§ 11.5 a.m.
§ Mr. Philip Noel-Baker (Derby, South)
After a silence of a year, I feel as though I might almost be entitled to crave the indulgence of the House ; but I am not free to do so, for I have to speak of controversial matters on which the feelings of hon. Members are in conflict and are often very strong.
Yesterday, we were discussing the risk of war. Today, we shall talk of fighting and bloodshed which is actually going on. My purpose, which I state at the outset, is to urge on the Secretary of State and the Government that they have in the last eight months lost three opportunities to make progress on this Cyprus question and that they should now, instead of drifting further, speaking as they do of a light at the end of the tunnel—a tunnel which seems to have no end—create a new opportunity and make a great new effort for settlement and peace.
I begin by stating very frankly my own position. By reason of personal events which shaped my life, I have had occasion to know the Greeks extremely well, not the Athenians only but the people in the villages and the fields. I have seen them in peace and war. They hate war with all their souls, but they have had twenty years of war in the last forty, in causes which were always ours. I have come to know them, to understand their faults—and they themselves will always say they have got plenty—to appreciate their outstanding virtues of virility, courage, patience and generosity. I have come to love them as only those who know them well can love them.
For more than thirty years I have believed that Cyprus, like other parts of the British Commonwealth, was destined, with British help, British goodwill and 356 British guidance to achieve self-government, and thereafter in exercise of self-determination, by the will of its people and by the will of ours, to become a happy and prosperous part of Greece.
Thirty years ago I worked with Sir Cecil Hurst, then the chief legal adviser in the Foreign Office, later Lord McNair's predecessor as President of the International Court. He gave a lecture in the United States in 1925 which made a great sensation. He said that every colony in the Empire was destined to achieve nationhood and self-determination within a measurable period of years, to be fully self-governing, with full equality, fully master of its fate. I have always felt that that must be true of the able, industrious, peace-loving and highly cultured people of Cyprus. I felt that they should quickly evolve towards self-government, that they were better fitted for it than many others who achieved it long ago, and that when they had achieved it, they would be resolute, with our goodwill, to join themselves to Greece.
For thirty years my view has never changed. I do not think the Secretary of State will ask me, because he has dropped that particular reproach—he did it in the last debate—but hon. Members opposite may ask why I remained a member of the Labour Government from 1945 to 1951, and how can I support our present policy, if we did nothing then? I answer that my view has never changed. I always urged the policy in which I then believed and now believe.
I always thought that the first step must be self-government. I think so still. In 1948, we offered Cyprus a Constitution with an elected majority in the Chamber corresponding to the composition of the people, that is, an elected majority of Greeks. I still think that the Ethnarchy was wrong to refuse that offer. Had it accepted, I believe that self-determination would be very much nearer today, and that we should have had no opposition from the Turks.
The Ethnarchy refused because there were wide powers of veto for the Governor. Why were there those wide powers of veto? If hon. Members think back to 1948, they will understand. Greece was then bearing the brunt of the murderous Communist attack, supported.
357 paid for and supplied by Russia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania. I never thought so, but there was a common fear in Athens and in London that the Communists might win. It was then no time, as I thought, to proceed beyond the first step of the liberal measure of self-government which we proposed.
Since the election of the Papagos Government in 1952, however, there has hardly been a country on the Continent of Europe where there is less danger of a Communist majority or of Communist violence breaking out again. The reasons that limited the action of the Labour Government no longer exist today.
I go further and then I end this point. If we were wrong in 1948 and 1950, that is no reason why we should go on being wrong today. The basic fact, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Lianelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) said the other day, is that when we on this side left office there was a friendly Cyprus, a friendly Turkey and a friendly Greece. We believe that it should be the major objective of the Government to solve this problem and to restore the friendships that then existed.
I have never believed, I do not believe now, that in developing self-government for Cyprus, leaving its people to choose their destiny, there should be insuperable difficulties with the Turks. I have the strongest personal reasons to feel friendship for the Turks. I know—I do not merely think, I know—that the Turks, both Government and people, want good understanding with the Greeks. I do not believe that the modern Turks, if rightly handled, would want to oppose the principles of liberty, democracy and self-determination which were operated in their favour in the Sanjak of Alexandretta only twenty years ago.
I believe that the difficulties about the Turks have been very much increased by speeches made on the Government benches and from the Government Box, speeches expressing the Turks' strong opposition before the Turks had spoken of it themselves. In the Secretary of State's speech in our last debate, there was a cryptic sentence about the Channel Islands. I have tried to understand what it means. If it means what it seems to mean, if it says that a Cyprus left to itself would join Turkey, I do not think that the Secretary of State has made the difficulties with the Turks any less.
358 Furthermore, when the Prime Minister made his statement last July—when he said…steps to create conditions which might lead to the application of self-determination for Cyprus would raise far wider issues for our Turkish allies as parties to the Lausanne Treaty settlement."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th July, 1956; Vol. 556, c. 600.]—he came perilously near to endorsing the Turkish claim that any change of sovereignty in Cyprus would give a right to Turkey to claim that it should revert to the Turks and that the status of Thrace and other places must be reconsidered too. It does not help the Turkish case, it certainly increases all the difficulties, to pretend that there are legal rights that simply do not exist.
I repeat what has been said before, because it is very important, There are three Articles in the Treaty of Lausanne which deal with Cyprus. By Article XX, Turkey recognised the annexation of Cyprus proclaimed by the British Government in 1914. That in itself extinguished all Turkish claims to Cyprus. By Article XVI, Turkey renounced all rights and titles whatsoever to Cyprus and other territories and agreed that the future of the island should be settled by the parties concerned, which specifically excluded Turkey. Article XXI provided that Turks who were in Cyprus could opt for Turkish nationality, but if they did they had to go to Turkey within a year. At Lausanne we allowed the Turks no rights, claims or interests of any kind in Cyprus.
In the last debate, the Secretary of State admitted that all this was juridically correct. I hope he will repeat that now, very loud and clear. I hope we will hear no more about package arrangements made at Lausanne. There are no legal rights giving Turkey a claim to be consulted, still less to have a veto, on the policy which we adopt in Cyprus. It does not help to give verbal countenance, as the Prime Minister unfortunately did, to legal arguments that are without foundation of any kind.
Of course, there must be safeguards, ample guaranteed safeguards, for the Cypriot Turks. Of course, their rights of citizenship ; their personal freedom ; their representation in the Chamber, the Government and the Civil Service ; their rights in education and religion, and their 359 mosques and schools must be established by the Constitution. I am convinced that there would not be the slightest difficulty in getting every bit of that
There could be the guarantee of the United Nations, to which both Greece and Turkey still attach importance, whatever the Government may feel. There could be, on legal questions, a compulsory reference to the International Court, and I am certain that the Greeks would be very ready to give the Court compulsory jurisdiction in any matter such as that.
Is it really thought that Cyprus could be a military danger to Turkey? The Greeks number 8 million, the Turks 24 million. If Cyprus is a danger, why not Mytilene, Rhodes and the Dodecanese Greek Islands, which are far nearer to the Turkish shore? And with a British base—for we can have a base there as safe as the United States bases in this country, if we only intend to use it in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
It does not bear argument. It is absolutely certain that both the Turks in Cyprus, and Turkey herself, have nothing to fear if the inhabitants of the island are accorded the same treatment which has been given already in the Commonwealth to 500 million other people, many of them less advanced than the Cypriot Greeks.
I say that with great assurance. I was in Istanbul in 1922 with Dr. Nansen, when he was acting as High Commissioner of the League of Nations for Refugees. One and a quarter million Greeks had fled from Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace, a million and a quarter of them flooding, terror-stricken, penniless and without resources, into Greece—12 million people, as it were, coming to this country. There was only one way to settle them in new homes—by an exchange of population, by sending back to Turkey 450, 000 Turks who had resided in different parts of Greece.
We were in Istanbul when Nansen proposed that a treaty of exchange should be drawn up in Lausanne. Within a week, we had a deputation of a dozen Turks from Greece, and this is what they said : "Dr. Nansen, we have just lived through ten years of war between Greece and Turkey. Terrible events have happened in Asia Minor in the last two months. In all that time no Greek has 360 ever raised a hand against us. Our persons, our rights, our churches and our schools have been respected. Please leave us now in our homes among our brother Greeks."
