlemen opposite when they were in positions of authority. I have read very carefully the way in which this story has unfolded, and it seems to me that the attitude of the Socialist Party changed completely when, at the Labour Party Conference at Scarborough in 1954, an emergency resolution was moved. It was moved by Mr. Driberg, then a Member of this House, and it received very little discussion. There were domestic arguments going on at the time, and it was desirable to try and unite the party on something about which very few people knew anything at all; knowing very little, they were likely to vote for the resolution.

In 1954, a conference resolution was passed, and from that moment the marching orders were given. We had the rather embarrassing and not very effective speech—if I may say so—of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield in an earlier debate, who had to give public expression in Pariament to the consequences of that resolution. I will not go over all that was said by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite when, as Ministers, they had responsibility for this very serious business and when, incidentally, to put it mildly, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East was not quite so difficult as it is today. What was said can be read by anybody in the pages of HANSARD, and they have been frequently quoted. I have in mind statements made by the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) ridiculing the plebiscite, statements by the right hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Younger) that the policy of self determination was non-discussable, and other observations of that kind.

We have had tonight from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly a number of propositions which he said we should have put forward and which, if put forward, would have averted all these difficulties and some of the tragedies in Cyprus. All this trouble could have been avoided if the Government had taken another line, it is said. From the very beginning, he said, he and his hon. Friends have tried to put forward constructive suggestions.

The right hon. Gentleman and other hon. Members opposite were members of the Government in 1951 when a chance had perhaps arisen to apply some of these particular panaceas to the problem of Cyprus. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite know very well what happened, and so does the Greek Government. I have naturally no access to any Cabinet records of that time, but I have access to Executive instruments of the Government, such as telegrams. I know what happened.

I know how the Greek Prime Minister, in April, 1951, called a meeting of the heads of all the Greek Parliamentary parties and how in Athens they unanimously decided on an immediate approach in April, 1951, to Her Majesty's Government within the framework of the close traditional friendship between Great Britain and Greece. I know how, when that approach was made, they said to the Government that they recognised the British strategic interests but the Greek Government was convinced that this was by no means irreconcilable with the Greek ethnic and sentimental interests. All these facts I know.

Mr. Bevan

Is the right hon. Gentleman reading?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am not reading from any document. I am reading from my own notes.

Mr. Bevan

The right hon. Gentleman is making references to telegrams. Is he publishing them?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

My right hon. Friend and I are very prepared to show right hon. Gentlemen opposite these telegrams to refresh their memories, and then to discuss whether they would really like them published.

Mr. Bevan

This is a game which it is quite easy for a Minister to play. He has access to the documents. I advise him to be exceedingly careful, because what he is doing is purporting to make references to documents which are not in the possession of the House. We do not know whether he is telling the truth.

Hon. Members

Oh!

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

These documents are known to many people in Greece, and it is about time that people in the United Kingdom knew them too. As to whether I am telling the truth, I have been at pains, as Dr. Jowett used to say, to verify my quotations. I shall be very ready indeed, with my right hon. Friend, to show them to any ex-Ministers concerned, and then the matter could certainly be ventilated.

I know very well what these proposals were. They are being published now—

Mr. Bevan

The right hon. Gentleman said that he is not reading from documents. He proposes to wind up by saying that they are being published now. Which position is he taking up? Is he actually reading from documents or making a reference to documents? Is he publishing them or not?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

One can publish something orally and that is what I am now doing. I know what the proposals were—

Mr. S. Silverman

I hesitate to interrupt the debate in its closing stages but is it not an old rule of the House of Commons that if a Minister refers to documents—and the right hon. Gentleman says that he is publishing them orally—in those circumstances the documents should be produced?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I think I am in the recollection of the Committee, Sir Rhys, not in saying that I was publishing the documents, but in saying that I was orally publishing the proposals.

The Deputy-Chairman (Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris)

The rule of the House is that a Minister may summarise a document. If he is not actually quoting from it, he is not obliged to lay the document.

Mr. Silverman

I understand the Minister just now to have drawn a distinction between publishing a document and publishing the proposals. I cannot follow how a Minister is able to publish the proposals in a document without quoting from the document. Therefore, I submit that the document ought to be laid on the Table.

The Deputy-Chairman

I do not know the contents of the document, but if the Minister is not quoting from a document but is merely summarising it, he is not obliged to lay it.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I know what the proposals were. The proposals of the Greek Government at that time to the Socialist Party, then the Government in Britain, was that Cyprus should be ceded to Greece but that the Greek Government should at the same time agree to place at the disposal of Her Majesty's Government such strategic bases as we might desire in Cyprus and in other parts of Greek territory. If Her Majesty's Government could not agree to that because of the international situation, I understand that what the Greek Government wanted the then Socialist Government to do was to announce their willingness to take steps within a reasonable period to ascertain the wishes of the inhabitants of Cyprus.

I am very interested to know the answer that was given by Ministers at a time when the situation in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean was nothing like so potentially dangerous as it is today. The answer was that there was no disposition on the part of Her Majesty's Government to entertain or discuss the Greek proposals, that the strategic position of Cyprus was of the greatest importance to the United Kingdom, and for that reason alone Her Majesty's Government could not contemplate a change of sovereignty.

But then our Greek friends, as we all know, are rather persistent people. I understand that the Government of the day went on to say that they—the Socialist Government—could not even hold out a hope of being able to modify their attitude in the foreseeable future. I do not quite know how far—

Mr. J. Griffiths

I put this point to you, Sir Rhys. The right hon. Gentleman said, "Then, the Socialist Government went on to say", and he quoted. May we ask you from what he was quoting? If he was quoting from the document, is it not the rule that he should lay it?

The Deputy-Chairman

I have no knowledge of what the Minister was quoting from.

Mr. Griffiths

It is within the recollection of the Committee that the words I quoted were actually used by the Minister.

The Deputy-Chairman

I can only state what the rule is, because I have no knowledge of the documents at all. A Minister may summarise the contents of a document.

Hon. Members

He was quoting it.

The Deputy-Chairman

If he is quoting the contents of a document, the document must be laid.

Mr. Bevan

This is a serious matter. Hon. Members opposite are old enough to cast their minds back to know that whenever documents are quoted from, it has always been the rule of the House that the papers be laid. I am now prepared to move that the papers to which the Minister referred be laid on the Table.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am not certain whether the right hon. Gentleman—he went in and out of that particular Government—was even a member of it. Further to the point of order, I should be very ready to discuss with those primarily concerned whether they would like the documents to be laid.

Sir Robert Boothby (Aberdeenshire, East)

On a point of order. The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) has now moved that the documents referred to should be laid. Are you accepting that Motion, Sir Rhys?

The Deputy-Chairman

First, I should draw the attention of the Committee to the Standing Order. It states: If a Minister of the Crown quotes in the House a despatch or other State paper which has not been presented to the House, he ought to lay it on the table

Mr. Bevan

I move accordingly.

The Deputy-Chairman

I do not know whether the Minister was quoting from a State paper.

Mr. Bevan

The right hon. Gentleman then went on to say, "And the Socialist Government replied in these terms …"

Mr. Lennox-Boy

indicated dissent.

Mr. Bevan

The right hon. Gentleman has caught himself out in a thoroughly dishonest speech. I now move formally that the papers be laid.

The Deputy-Chairman

The Rule continues This rule is analogous to the rule observed in courts of law against quoting documents which are not produced in evidence. It cannot be applied to private documents or to documents which are alleged by the Minister to be of such a nature that their production would be inconsistent with the public interest.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I certainly do not claim either that these are private papers or that their publication would be inconsistent with the public interest, however embarrassing it might be to some right hon. Gentlemen opposite. I do not think that is contrary to the public interest. I will certainly consult those who were concerned as Ministers at the time, and if they wish I am perfectly prepared, in consultation with my right hon. Friend, to lay the relevant—

Mr. Bevan

The desires of the right hon. Gentleman, his wishes or his intentions, have nothing to do with the Standing Orders of the House. He has quoted from the document—[HON. MEMBERS: "No".] HANSARD will reveal that.