I believe that the Turks in Cyprus have no more to fear than the Turks in Greece feared during the First World War. There is trouble now between the Greeks and Turks in Greece and Turkey, but I believe that there the vast majority in both countries want only settlement and peace, as the vast majority of people in Trieste, Italy and Yugoslavia wanted peace when there was so much disturbance about Trieste a year or two ago. Thirty years ago, after the far more grievous troubles of which I have spoken, Venizelos and Mustapha Kemal made a historic reconciliation. I am certain that Menderes and Karamanlis, both outstanding men, could with British and, perhaps, United States assistance, make the same kind of reconciliation today.
Of course, the present difficulties between Greece and Turkey have been enormously increased by the use of force by the Cypriot Greeks. I have always deplored and condemned their use of force. I have done it in speeches, in broadcasts, in articles—wherever I could. I have urged the Cypriots to look at India, Burma and Ceylon, and to trust that the principles of the British Commonwealth, the principles which are its lifeblood, would triumph in the end. I have told them that self-determination would come more quickly if they trusted to persuasion instead of force. I have urged the dangers of the wounds now being inflicted upon Cyprus, which may take long years to heal.
What have they replied? That the British Government will not listen to reason, that nothing but force is any good. They say that for three long years they appealed to the Government to discuss it with them, and the Greek Government did the same. They got "No" and "No" and "Never" for an answer.
Does the Secretary of State remember the Prime Minister saying "There is no Cyprus question" in 1953 and again in 1954? Does he remember his predecessor saying in 1954 that he could imagine no more disastrous policy for Cyprus than to hand it over to an unstable Power like Greece? Deeply wounding words both 361 to the Cypriots and to the Greeks. Does he remember one Minister of State arguing at the General Assembly of the United Nations that Cyprus was a matter of purely British domestic jurisdiction with which no other country was concerned? Does he remember another Minister of State saying that ambiguous "Never "—now half withdrawn—which seemed then to close for them the hope that the principles of the Commonwealth would one day be applied? "No" and "Never" were the answer right up to April, 1955.
Then, alas, some of the Cypriot leaders changed their policy. They quote today some words written not long ago by a right hon. Member of this House :It is the primary right of men to die and to kill for the land they live in and to punish with exceptional severity all members of their own race who have warmed their hands at the invaders' hearth.That was published by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) in May, 1956. That is a terrible doctrine for the century in which we live. But it is accepted. That is why when we speak of "terrorists," the Greeks speak of "patriots" and other nations call them "partisans."
E.O.K.A. claims that force has given results. In April, 1955, they began to shoot. Within four months the Government's doctrine of domestic jurisdiction had gone out of the window. There was an international conference in the Foreign Office to which the Greek and Turkish Governments were called. In the conference "Never" was changed to "Sometime," a notable victory for force. However, no agreement for action could be made, and so E.O.K.A.'s shooting still went on. After three more months of violence, negotiations between the Government and Makarios were begun. They led to the Secretary of State's visit to the island and his talks with the Archbishop. He had only one before he broke off the negotiations and came home.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)
I made a second visit for talks.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I know, but there was one talk in that series.
That was a failure—I think, of our making : and so the shooting still went 362 on. After another four months of violence, the Government proposed a scheme more far reaching, which they never published—but everybody knows what it contained—based not only on early self-government but on self-determination after a fixed period of years. E.O.K.A.'s shooting seemed to be paying a handsome dividend indeed. The Government put that scheme to Turkey. If we are to believe hon. Members opposite, the Turks threatened then that they, too, would shoot, and so the scheme was dropped.
The Government all this time were saying they could not negotiate or make proposals under the threat of force. At length, in August, E.O.K.A., following a suggestion made by my right hon. Friend, declared a truce, the kind of truce we made with the Irish in 1921. a truce to permit negotiations for a settlement. Then, just to prove that they are consistent in negotiating only under the threat of force, the Government refused to do so when the threat of force had been suspended. They said they had information, inside information—oh, those terrible spies!—that the truce was offered because E.O.K.A. were losing the battle and the people were turning against them.
So instead of seeking a new basis of negotiation they called for unconditional surrender. I should have thought that we had had enough of unconditional surrender with the Italians in 1943—that gave us the last terrible year of the Second World War. The Government got the answer to their surrender call that was always certain, the answer of the Spartans at Thermopylae two thousand years ago : "Come and take it." Not one single man surrendered. Only a donkey with a wooden rifle on his tail walked through the streets of Nicosia the other day, bearing the legend, "Field Marshal, I surrender." Not a single man surrendered, and the Cypriot people, as we learned through the B.B.C.'s eyewitness broadcast account, showed the contempt they felt for the Government's surrender terms.
That is a tragic story I have told about the use of force and its results, but, alas, it is true. It has happened because the Government, in all their appreciations of the situation, from the beginning until now, have been always wrong. In earlier debates hon. Members 363 have often described how before 1955 the British in Cyprus used to say, "The Cypriots have not got the guts to fight."
The Government believed it too, but they were wrong. After Makarios was deported the Government said that violence would diminish and that more moderate Cypriot leaders would take his place. Both predictions were utterly wrong. The Government said that executions would stop recruits from joining E.O.K.A. They only multiplied them. The Government said on 3rd June that the E.O.K.A. gangs had been broken up. This morning The Times reports from Nicosia that the gangs are more numerous and more daring and more successful than ever before.
I abhor the bloodshed which E.O.K.A. started. I lament the cruel, senseless losses which the conflict causes, the death and wounding of British soldiers, many of them National Service men ; the harsh anxiety of their parents. I pay my tribute to the magnificent conduct of the soldiers in their thankless task, to the courage and the patience of their parents here at home. I am really frightened by the results to which the conflict is now leading in the Eastern Mediterranean—the break up of N.A.T.O., the long-term danger of popular hostility to a British base, the bitter feeling between nations which have been, and should be, the closest friends.
As I think, the Government have lost three chances of making progress in the last eight months : first, when the Secretary of State for the Colonies incontinently broke off negotiations with Makarios after one single talk, and when some major difficulties had been cleared ; secondly, when the Government's plan was put so feebly, so irresolutely, to the Turks but never to Greece ; and, thirdly, when E.O.K.A. stopped the shooting the other day.
I beg the Government now to make a great new opportunity for themselves, as they can, simply by saying the word. I beg them to bring the bloodshed to an end by a truce and a negotiation, like those which we had with the Irish in 1921. Is there any hon. Member on the benches opposite who thinks today that that truce and that negotiation were wrong? Yet that truce and that negotiation were far harder for the then Government to carry 364 out than what we now propose to the Government in Cyprus.
Ireland had been united to Britain for far longer. The ties were far closer—eighty Irish Members in this House. The strategic dangers to this island were far greater—1940 proved that true. The murdering was more frightful. I have quoted the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford and I will quote him again. He described the conditions of the fighting as repulsive—a policeman standing in the street, a man coming up and asking him the time, and while he is reaching for his watch to give the information he is murdered by a bullet in his breast. Fifteen auxiliary policemen out of seventeen murdered in a single ambush. Fourteen British officers, believed by the rebels to be spies, murdered in their billets in Dublin in the presence of their wives on a single morning. It was terrible indeed, yet the Government made a truce. They brought the rebel leaders here to London. After months of negotiation they achieved an honourable settlement and a lasting peace. That is what we beg the Government to do today.
§ Mr. Walter Elliot (Glasgow, Kelvingrove)
The right hon. Gentleman will remember that it was after partition.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Yes, certainly. We all know the views of the right hon. Gentleman about partition in Cyprus. If I thought that partition would help in the slightest degree, if it were practicable, if the Government thought so, I would support them in that course, but for the reasons given by the Government I cannot share the view of the right hon. Gentleman.