The Deputy-Chairman

Whatever may be the merits of this case it is certainly not a matter for a formal Motion. I do not know the contents of the document and I do not know whether the Secretary of State was actually quoting it or not. I must be guided by the Standing Order. This is not a matter for a formal Motion.

Mr. Bevan

Sir Rhys, you quoted from the Standing Order, and you said that when dispatches or documents are quoted, it is the rule that they be laid on the Table by the Minister unless he thinks the public interest demands otherwise. Will the Secretary of State now obey the Standing Order and lay the papers?

The Deputy-Chairman

There are three things that are essential, first that the paper be a dispatch or other State paper, the public interest, and the fact that the Minister quotes from the document.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I have not quoted from the documents. I repeat what I said. I have not quoted from the documents and later consideration will reveal that fact.

Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)

On a point of order. It will be within the recollection of the Committee that the Secretary of State referred to a document, to a dispatch, and that he said, in quoting a telegram, that "The Socialist Government replied in these terms …" I submit that there are only two possible explanations of that. Either the right hon. Gentleman was giving an accurate quotation, in which case the telegram must be laid, or the right hon. Gentleman was giving an inaccurate quotation, in which case the right hon. Gentleman's behaviour is deplorable.

The Deputy-Chairman

My understanding is that the Secretary of State made a statement but did not quote from a document.

Mr. S. Silverman

On a point of order. I submit that it is irrelevant whether the Secretary of State quoted accurately or inaccurately. If he purported to quote at all then the Committee is entitled to the document. I would ask you, Sir Rhys, if it is established that what the Secretary of State has done is in breach of the Standing Order, what remedy the Committee has?

The Deputy-Chairman

I am not aware that the Secretary of State is in breach of the Standing Order. There are three requirements to be satisfied to prove a breach of the Standing Order.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I have not quoted from a document at all, but I am perfectly ready to discuss the matter with the ex-Ministers concerned. I do not mean the sort of consultation the right hon. Gentleman talked about. I mean the sort of consultation after which, if they wish, the document will be laid.

Mr. Bevan

rose

Hon. Members

Sit down

Mr. Bevan

Hon. Members opposite are in difficulties. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I am rising on a point of order. When they are in difficulties —

The Deputy-Chairman

Order. I cannot hear the point of order.

Mr. Bevan

When they are in difficulties we always get a school boyish howl. The right hon. Gentleman has no right, ex-Ministers have no right, to consult to defeat a Standing Order. The question before you, Sir Rhys, is whether in fact the Standing Order has been properly invoked or not. That is the issue before the Committee. [HON. MEMBERS: "No"] It is within the recollection of the Committee that the Secretary of State did actually quote from a dispatch—

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

No.

Mr. Bevan

—and he either quoted or he misquoted it. What has he to say? I say, with all respect, Sir Rhys, that the words should be taken down, noted; and that, if it is a fact that the construction I have placed upon the words is the proper construction, the papers be placed before the Committee.

The Deputy-Chairman

I have already said what the Standing Order says and what the practice of the House is, and the practice for application for the words to be taken down is obsolete and is no longer the practice.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

To complete this story, I stand by what I said. Stories are not always untrue, and on this occasion it is not untrue.

When further requests were made by a very high authority indeed in Greece it was decided by the Socialist Government not to make any reply to that doémarche.

I have dealt with this matter, in which I have not quoted but summarised the purport of the documents, as, indeed, I was bound to do—though I am ready to lay them, if, on reflection, that is wished —because I did not want the absurd legend to get about that a Socialist Government, when confronted with the problem of Cyprus, would have acted in quite the irresponsible way that their attitude in opposition might have led us to believe.