What the Government of 1921 did for Ireland, we ask our Government to do for Cyprus now. Do not wait for E.O.K.A. Propose the truce yourselves. Do not wait for new, more moderate leaders who do not appear. Bring Makarios and his colleagues here to London. [HON. MEMBERS : "Oh."] Restart negotiations on the basis of the documents which had been exchanged when the Colonial Secretary broke off negotiations six months ago.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite object when I say bring Makarios here. They think him a priest with bloodstained hands. It is no part of our task to vindicate what 365 Makarios has done, but we try to understand it, and we think the Government should try to do so too. For centuries the modern Greeks were under foreign rule. It was their church, and their church only, which kept their Hellenism alive. Their priests taught Greek in secret when they were not allowed to have their schools. Their priests and primates were their national leaders, the only national leaders they were allowed to have.
Makarios speaks for Cyprus because he was popularly elected by an overwhelming vote. But what about the diaries and the way they incriminate him? I hope that the Secretary of State will tell us a lot more about the diaries than he has yet revealed. I say only that they are an amazing product—250,000 words—for a guerilla leader in the hills.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Anybody who writes, as most of us do at some time, knows what 250,000 words mean. [An HON. MEMBER : "He must have a secretary."] So far as I can make out, these diaries show no active connection between Makarios and E.O.K.A. after 1954, that is, after violence started. They show, if they are genuine, that Makarios may have wanted to run E.O.K.A., but most certainly did not do so. They speak of ambushes that did not happen and bombs that did not explode.
The Times, which likes to help the Government if it can, says that they add nothing new to the case made against Makarios by the Government when he was first deported. The Times calls the diaries the apologia of a flamboyant adventurer, giving one man's interpretation of events. If the Secretary of State attaches so much importance to the diaries that he summons the Press to hear short extracts from them on a Sunday afternoon, why does he not make the man stand for trial in the Law Courts? British justice, British law and order, of which the Government speak, are not founded on proof of guilt by Ministerial Press conference—even on Sunday afternoon.
Makarios has been the Cypriot national leader against what he thinks is foreign domination, as Archbishop Spiridon was 366 in Macedonia long ago, as Archbishop Damaskinos was against the Germans in the Second World War. And we made Damaskinos the Regent of the country when the Germans had been defeated and driven out.
Even if the diaries have some importance, it does not affect the fact that Makarios remains the man who speaks for Cyprus ; his hands less stained with blood than those of Michael Collins, with whom we made peace in Ireland in 1921. The Tory Party were very slow to understand the Irish thirty years ago. They are very slow to understand the Cypriot-Greeks today.
I wonder whether the Government still read the Manchester Guardian. I greatly hope that they do. If they do, they will have noticed the welcome return of "Colonel Blimp "—" Colonel Blimp "and his colleagues, jibbing at a conference on Cyprus—" Gad, sir, we can't negotiate with that fellow Makarios, he's on the other side."
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
The Tory Party still use, and I am afraid they still believe, those empty legends that Cyprus has never been Greek ; that anyway, the vast majority of the Cypriots want to stay within the Commonwealth as they are.
Cyprus has never been Greek? I had that put through my letter box in a Tory leaflet the other day. Cyprus has never been Greek? It has never been anything else since recorded history began. It has had conquerors, as Britain has had conquerors. The French were in Cyprus before the Turks, and longer ; but its Greek traditions and culture have never been subdued. It has never been part of the kingdom of modern Greece, no ; nor were the Ionian Islands ; nor Crete, nor Mytilene ; nor the Dodecanese, until they were given to Greece by Britain or the Powers.
Surely we can take the word of Ronald Storrs, the Governor whose residence was burnt in the troubles of 1931 :The Greekness of the Cypriots is indisputable. No sensible person will deny that the Cypriot is Greek-speaking, Greek-thinking, Greek-feeling. Greek.The vast majority, say the Government, do not want self-determination. The 367 Secretary of State said it in the last debate. All right, let us give them self-government and then they will decide by their own decision that they will refrain from joining Greece.
I know that hon. Members opposite find it hard to think that the Cypriots are not happier under us. They do not understand the passionate pride of the Cypriots in being Greek ; in sharing the ancient glory and what they think the modern glory of the Greeks. In listening to the Athens Radio—which I abhor like other hon. Members—we have half forgotten what kind of qualities the modern Greeks still have.
We have forgotten that in 1941 Greeks were killed in the streets of Athens by Germans because they refused to allow British prisoners of war to have the humiliation of being made to sweep the streets. Greek lives were given to save our prisoners from shame. For twenty centuries men have talked about three hundred Spartans who combed their hair before they fought the barbarians at Thermopylae, knowing that they were all to die. In Macedonia in 1941 there were three Thermopylaes. With the road to Salonica cut behind them, outnumbered ten to one, with no modern arms, 500 Greeks held a fort at Perichori until not one man remained alive. And two other garrisons did the same.
With all their faults, these are the people with whom we have to deal. We beg the Government to do with these people what we did with the Irish in that dark summer of 1921 ; to invite the Cypriot leaders here to London ; to propose a truce ; to start where they left off before Makarios was deported ; to make a settlement based on the principles of democratic freedom which are our greatest glory and by which alone the British Commonwealth survives.
§ 11.45 a.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker) said that after his silence of one year he felt almost like asking for the indulgence of the House. His hon. Friends on both sides of the House will have heard with the greatest possible interest his most eloquent and vigorous speech. Indeed, I think it is probably the most vigorous speech that 368 I have heard him make in a long association with this House, and all who have felt distressed at his recent serious illness are delighted to see such an obvious return to the right hon. Gentleman's old powers.
The right hon. Gentleman spoke as one who knows Greece very well and who, with his family, has a long association with Greece and the islands of Greece. He spoke, quite rightly, of the debt this country owes to the Greek people, not only for their help in the recent war, but in many other ways. But I wish that he had allowed some part of his speech to stress the debt that the people of Greece owe to the people of the United Kingdom.
The right hon. Gentleman poured some scorn on the Grivas diaries—I shall, as he asked, go later, in some detail, into certain aspects of the diaries—but he poured some scorn on certain aspects of the diaries. I think that any careful reading of these documents, when they are published, will show that the part played by the Greek Government, and by citizens of Greek origin, in bringing terror to the island that, juridically, is part of the territory of their ally, Great Britain, is surely about the most shaming thing that has happened between allies in any period of our history. I wish the right hon. Gentleman had found some time to make some reference to that fact. I wish, also, that his eloquence had been matched by his realism.
The House this week has been thinking very much about the problems of the Middle East and all our thoughts—I think it would apply to anybody who was charged today with responsible duties of government—have led to this inescapable conclusion ; that recent events in the Middle East have underlined what we have always said, that Cyprus is vital for the protection of our strategic interests and the strategic interests of the free world. It has often been said—though the right hon. Gentleman did not repeat this argument today—that the only interest of the United Kingdom in Cyprus springs from our membership of N.A.T.O., of which Greece is also a valued member.
The problems with which we are now engaged in Suez and elsewhere stretch far beyond those duties and obligations that spring from our membership of 369 N.A.T.O. I think it is crystal clear that sovereignty over Cyprus in the present state of the world's history is absolutely indispensable if we are to discharge our proper responsibilities. The right hon. Gentleman referred—
§ Mr. Aneurin Bevan (Ebbw Vale)
That last statement of the right hon. Gentleman is very serious, because it appears once more to go back on what has been said before.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) must restrain his impatience and let me get on with the early part of my statement. I have quite a lot to say.
At this stage I intend to deal with the particular references made by the right hon. Member for Derby, South to sovereignty and to the position of Turkey in this matter. The right hon. Member for Derby, South asked me to repeat, loudly and clearly, the words I used on 19th July about the juridical position arising from the Treaty of Lausanne. I am quite ready to repeat those words in full.
I said, towards the close of my speech :It is the fact that Cyprus is the only remaining off-shore island of Turkey that is invested with a particular significance. The facts that lead to this conclusion in the minds of the Turks may not be there for ever. Circumstances may change, but they are there now, and it is with the present that we have to deal.The right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), who sent me a message to say that he would not be here until a little later, argued very forcibly that juridically Turkey had abandoned all her claims to Cyprus. That is so. of course, but the right hon. and learned Member left out of account altogether the emotional and strategical reactions of the Turks to any proposal that might conceivably lead to a change of sovereignty. Juridically, the right hon. and learned Gentleman is quite right. Equally juridically there is no doubt whatever about the right of Her Majesty in Cyprus, but that does not stop agitation as to whether we should remain in Cyprus or not. If juridical considerations can be set aside in the case of sovereignty in Cyprus, the right hon. and learned Member should not cling to them overmuch in the case of Turkey's interest in Cyprus as well.Then I turned to my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, North (Mr. J. Amery) and said I agreed with him 370that Turkey, to use a very unpleasant modern phrase, entered into the Treaty of Lausanne in the belief that it was 'a package deal.' This is an inescapable fact that cannot be disregarded by any responsible Government."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 19th July, 1956; Vol. 556, c. 1522.]There is very little on that issue that I can add today. Her Majesty's Government have accepted the principle of self-determination. There is no doubt whatever about that. The House as a whole has agreed in accepting the principle of self-determination, but it is the view of Her Majesty's Government that the application of self-determination in Cyprus is not, in present circumstances, a practical proposition. Perhaps it is too much to hope that I will make the position clear. I will once more make the position of Her Majesty's Government, and the steps that we have taken to get the crisis resolved, absolutely clear. The Prime Minister stated it in the House on 12th July, and it needs repetition today.
My right hon. Friend referred to the London Conference of September, 1955. There was no question that in convening that conference we ran, as we knew that we would run, some risk that our claim that this was a domestic matter would be thought to be abandoned. We were prepared to run that risk and we told the House why. The Foreign Secretary made it clear to the delegates from Greece and Turkey that we held that this was a domestic matter, but in view of our close alliance with the two countries we were prepared to have a friendly discussion with them.
The Prime Minister then set out what had happened at the September Conference, how that Conference had failed and how, in the course of the Conference, as the House will remember, there was much bloodshed in Turkey and many lives were lost. He then proceeded to say—and this remains the view of Her Majesty's Government—that Her Majesty's Government then decided to try to make progress towards a solution by means of discussions on the island itself between the Governor of Cyprus and Archbishop Makarios. Those discussions lasted several months but, for reasons which have previously been debated in this House, they broke down.
Then the Prime Minister added :Her Majesty's Government then decided to make another approach to this most intractable 371 question on the international level. The principle of self-determination had been accepted by Her Majesty's Government. The problem was, therefore, whether a solution regarding its application could be devised which would provide fully for the protection not only of our own interests in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, but also of those of Turkey and of other countries to whom we have treaty obligations. Unfortunately, this has not yet been found possible.Then the Prime Minister said :It has become plain that steps to create conditions which might lead to the application of self-determination for Cyprus would raise far wider issues for our Turkish allies as parties to the Lausanne Treaty settlement.The House will readily understand the risks which would be involved if Her Majesty's Government were to attempt unilaterally to take such steps. As it has proved impossible to obtain international agreement in this matter, which so clearly contains the seeds of grave danger to the whole future of the Eastern Mediterranean, Her Majesty's Government have to accept that for the present progress by this means cannot be realised."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th July, 1956; Vol. 556, c. 600.]It is, therefore, quite clear that we accept the principle of self-determination. We see no difference in that principle here or anywhere else within the British Commonwealth, but its application is not possible in present circumstances. That is the view of the British Government. It was the view of the last Labour Government, though they did not go so far towards accepting the principle of self-determination as we have done. I venture to say that it would be the view of any conceivable future Government, faced with the same problems that face us today in the Eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere.
The right hon. Member for Derby, South asked me a number of questions, to some of which I will do my best to reply, though there are certain matters, in particular those relating to Archbishop Makarios, with which I hope the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs will deal towards the close of the debate. The right hon. Gentleman asked me about the various "lost opportunities" to bring the terror in Cyprus to an end and about what he called the "truce offer" and the surrender terms that followed. These and certain other matters have arisen since the House last debated Cyprus towards the end of July and again, briefly, on a more personal matter on 2nd August.
A fortnight after our last debate, that is, on 16th August, leaflets were distributed 372 in Cyprus from Grivas, Force Commander of E.O.K.A., saying that he has suspended terrorist operations to enable the British Government to fulfil the Greek Cypriot claims as put forward by Archbishop Makarios. There was nothing in that suggestion, that offer—if it was an offer—that altered the facts of geography which had made the terms put forward by Makarios hopelessly unacceptable in the present state of opinion in Cyprus. He added :Eoka will keep their arms ready and at the alert.This truce offer was as much a threat as a gesture. The terrorists made it absolutely clear that they intended to take up arms again if things did not go the way that they wished.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
Is not every truce made with arms kept at the alert? What is the meaning otherwise of "truce "? Secondly, what does the right hon. Gentleman mean by Archbishop Makarios's terms being "utterly unacceptable "? The condition of an elected majority of Greeks?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I explained at the time that it was quite unacceptable, in advance of the Constitutional Commissioner, to anticipate the recommendations that he would make. That view, with which I think all responsible people would agree, is the view of Her Majesty's Government. When we examine the proposals that Lord Radcliffe puts forward we shall examine them on their merits. Until he puts proposals forward I am not prepared to anticipate the conclusions to which he may come on this most vexed question.
As for the suggestion that we should have negotiated in Cyprus with terrorists while they retained their arms ready to strike again if the negotiations did not take the form that they wished, no responsible Government at any time like the present in the Eastern Mediterranean could conceivably adopt an attitude of that kind.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I have given way already two or three times in the first five minutes of my speech.
In this sense, a new situation had not been created since it would only be if 373 the fear of a recurrence of terrorism had been resolved that people could live in genuine peace and embark on self-government free from intimidation. A few days later, on 22nd August, the Government announced surrender terms which were to remain open for three weeks, that is, until 12th September. The right hon. Member for Derby, South called those surrender terms "unconditional surrender ", and went so far as to compare that with unconditional surrender in war.
I wish that the right hon. Member would not lend his great position and influence, his reputation for fairness in word and deed, to such a complete perversion of the facts. Under those surrender terms, which the right hon. Member called unconditional surrender, any terrorist who wished to go to Greece and was accepted would not be prosecuted for any crime he had committed before the announcement, whatever the crime was—even if it were murder or involving violence in other ways against the person. Could the right hon. Member really say that a surrender offer of that kind was a demand for unconditional surrender?
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
Of course it is unconditional surrender. The Government offered them their personal safety. Does the Secretary of State really think they care about their personal safety? It is the cause they care about.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I shall come to that a little later, with certain extracts from the diaries which the House as a whole will be able to read in regard to that particular observation. I say that to compare the terms offered in the war to countries with whom we were engaged in hostilities to lay down their arms unconditionally, with no undertaking of any kind of what would happen to those who did so—to compare that with this surrender offer is a complete pervision of facts.
If the terrorist chose to stay in Cyprus he would not be brought to trial for any offence not involving violence against the person and his detention would end either by the Governor's order or in the amnesty which the Governor said he would at a later stage be prepared to declare. He said that he would be prepared to give such an amnesty for terrorists or their supporters in prison or under detention. He added that this amnesty would include 374 those who surrendered under the terms of this announcement. As the right hon. Member said, no one took advantage of that surrender offer. I hope I was not mis-reading the reactions of some hon. Members opposite when I thought I detected a sign of glee in the comments with which they received that from the right hon. Member. I very much hope that I am wrong.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I know I am wrong. With his robust patriotism the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) need not worry that I include him when I say that the House as a whole would have been glad if the offer had been accepted, although the right hon. Member for Derby, South claimed that they would have been surprised had there been a good response to the surrender offer.
Information in our possession, which is quite incontrovertible, shows that the real reason for making the offer, apart from a desire to impress outside opinion, was to give an opportunity to E.O.K.A. to take advantage of a breathing space to regroup its formations, to swear in new recruits, to continue the manufacture of bombs, to seek to obtain more arms from outside and from within to undertake—as we were told—various non-operational jobs such as shadowing suspects and future victims and—relying on the relaxation of the security forces and the natural delight of the people of Cyprus—to prepare to strike again when the moment seemed best to them.
Here we are dealing with a very dangerous conspiracy in a part of the world where vital British interests are involved and I make no apology whatever for refusing to take too seriously the offer of a truce, unless those who made it were prepared to surrender their arms and trust—as they could so safely have done—[HON. MEMBERS : "Oh."]—not only to the generous surrender terms, but to the undertakings that we have given on the question of self-government.