I am very conscious that there is a very important debate to follow this, and I must apologise to right hon. and hon. Members if, after the many interruptions there have been in my speech—I do not in the least resent them— I am not able to deal with all the points which have been raised, but I should like very briefly to deal with one or two matters because this will certainly be the last opportunity to deal with them before the Whitsun Recess.

I have been asked a number of questions about the recent executions in Cyprus. I feel it is my duty to make brief comments on that matter. Though what I say is the correct constitutional doctrine of my position in this matter as laid down by the right hon. Member for Wakefield when he was Colonial Secretary, I do not see how the Governor, Sir John Harding, could have come to any different conclusion. Petitions were presented to Her Majesty. It is my duty to advise Her Majesty whether the Royal Prerogative of mercy should or should not be exercised in these cases. I felt bound to advise Her Majesty not to intervene.

I had intended to read the full statement given to the House on 11th August, 1947, by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield solely in order to get once more on the record what the right hon. Gentleman put very clearly indeed about the respective roles of the Secretary of State and the Governor, and to explain how it is that, though the Prerogative of mercy has been conveyed to the Governor in every Colony, that act does not entirely empty Her Majesty of the Royal Prerogative, and that, in so far as that is so, there is a residual prerogative still resting in the Secretary of State. It was about that residual prerogative that I had expected to be questioned in some detail today.

If I do not read that lengthy statement it is solely because of the late hour, and not because I do not think it of first importance, and I would ask all hon. and right hon. Members interested in this matter to read the statement of the right hon. Gentleman on 11th August, 1947, on this matter. I feel quite sure that there is unlikely to be any party division in the Committee over that.

It has been suggested that the death penalties imposed in Cyprus should not have been carried out because, it is said, nobody is being hanged in the United Kingdom. This suggestion seems to me to be wholly mistaken. The Home Secretary said in the House on 23rd February that it would be unconstitutional to abrogate capital punishment by administrative action in anticipation of an amendment of the law, and that it would be the duty of the Secretary of State for Scotland and himself to apply their minds to the circumstances of each particular case. He said that each case was therefore considered on its merits, regard being had to the special considerations relevant to that case, and all relevant considerations of either a public or a private nature.

The fact that a Resolution has been passed by this House, which is one part of the United Kingdom Parliament, and the fact that a Bill to abolish capital punishment in this country, or to suspend it, is now under discussion in the House, with the possibility that the law might soon be altered, is of course a relevant consideration which should be taken into account in considering all cases of murderers convicted by the courts of the United Kingdom in this country, but it does not follow that the possibility of an alteration of the law in Great Britain is a relevant consideration in relation to Cyprus, to which the Bill does not apply. Nor, even if it were relevant, which in my view it is not, would it be a conclusive consideration.

It is right that all the circumstances of the case should be weighed, and it must be obvious that all the circumstances of a case occurring in Cyprus, while differing from those of cases occurring here—all relevant considerations—ought to be borne in mind by the Government, and the fact that murder is still occurring in Cyprus. Already, eighty people have been murdered, and some have been policemen, whose courage and steadfastness have been sorely tried. Others are ex-Service men, and any excess of zeal on their part is quite properly pounced on by the authorities. It is also very important that their morale should be maintained.

Another very important factor is that all rank and file terrorists in Cyprus are casual bomb throwers who do not care which target their bombs find. If they were brought to believe that the Emergency Regulations or the death sentence in Cyprus were only an idle threat and that they would get an amnesty anyhow, and that the generous amnesty terms I discussed with the Archbishop would be enlarged, then undoubtedly that might lead to an increase in murder. All these are relevant considerations, and I have every assurance, and I am quite certain, personally, that the Governor took all these relevant considerations fully into account when he had to carry out his very grave duty.