Now I come to one or two observations on the constitutional aspect on which, surprisingly, the right hon. Member for Derby, South said very little. The right hon. Member said very little about Lord Radcliffe and his mission. As I know the 375 House will be interested, I should like to say something about this constitutional progress. Last July, I said in the House that Lord Radcliffe had been appointed Constitutional Commissioner, that he would make a preliminary visit to Cyprus and his terms of reference would be announced later.
Accordingly, he went to Cyprus shortly after my statement. Very shortly he is about to pay another visit to Cyprus. Meanwhile, he has been working very hard on his proposals and on certain terms of reference which have been agreed. I am taking this, the first, opportunity to tell the House about those terms of reference. The House will remember that I made a statement personally to Archbishop Makarios in Cyprus at the end of February of this year about the considerations which would be borne in mind by Her Majesty's Government in drafting a constitution or in drafting the terms of reference for the Constitutional Commissioner.
As there has been some suggestion that Government policy changes from debate to debate, perhaps I might read what was said in Command Paper 9708 reporting the words I used to Archbishop Makarios. Then I will explain the terms of reference which flowed from that. I said :Secondly, you raised certain questions in your letter of 25th February concerning our intentions in the constitutional field. I feel that the best way of replying is to restate to you in person our position on these points. Her Majesty's Government's objectives have been set out in paragraph 2 of the Governor's letter of 14th February. They propose to send a Constitutional Commissioner to Cyprus who would draw up a liberal and democratic constitution in consultation with representatives of all sections of opinion in the island. It would reserve to the Governor all powers in the fields of foreign affairs and defence. Public security would also be reserved to the Governor as long as he thinks necessary. Control of all other departments would be handed over to Cypriot Ministers responsible to a Legislative Assembly representing the people of Cyprus as quickly as is consistent with an orderly transfer. The Constitution would provide for an elected majority in the Legislative Assembly and would safeguard the interests of all sections of the community. It would be for the Constitutional Commissioner to recommend what arrangements should be made for this purpose including the precise composition of the elected majority which he would define in accordance with normal liberal constitutional doctrine.376 The terms of reference, which have been agreed and on which Lord Radcliffe has been working, read as follows :To make recommendations as to the form of a new constitution for Cyprus which shall be consistent with the following requirements :—Now, these terms of reference depart at only one significant point from the statement that I made to the Archbishop, and I think that it is right that I should make that quite clear at the start of the debate and explain what is that significant departure. When I saw the Archbishop, as the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) will remember, I said that the constitution would reserve to the Governor all powers in the field of foreign affairs and defence. Public security would also be reserved to the Governor so long as this is necessary.
- (a) that during the period of the constitution Cyprus is to remain under British sovereignty ;
- (b) that the use of Cyprus as a base is necessary for the fulfilment by Her Majesty's Government of their international obligations and for the defence of British interests in the Middle East and of the interests of other powers allied or associated with the United Kingdom ;
- (c) that all matters relating to external affairs, defence and internal security are retained in the hands of Her Majesty's Government or the Governor ;
- (d) that, subject to this, the constitution is to be based on the principles of liberal democracy and is to confer a wide measure of responsible self-government on elected representatives of the people of Cyprus but is at the same time to contain such reservations, provisions and guarantees as may be necessary to give a just protection to the special interests of the various communities, religions and races in the island."
The terms of reference to Lord Radcliffe said that these recommendations are to be consistent with the requirements that all matters relating to internal security, as well as those relating to external affairs and defence, are retained in the hands of Her Majesty's Government and the Governor. It is very clear, and the study of the diaries and other documents makes it even clearer, that we are at the moment engaged with a very dangerous subversive organisation, far removed from the patriotic picture that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, South drew of the considerations which are actuating everybody fighting today in Cyprus, and that to prevent the revival of such a subversive 377 movement it is essential that internal security should be reserved on the same terms as the reservation of external affairs and defence.
There is also this fact, that there is, as the House knows, an organised Communist movement in Cyprus. We all hope that the time will soon come when the emergency will be over and the detainees will be released. The presence of these people in the island, free and at large, may well raise a major security problem. I am not suggesting that after the emergency they should be kept in detention—far from it. They are to be released and, as they will be released, internal security must be reserved in the same way as external affairs and defence.
As the Cyprus Police Commission Report commented in April of this year—and I commend the Report to the House :It is essential that there should be in the future a strong, efficient well-equipped and thoroughly reliable force able to maintain law and order and ensure the security of the military base, so that, in any international emergency, the military forces could undertake their tasks in the firm knowledge that the police force could deal with any threat from subversive forces within the island.In fact, an efficient police force is virtually a defence requirement today under present circumstances for our bases.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I am coming to that point by inference, but to answer the right hon. Gentleman straight away, I will say : no, they do not. They put internal security proposals on the same basis as external affairs and defence.
It is difficult for any police force to be efficiently conducted if it is to operate under the continual uncertainty of changing masters. It is even harder in Cyprus than in many other places, because in Cyprus the police force is a mixed force of Greek and Turkish Cypriors, and, considering the nature of their work, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to have an elected Minister or the likelihood of there being 378 at an early date an elected Minister from either community responsible for the police force.
In this connection, I am fortified still further by the comments of our Police Commission in Cyprus. In paragraph 51 of its Report, it says :In the event of the Constitution of the Colony being revised so as to give it a greater measure of self-government, care should, in our view, be taken to ensure that the police service is not exposed to political pressure either through its finances or in any other way.Paragraph 17 of the Report of the Commission says something about the strain to which the police force had been subjected, being as they have been a mixed body of Greeks and Turks particularly subjected to attacks of terrorists against it by E.O.K.A. The Report states :The main effect of the E.O.K.A. terrorist campaign, with its theme of 'Death to Traitors', was to intimidate many members of the force, in common with the law-abiding members of the public. Threats were received by many police officers who were carrying out their duties conscientiously and the first assassination of a police officer occurred in June, 1955. The terrorists are experts in the art of intimidation and influence their victims not only by threats against their lives, but by threatening their families and relatives. In the circumstances it was not unnatural that fear of E.O.K.A. should have become an overriding influence in the lives of many police officers and that, whilst they continue to fulfil their normal duties conscientiously, they avoid any action which might cause them to incur the displeasure of E.O.K.A. Their loyalty and devotion to duty has been affected still further by a lack of faith in the determination of the British to remain in the Colony.I should on behalf of the Government most warmly congratulate the very many Cypriot police who have stood firmly by their duty in this most difficult task, and great praise is also due to the police officers from the United Kingdom who have done splendidly in Cyprus and who have brought to Cyprus their gifts of leadership, courage, humour and imperturbability, priceless gifts at such a time.
As I have said, Lord Radcliffe will be going out there again very shortly and it will not be long before we have his recommendations. It is our confident hope that when E.O.K.A. has been suppressed, and law and order prevail, the constitution will be inaugurated, but, of course, it is self-evident that a free and democratic political system cannot be established while the threat of political murder and intimidation remains.
379 We have no wish whatever to delay the introduction of the constitution. It is terrorism alone that may delay it. When the right hon. Gentleman said that the terrorists had helped to move Cyprus along the paths towards the realisation of their ambition, he is, I think completely wrong, because it has been the existence of the terrorist movement that has held up constitutional development and it is only its continued existence that will prevent the constitution being brought about. This is a very hopeful sign and in the constitutional field I very much hope that much of the energies and interests of the people will find expression. We are sincere in our determination to do all that we can to bring the constitution about and make it work.
There is another aspect of social life to which some reference ought to be made, and I am rather surprised that the right hon. Gentleman did not make it, because it does, I think, represent a very significant change and some hopes—we must be careful and not too extravagant in our hopes—for the future. Few things have been more distressing in the social life of the island in the last two years than the disruption of Greek Cypriot schooling. I know that many hon. Members on both sides of the House have been very concerned about this.
As the House knows, the four secondary schools in Cyprus had been struck off the register and others closed either by the district security committees or by the action of their own governing bodies. Early last month the Governor held a discussion with the chairmen of the governing bodies of the Greek secondary schools. When he saw them he made it clear that he was most anxious to see secondary education restarted this coming term, but that he would not tolerate a renewal of indiscipline and lawlessness.
The governing bodies of the five principal gymnasia submitted their proposals. They assured the Governor that the existing regulations relating to discipline provide adequate powers and that it is their intention and that of their teachers to use those powers in future to prevent indiscipline such as led to the closure of the schools last year.
The Governor has accepted this assurance. Indiscipline and interruption 380 of studies, as the House knows only too well, has not been confined to the five principal gymnasia. The Governor has decided that all schools which had been closed by official action at the end of last term shall be allowed to reopen in the coming term. This will put to the test the ability of the governors of the schools to maintain discipline and the desire of the pupils to resume their studies. I know that the good wishes of all of us will be with this brave experiment.
If there is any further serious disturbance, the Government will immediately impose on any school an emergency code, the terms of which will be communicated to each governing body before the schools reopen this month. This will enable the Government either to take steps to ensure the orderly continuation of the school or to have it permanently deregistered. The four deregistered schools were restored to the register on 1st September and all the other eight schools which have been closed will reopen as soon as arrangements can be made, all eight, of course, being subject to the emergency code, if there is any further serious disturbance ; and all schools occupied by the military forces under requisition will be restored to educational purposes not later than the end of this month.
§ Mr. Francis Noel-Baker (Swindon)
May I ask a question on this important point? Could the right hon. Gentleman give a little more indication whether the British authorities will look rather more flexibly on the interpretation of words like "indiscipline" and "serious disturbance," because previously the flying of a flag by an unknown person on a school, and the writing of a slogan on a school wall, which may have had nothing to do with either the teachers or the children, enabled the Governor, and was used by the Governor, to close many schools. Are they to be a little more flexible about things of that kind?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I have been talking of the closing of secondary schools, which has been perhaps the most serious aspect of the problem. The flying of flags has been on elementary schools and action by the Government has led in large measure to stopping the flying of Greek flags over Government schools in Cyprus. As to the flexible interpretation of what constitutes disorder, I used the phrase "serious 381 disturbance ". I do not think the hon. Member would deny that disturbances which have led to murders cannot be passed off as being light or unimportant.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
Dealing with the secondary schools, is anything being done about the problem of the boarders, which seemed to be such a difficulty when I was there? These children who were boarded without any parental control caused great difficulties.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The hon. and learned Gentleman mentioned that in one or two debates and I share his feeling that one of the most difficult of all the problems, and one of the most potentially dangerous, is that people boarding out, with nothing to do in the evenings, frequently find themselves drawn into riots and demonstrations which otherwise good sense might enable them to avoid. The Governor is also conscious of that, but I will bring his particular attention to what the hon. and learned Member has said.
I was asked a number of questions about the Grivas diaries and other documents, and I think it will interest the House to know something more about the various letters and other documents. As the House knows, as a result of counter-terrorist work in various parts of the island during this summer, a large number of documents, including diaries kept personally by Grivas, have come into the hands of the security forces. Some of this captured matter was captured during the successful operations in-the Troodos Mountains, other documents have been found at Lyssi, near Famagusta, and still more have come into our hands from sources which cannot be disclosed.
Some of the material available was published straight away, and the right hon. Gentleman attempted, I think, to find something sinister in the fact that I held a Sunday Press conference and gave publicity to some parts of the publication in advance of the general story. I considered waiting until we had completed the very large task of translation and assembly before anything was published.
It is not suggested that Grivas himself kept a diary of a quarter-of-a-million words—although he may well have done, for he seems to have been a very avid writer. These 250,000 words represent roughly the amount of literature recovered, including Grivas's diaries and 382 other letters and a good many communications from and to his subordinates and from one subordinate to another.
I debated whether it would be better to wait until we had the full story than to publish as much as we had available, but in view of the fact that the translation of some of it was completed and, still more, in view of what had been said by Grivas in a later document, I decided immediately to publish what we had already translated. The House must not forget that a second statement was put out by Grivas, purported to be on behalf of E.O.K.A., in which he said that unless the surrender terms were withdrawn before midnight, 27th August, he would consider himself free to resume freedom of action.
The Governor and I, in consultation, decided that with a threat of this kind hanging over the people of Cyprus, and as we had the documents ready, it was essential that they should be given immediate publicity. The translation was completed on the Saturday and at the very first possible moment, on the Sunday, I held the Press conference, although I recognised that in many ways it would have been better to have delayed and to have produced them all together, which would undoubtedly have made an even greater impact upon public opinion. At that time I hoped to produce within a fortnight considerably more, but the amount of work involved is prodigious and I cannot now say that the document will be published much before the end of the month.
It will show, of course, many things. It will not publish everything which is in our possession. In his pamphlet called "The Forgers ", Grivas has admitted the loss of some of his diaries, by the very form in which he asks questions designed to find out what we had found or, even more important, what we had been given, possibly by those to whom they had been handed over for safe custody. "Does my signature appear on the document?", he asked in one leaflet. "On what sort of paper are they written? Where were they found? In what was the archive contained? Was it contained in a box, in a glass or in an iron receptacle?" No doubt this information would be very useful to him in many ways, not excluding his attitude to and treatment of some of his own close subordinates.
383 In his pamphlet asking these questions he called these documents "The Forgers ". Of course, we had much evidence to satisfy us that the diary was Grivas's diary. Those parts purporting to be a diary were, in fact, Grivas's diary. We had, for example, the circumstances in which they were found ; the fact that some of the documents were found alongside his own personal belongings ; the corroborative evidence we possessed of facts mentioned in the diary. Mention was made, for example, of the date of his first arrival as the E.O.K.A. force leader in the island and his birthplace in Cyprus. Looking round, he mentions his birthplace, "because it is my birthplace ". There was identification by captured terrorists who identified the documents and his personal possessions.
But to put it beyond doubt, and as we possessed samples of his handwriting, I had the diaries subjected to a scientific examination by Dr. Wilson Harrison, who, as hon. Members know, is Director of the Home Office Forensic Science Laboratory, which specialises in the examination of documents. He is the acknowledged expert on document examination. His report has satisfied me beyond doubt that the diaries were written by Grivas, the terrorist leader.
These documents have yielded very valuable intelligence about E.O.K.A. Of course, we knew before—but they have confirmed our knowledge—of the Archbishop's own share in the foundation of E.O.K.A., in its operational planning, in the starting of violence, in the provision of money and arms, in the discussion on the choice of victims and in many other ways. They have shown, also—and some of this information will be published shortly in the booklet—the complicity of the Greek Government and of Greek individuals, who are named, in bringing terror to the island.
At one point, on 1st June, 1956, Grivas himself refers to the help he had had from outside. Talking of future prospects, he says that one of his governing considerations will be :If I am going to get reinforcements from inside and how many. Until this moment "—he says, on 1st June last—I am working practically with what I brought from Greece and they are very little to support me.384 I would emphasise those words :I am working … with what I brought from Greece.Yet the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, South would affect to describe the terrorism in Cyprus as a great national movement of patriots anxious to recover their freedom. Not a word did he say of the 80 to 90 Cypriots who have been murdered, many by people who, as Grivas said, "I brought with me from Greece."
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The right hon. Gentleman has to make up his mind between Grivas's diary and The Times article.
These documents will help the security forces, with the growing co-operation of the people, to destroy the E.O.K.A. organisation. Perhaps a conclusion ultimately reached by Grivas in the same part of the diary—1st June of this year—which will be reproduced in the booklet, epitomises the situation. The struggle between the forces of law and order and the ruthless men who lurk in hide-outs and emerge from there to murder mainly Cypriots who do not agree with them is not yet concluded, but Grivas himself, although he was at one time thinking in terms of large-scale risings and rebellion, has now changed, and in his own words in the diary he says :We shall not be able to impose a solution by force. Accordingly, we are obliged to exploit politically the excellent results of our dynamic activity up to now.This, then, has been the policy of the Archbishop and of Grivas—to impose a solution by force, and now that they find that that is impossible, to exploit the threat of force to procure a settlement to their liking ; that is, to indulge in political murder for the purpose of inflaming political opinions, in the hope that it will produce pressure which Her Majesty's Government would be unable to resist. And in this task they have had a lot of help, frequently without recognition of its consequences, from hon. Members in this House.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Yes, certainly. I say, help in the hope that it will produce political pressure which Her Majesty's Government will be unable to resist ; and I think that many of the speeches which have been made have been designed to produce that very pressure.