Mr. S. Silverman

Without dissenting in the least from the general proposition or statement on the position laid down in 1947, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he can explain to us whether, among the considerations which the Governor and he himself took into account in these cases, there were included these two points? First, that in the case of a man who had been convicted of murder there was a very sub- stantial element of doubt whether, in fact, he was guilty. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I say there was an element of doubt; I do not say more than that. In the second case, whether the man who was convicted under the Regulations was not convicted of murder at all; whether in fact his offence was committed on the Monday, and that the offence was made capital by the Regulations less than forty-eight hours before, on the Saturday, and that he did not know that the offence had been made a capital offence? I am only asking those two points.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Of course, every consideration is taken into account. I am quite satisfied that in the particular case of Demetriou, he had a scrupulously fair trial, and I am also satisfied that the court came to the conclusion that he had intended to murder Mr. Taylor. These considerations which the hon. Gentleman raise were taken into account, and I do not accept his contention that the accused was ignorant of the penalty of his crime.

Finally, may I say a word about the various constitutional points that have been made? As the Committee knows, we have had quite a lot of discussion on these matters both in Parliament and outside. I made a full statement in the House on 2nd May in regard to the position of Lord Radcliffe, and the request that I had made to him, on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, and I explained why in our view the time was not opportune for discussions in Cyprus until it was possible to be sure that those discussions would be conducted without fear of threats or intimidation.

I am particularly anxious in this matter, while keeping the situation fluid and slamming no doors, for which hon. Gentlemen rightly asked, to see that we do not take some hasty action which might in fact do more harm than good and which might lead the people of Cyprus or elsewhere to take up positions in regard to the constitution from which it would be difficult to shift them later, which would have all sorts of serious consequences.

Work is being done here, and I am having talks from time to time with Lord Radcliffe, while a great deal of work is being done in my own Department on the matter. When the Governor returns in three weeks' time, I shall of course have full talks with him on this and every other aspect of the situation in Cyprus. It seems to us that this is a better solution than that which was advocated by the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery, who suggested that a deputation should go to Cyprus, because, as I explained to him, one of the difficulties of the Cyprus problem is that it is an international problem and that considerations that applied in the case of the Parliamentary Delegation to Kenya do not apply there.

Finally, in regard to the suggestion of the right hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough that we should hand over this vexed problem for arbitration by the wise men of the Council of Europe or N.A.T.O., I feel sure that if Her Majesty's Government abrogated their responsibilities for coming to wise recommendations in this field, and left it to some international body, we should then find most certainly that one or other of the nations

involved, Greece or Turkey, would walk out of those bodies, with consequences very grave for the future of the world.

In conclusion, I can assure my hon. Friends that I will study very carefully the suggestions made, and to my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor I can say that the educational problem in Cyprus seems to me to be most important of all. I am not one of those who hold the view that the youth of Cyprus is lost irrevocably. To bring them back to the ways of peace and partnership must be one of our first tasks and considerations.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I beg to move, That Class 11, Vote 8, Colonial Office, be reduced by £100.

Question put, That a sum, not exceeding £902,865, be granted for the said Service:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 236, Noes 314.