I should like to make this absolutely clear. Her Majesty's Government do not intend to succumb to that pressure. Our intention has all along been to reach, through peaceful means and in conditions free from intimidation and fear, a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus which will satisfy the honour and dignity of those who live in the island and which will enable Great Britain to use Cyprus as an effective base for the defence of the free world and the maintenance of stability in the Middle East.
§ 12.35 p.m.
§ Mr. Ernest Popplewell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West)
I am sure that anyone who has been listening to the Secretary of State will have been very confused by many of his observations. I am sorry that he did not give me the opportunity to interrupt him when he said that one of the reasons he refused E.O.K.A.'s terms for a truce—when they were asking for Makarios's terms to be the subject of discussion—was because the Radcliffe Commission was investigating the problem. Do I understand that when that Commission issues its findings on central government the Secretary of State will then be prepared to invite Archbishop Makarios into discussion? That could be inferred from the Colonial Secretary's observations, and, as I think that the House is entitled to an answer on that particular point, perhaps the Minister of State will deal with it later.
I was very interested in the play made by the Secretary of State with Grivas's diary. Undoubtedly, the leader of an organisation is bound to be au fait with, and to have knowledge of, the general conduct of such a campaign. That is ordinary, elementary leadership, and what the Secretary of State hopes to achieve by flogging this question of the diary of a reputed leader it is indeed difficult to understand. One realises that 386 these people must be associated with the movement that they are leading.
It is also interesting to hear the Secretary of State's observations about the terrorists of the E.O.K.A. campaign. On many occasions I have heard the right hon. Gentleman say that these men are simply murderers and thugs. That is his general line of approach. Nevertheless, we must remember that there has been an E.O.K.A. campaign in Cyprus for many decades. For long there has been a desire for self-determination, for union with Greece, as it were, but no terrorist campaign developed until this Government, with their "Never, never" speech, turned it into a terrorist campaign, and that is something that we must have very much in mind. It is from that particular point that we must assess the position and the strength of the campaign in Cyprus at the present moment.
Only last weekend, I had the opportunity of visiting Cyprus for a few hours, and left there about noon on Tuesday to come to this reassembled House of Commons. During that very fleeting visit it was difficult for me to make any assessment of the strength of the terrorists, but, from what I was able to see, this is not quite the well-organised terrorist campaign that one would gather. For instance, the bombs they are using are a very home-made type of bomb—a short length of waterpipe, welded at the end, with a screw cap, and then some sort of fuse inserted. That is the type of bomb that is being used in this campaign. Many of them cause far more noise than damage on exploding. On the other hand, they certainly do cause damage if they make contact. Nevertheless, the type of material that is used does not indicate that there is a well-organised, prepared campaign.
But the influence—and the Secretary of State has dealt a good deal with the police situation—of what is taking place is so undermining the faith of the Cypriots in the country that the position that has developed is really shocking. I took the opportunity of making certain contacts in the villages, and I gossiped with Greeks on the Right and on the Left, Communists and Turks. It was very interesting to see them all sitting in the same cafés and talking about the problems that affected their respective areas.
387 It appears to me that this terrorist campaign centres around the political problems for which the present Government became responsible when they said "Never, never ". That attitude on the part of the Government has now been withdrawn, and it was interesting to hear the Secretary of State say today that the Government now accept the principle of self-determination. But, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker) said, the Government were adamant in their attitude until the terrorist campaign assumed its present proportion, and then it appears they yielded to terror.
How nonsensical is the whole position. I am convinced that the Cypriots as a whole want a peaceful settlement of this dispute, but so long as the Government follow the course which they have done and have refused to accept the terms of E.O.K.A. for a truce and issued terms of surrender instead, how can the Government possibly hope for any confidence in Cyprus?
The Secretary of State said that the reason why the terms of surrender were issued was that if the terms were not fulfilled, E.O.K.A. would use the opportunity to replenish its fighting forces and re-establish itself. That is indicative of the Government's frame of mind. It indicates that the Government regard the problem in Cyprus not as one in which a group of people are seeking the right of self-determination but as one in which a group of rebels are mutineering against their masters.
It seems to me that those terms, whereby the members of E.O.K.A. should either go to Greece or, if they were not acceptable there, should stand their trial, were a request for the surrender of the vanquished by the conqueror. There was no question of negotiating a truce. The suggestion was made that there should be negotiations, and one might have expected the Government to have responded to that request to see whether there was any possible hope of finding a solution.
We know that the whole matter bristles with difficulties. That may be a standing indictment of our many years of rule in Cyprus—that we have not been more active in developing the social and economic conditions of the Cypriots as we should have done. We have allowed the 388 Church to assume complete power in politics. The relationship of Church and State is not in its correct perspective. We have allowed the Church to dominate the whole situation.
Now, whether we like it or not, Bishop Makarios is the mouthpiece of the people in Cyprus. We have made a martyr of him by taking him away from his people. The people are loyal to their leader, and they are going to rally round him and demand that he shall be brought into negotiations.
I was disappointed by the response to a request that I made to the Governor of Cyprus. I stayed with him, and I should like to place on record my appreciation of the courtesy extended by the Governor and his staff in response to most of my requests. Their courtesy was most outstanding. The genuine desire to give me information, with one particular exception, was delightful to experience. I should like to extend my gratitude and thanks to the Governor, heads of departments, and the staff.
However, I want to express my profound disappointment, as I did to the Governor, when I asked that I should be allowed to interview Bishop Anthimus of Kitium, and was refused. I thought that, being a Member of Parliament, if I wanted some appreciation of the difficulties, I should not get it only from one side. The Governor told me that the Bishop was under house arrest. But he was allowed to deal with his Church matters and to have contact with the people in his Church. I suggested that if he was allowed contact with the Church people, that of necessity meant that he would have contact with the political movement.
It was regrettable that the Governor refused a Member of this House the opportunity of meeting a leading politician over there and discussing his viewpoint. I expressed my disappointment in a dignified way. I was the guest of the Governor, but although I was pretty quiet, I was quite emphatic about the matter. I hope that if any Members of Parliament visit Cyprus again the Secretary of State will ensure that the utmost facilities are placed at their disposal to enable them to contact the various people so that they may form a correct appraisal of the situation.
§ Mr. Popplewell
I appreciate the Secretary of State's reference to home defence being left in the hands of the Governor, but the position of the police force in Cyprus is too deplorable for words. As the right hon Gentleman said, it is a force comprising Greeks and Turks, and until the "Never, never" speech that force worked pretty well. But since that speech it has been difficult to assess the loyalty of the Greek policemen. If they are loyal to the Governor and to the State, they are subjected to many other factors, and it may be that their political reaction is associated with this demand for self-determination.
I am glad that Commissioner White, the Chief Constable of Warwickshire, is now attempting to build up a police force on British standards. But although he has the loyalty of the Turks, it is questionable how far he can rely upon the Greek policemen. The influx of British policemen with a general desire to restore the standards of efficiency and integrity associated with our forces is his general line of action, but it is very difficult to know how he can possibly succeed until the Government show some reasonable sense in their dealings with the political influences there.
It is interesting to see that at long last, because we now have a military Governor, certain decisions are being taken on outstanding projects which ought to have been dealt with many decades ago. My right hon. Friend has often asked, and we have often asked from this side of the House—" What do we require in Cyprus? Is it a military base, or is it Cyprus as a military base? "To any casual observer over there, there is only one answer, and that is that it is not a military base in Cyprus that we require, but Cyprus itself as a military base. Wherever one turns, either in Nicosia or in the surrounding country, one finds the area entirely overrun by the military. That is understandable, and possibly we require all these troops to defend the Government and the action which they have been trying to take over Suez, on which they had to climb down so much yesterday.