Division No.180.] AYES [8.7 p.m.
Ainsley, J. W. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Howell, Denis (All Saints)
Albu, A. H. Darling, George (Hillsborough) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Allen, Arthur(Bosworth) Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Hunter, A. E.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Davies, Harold (Leek) Hynd, H, (Accrington)
Anderson, Frank Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Awbery, S. S. Deer, G, Irving, S. (Dartford)
Bacon, Miss Alice de Freitas, Geoffrey Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G.A.
Baird, J. Delargy, H. J. Janner, B,
Balfour, A. Dodds, N. N. Jay, Rt. Hon. D.P.T.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Donnelly, D. L. Jeger, George(Goole)
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John(W. Brmwch) Jeger, Mrs. Lena(Holbn & St. Pncs, S.)
Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.) Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)
Benson, G. Edelman, M. Johnson, James (Rugby)
Beswick, F. Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Jones, David (The Hartlepools)
Blackburn, F. Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)
Blenkinsop, A. Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Boardman, H. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A.G. Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Jones, T, W. (Merioneth)
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.) Fernyhough, E. Kenyon, C.
Bowles, F. G. Finch, H. J. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Boyd, T. C. Fletcher, Eric King, Dr. H. M.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Lawson, G. M.
Brockway, A. F. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Ledger, R. J.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Gibson, C. W. Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Greenwood, Anthony Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Burke, W. A. Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Grey, C. F. Lewis, Arthur
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Griffiths, David (Rother valley) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Callaghan, L. J. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llannelly) Logan, D. G.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Griffiths, William (Exchange) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Champion, A. J. Hale, Leslie MacColl, J. E.
Chapman, W. D. Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Coin Valley) Mcinnes, J.
Chetwynd, G. R Hamilton, W. W. McKay, John (Wallsend)
Chetwynd, G. R. Hannan, W. McLeavy, Frank
Clunie, J. Hastings, S. MacPherson, Malcolm(Stirling)
Goldrick, W. Hayman, F. H. Mahon, Simon
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Healey, Denis Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Herbison, Miss M. Mason, Roy
Cove, W. G. Hewitson, Capt. M. Mayhew, C. P.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hobson, C. R. Mellish, R. J.
Cronin, J. D. Holt, A. F. Messer, Sir F.
Crossman, R. H. S. Houghton, Douglas Mikardo, Ian
Daines, P. Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Mitchison, G.R.
Monslow, W. Reid, William Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Moody, A. S. Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Thomson, George(Dundee, E.)
Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert(Lewis'm,S.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Timmons, J.
Mort, D. L. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Tomney, F.
Moss, R. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Turner-Samuels, M.
Moyle, A. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Mulley, F. W. Ross, William Viant, S. P.
Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley Warbey, W. N.
Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Watkins, T. E.
Oliver, G. H. Short, E. W. Weitzman, D.
Oram, A. E. Shurmer, P. L. E. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Orbach, M. Silverman, Julius (Aston) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Oswald, T. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) West, D. G.
Owen, W. J. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Wheeldon, W. E.
Padley, W. E. Skeffington, A. M. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Paget, R. T. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Slater, J. (Sedgefield) Wigg, George
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Palmer, A. M. F. Snow, J. W. Wilkins, W. A.
Pargiter, G. A. Sorensen, R. W. Willey, Frederick
Parker, J. Sparks, J. A. Williams, David (Neath)
Parkin, B. T. Steele, T. Williams, Rev. Llyweiyn (Ab'tillery)
Paton, J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham) Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Plummer, Sir Leslie Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich) Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Popplewell, E. Stones, W. (Consett) Winterbottom, Richard
Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Probert, A. R. Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall) Woof, R. E.
Proctor, W. T. Stross,Dr.Barnett(Stoke-on-Trent,C.) Yates, V (Ladywood)
Pryde, D. J. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Pursey, Cmdr. H. Swingler, S. T. Zilliacus, K.
Rankin, John Sylvester, G. O.
Redhead, E. C. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Reeves, J. Taylor, John (West Lothian) Mr. Holmes and Mr. J. T. Price
NOES
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Carr, Robert Glover, D.
Aitken, W. T. Cary, Sir Robert Godber, J. B.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Channon, H. Gough, C. F. H.
Alport, C. J. M. Chichester-Clark, R. Gower, H. R.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Graham, Sir Fergus
Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Grant, W. (Woodside)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Cole, Norman Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)
Arbuthnot, John Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Green, A.
Armstrong, C. W. Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Gresham Cooke, R.
Ashton, H. Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)
Astor, Hon. J. J. Corfield, Capt. F. V. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)
Atkins, H. E. Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Crouch, R. F. Curden, Harold
Baldwin, A. E, Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Hall, John (Wycombe)
Balniel, Lord Cunningham, Knox Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.
Banks, Col. C. Currie, G. B. H. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)
Barber, Anthony Dance, J. C. G. Harris, Reader (Heston)
Barlow, Sir John D' Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)
Barter, John Deedes, W. F. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)
Baxter, sir Beverley Digby, Simon Wingfield Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Dodds-Parker, A. D. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Doughty, C. J. A. Harvie-Watt, Sir George
Bennett, Dr. Reginald. Drayson, G. B. Hay, John
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) du Cann, E. D. L. Head Rt. Hon. A. H.
Bidgood, J. C. Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond) Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Henderson, John(Cathcart)
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Duthie, W. S. Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.
Bishop, F. P. Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
Black, C. W. Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (Warwick&L'm'tn) Hill, John (S. Norfolk)
Body, R.F. Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Boothby, Sir Robert Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Holland-Martin, C. J.
Bossom, Sir A. C. Erroll, F. J. Hope, Lord John
Boyd-carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.
Boyle, Sir Edward Fell, A. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence
Braine, B. R. Finlay, Graeme Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Fisher, Nigel Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.H. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Howard, John (Test)
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Fletcher-Cooke, C. Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)
Brooman-White, R. C. Fort, R. Hudson, W. R. A.
Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Foster, John Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.
Bryan, P. Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Hughes-Young, M. H. C.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale) Hulbert, Sir Norman
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Freeth, D. K. Hurd, A. R.
Burden, F. F. A. Gammans, Sir David Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)
Butcher, Sir Herbert Garner-Evans, E. H. Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) George, J. C. (Pollok) Hyde, Montgomery
Campbell, Sir David Gibson-Watt, D. Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.
Iremonger, T. L. Marples, A. E. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Marshall, Douglas Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Mathew, R. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Maude, Angus Sharpies, R. C.
Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam) Maudling, Rt. Hon. R. Shepherd, William
Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Mawby, R. L. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Medlicott, Sir Frank Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)
Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green) Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Soames, Capt. C.
Joseph, Sir Keith Molson, A. H. E. Spearman, A. C. M.
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. sir Lancelot Moore, Sir Thomas Speir, R. M.
Kaberry, D. Morrison, John (Salisbury) Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)
Keegan, D. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)
Kerby, Capt. H. B. Nabarro, G. D. N. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Kerr, H. W. Nairn, D. L. S. Stevens, Geoffrey
Kershaw, J. A. Neave, Alrey Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Kimball, M. Nicholls, Harmar Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Kirk, P. M. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Lagden, G. w. Nicolson, N. (B' n' m' th, E. & Chr'ch) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Lambert, Hon. G. Nield, Basil (Chester) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Lambton, Viscount Noble, Comdr, A. H. P. Studholme, H. G.
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Nutting, Rt. Hon. Anthony Summers, G. S. (Aylesbury)
Langford-Holt, J. A. Oakshott, H. D. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Leather, E. H. C. O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Leavey, J. A. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. w. D. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Teeling, W.
Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian(Weston-S-Mare) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Osborne, C. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R.(Croydon, 8.)
Lindsay, Martin (Solihull) Page, R. G. Thornton, E.
Linstead, Sir H. N. Panned, N. A. (Kirkdale) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Llewellyn, D. T. Partridge, E. Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G.(Sutton Coldfield) Peyton, J. W. w. Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Lioyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Pickthorn, K. W. M. Turner, H. F. L.
Lloyd-George, MaJ. Rt. Hon. G. Plikington, Capt. R. A. Turton, Rt. Hon. R, H.
Longden, Gilbert Pitman, I. J. Tweedsmuir, Lady
Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W. Pitt, Miss E. M. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Pott, H. P. Vickers, Miss J. H.
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick) Powell, J. Enoch Vosper, D. F.
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
McAdden, S. J. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Macdonald, Sir Peter Profumo, J. D. Wall, Major Patrick
Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Raikes, Sir Victor Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Ramsden, J. E. Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Rawlinson, Peter Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Redmayne, M. Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Maclean, Fitzroy (Lancaster) Rees-Davies, W. R. Webbe, Sir H.
Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain (Enfield, W.) Remnant, Hon. P. Whitelaw, W.S.I.(Penrith & Border)
MacLeod, John (Ross A Cromarty) Renton, D. L, M. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Macmillan. Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley) Ridsdale, J. E. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Rippon, A, G. F. Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Maddan, Martin Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Robertson, Sir David Wood, Hon. R.
Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Woollam, John Victor
Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Roper, Sir Harold Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Markham, Major Sir Frank Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Marlowe, A. A. H. Russell, R. S. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Heath and Mr. Galbraith.
Back to