It is estimated that there are about 30,000 British troops in Cyprus, plus another 9,000 French troops who arrived last week. What are they for? That 390 does not mean that a military base is required in Cyprus ; it means that Cyprus is a distinct military base, and if that is so, for what purpose? Wherever one goes in the streets of Nicosia, one finds, as I did only on Tuesday this week, soldiers with rifles at the ready patrolling the streets in every direction. At every vantage point they are on guard, and they have their rifles sighted and are ready for action. Wherever one sees a lorry or other military vehicle passing, there is a soldier standing there with his rifle sighted ready for action.
In that kind of atmosphere, how does the Secretary of State hope to reach a solution which is to be satisfactory to the people there? He may ultimately, and this is true Tory philosophy, force some kind of settlement, but it will be a very uneasy settlement, not a lasting one, and it will have serious repercussions that will develop again with the passage of time.
There is another standing indictment of the Government's position. There is a tremendous difficulty in regard to water supplies in Cyprus. Only now, when we are adopting a new course, are we really trying to get down to the problem of a water supply. Only now are we talking about a geological survey to discover available sources of water. Up to now, we have been concentrating on little boreholes on little bits of land, when we should have been engaged on a comprehensive review of the whole situation.
We are told that there is a water shortage, and possibly there is, but the interesting thing is that, with this influx of some 40,000 additional troops, requiring all the water that is necessary for them in carrying out their manoeuvres, they can be supplied, but when it is a question of supplying the needs of the people, it has been extremely difficult to do it and we have not gone ahead in tackling this problem as we ought to have done. It is also a very invidious situation in which to place our troops over there.
I visited the headquarters of the K.O.Y.L.I., and I found the morale of the men absolutely fine. There is no question about that, but I do say that it is the responsibility of this House to see that those men, who are doing a great job of work, are not subjected to all the difficulties, indignities and dangers which are involved in the political decisions of 391 this Government. These things can be altered if we so determine and require the Government so to do.
It has been suggested that the surrender terms offered were generous, and I have even heard them referred to as being extremely generous when we are dealing with mutineers. How is it possible to interpret this offer as being in generous terms when we say to people who, according to their own point of view, are patriots, who are fighting a battle for their own self-expression and self-determination and for their right to decide their own destinies against what they fear is the heavy hand of oppression, "Lay down your arms ; we will keep you in detention. Stop fighting, and we will have a look at you and lock you up ", or, alternatively, "If you want to go to Greece, we will allow you to go, but you must renounce your Cypriot citizenship if you do so "?
I should scarcely go as far as my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South in assuming that the Cypriots entirely would favour union with Greece. So far as I can gather, what is taking place over there is that people are leaving, but they are not necessarily going to Greece. Far more of them come to the West than go to Greece. Therefore, I suggest that that is something that we should follow up. We should allow certain political lines to develop, as distinct from the Church line, with a view to finding out if it is not possible to develop the line of "Cyprus for the Cypriots themselves ". I feel that that is a possible line of action, and that we must allow political expression and allow that line of action to develop.
§ Mr. Popplewell
I think that this Government have got us into such a mess over there that we have given a fillip to the movement for Enosis. I think it is now very difficult for any Greeks to dare to express an opinion against E.O.K.A. or Enosis, and the responsibility lies fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the right hon. Gentleman opposite—" Mr. 392 Never-never "—and the policy which he has been following.
I hate to pose as an expert on these matters, but in my opinion the Government will have to accept the truce terms suggested by E.O.K.A. They must also bring back Archbishop Makarios as the head of the Church, who is also the political head, before there is any possible hope of negotiating any settlement that will be at all satisfactory. If there is any failure to do that, it is plain that terrorism will continue, that people's lives will be in jeopardy, and there will he general uncertainty in Cyprus. The island will become of no use to us as a military base, if all the time we suspect that terrorist gangs might do something to interrupt our military operations there.
It is in our own self-interests to do as I suggest, and I make a plea to the Secretary of State and the Government generally to drop this attitude of prestige and dignity, because something more is involved in this matter. Let them adopt a more realistic attitude and offer a line of guidance which will enable the people there to respond to a lead given here.
The Governor of Cyprus, Sir John Harding, is following out his military terms of reference, but on the other hand he is at least taking decisions that ought to have been taken many decades ago in trying to do something of real benefit for the Cypriot people. It is true that that might be linked up with the question of defence. It may be because his defence arrangements require the use of the roads, for example, or that a deep water port, such as is suggested at Famagusta, is required.
Nevertheless, these developments will be of lasting benefit to the people, and, given the right spirit and good will and a lead from this House, I am convinced that what Sir John Harding is doing in the administrative sense in regard to these developments will have lasting results, and that ultimately we may get some peaceful settlement that will enable the Cypriot people to be favourably disposed towards this country.
§ 12.59 p.m.
§ Mr. Bernard Braine (Essex. South-East)
I must confess that I was strangely moved by the speech of the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker) earlier this morning. It was 393 a speech that was wholly sincere, came straight from the heart, and was based upon very considerable knowledge and experience. Yet, I could not help feeling, as his argument unfolded, that the approach of the right hon. Gentleman was wholly unrealistic. The only positive thought which he advanced was to suggest bringing back Archbishop Makarios, a step which at any time since the latter's banishment would have been fraught with the gravest risks, but which, in the light of the revelations of the Grivas diaries and the developments of the last few months, I should have thought would be regarded by any reasonable Member on either side of the House, however he felt on this problem, as highly dangerous.
The right hon. Gentleman spent a great deal of time praising the virtues of the Greeks. I should have thought that was quite unnecessary in this House. As an individual, I have always had a feeling of strong attachment for Greece. I was moved to admiration, as we all were, by Greek effort and sacrifice during the late war. But we are not, of course, concerned with that ; we are concerned with the realities of the situation now. It is one thing to praise the virtues of the Greeks, but I should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman would have done some justice at least to the Turkish side of the question.
After all, one out of every five people in the island is Turkish-speaking. There is a Turkish side to the question. It should not completely govern our thinking, but it cannot be swept aside. It would be foolish to sweep aside the thoughts and feelings of a powerful minority who are only 40 miles off the mainland of their great mother-state of some 24 million people. That he did so was in itself an indication of the weakness of the right hon. Gentleman's case.
There was no mention in the right hon. Gentleman's speech of the incitement from Athens, the encouragement from Greece, to the murder of British nationals.
§ Mrs. Lena Jeger (Holborn and St. Pancras, South)
That is wholly unfair to my right hon. Friend. He went on to say how greatly he deplored the propaganda from Athens.
§ Mr. Braine
I accept that from the hon. Lady straight away ; he did indeed. I said—and I will repeat the comment—that there was no mention in his speech of the incitement in Athens.
§ Mr. Braine
It goes on. Moreover, I would go so far as to say that the analogy with Ireland was a wholly mistaken one. It is perfectly true that a settlement was achieved in that case ; but I was astonished to observe that the right hon. Gentleman, who has a great reputation for scholarship, did not recall what happened following that settlement. A settlement was achieved, but only as a basis of partition, and it was followed by bitter civil war and the murder of almost every Irish signatory to the Treaty. The analogy with Ireland was an unfair and unfortunate one to draw.
The right hon. Gentleman sought to explain the inaction over Cyprus of the Labour Government in 1948 by the danger of Communism in Greece at that time. That is fair enough. But he went on to say, if I remember aright, that when the Labour Government went out of office there was a friendly Greece, a peaceful Cyprus, and a friendly Turkey. There was also war in Korea and Indo-China. Unhappily, the world is almost as troubled now as it was then. British interests are still threatened. It is completely beyond my understanding why the right hon. Gentleman not once in the whole course of his speech mentioned vital British interests.
Since the debate on 19th July, there have been a number of new developments. The first, of course, is the Egyptian threat to our position in the Middle East. The second was the E.O.K.A. truce offer. The third was the Cyprus Government's surrender terms. The fourth was the publication of extracts from the Grivas diaries. The fifth, enormously important, in my view, is that Lord Radcliffe has started his preparatory work on the new Constitution.
I suggest that not a single one of these developments has weakened the Government's case as it stood in July. On the contrary, I submit that the Government's insistence upon the strategic importance of Cyprus has been strengthened by the actions of Colonel Nasser. As for the 395 Opposition's clamour for the bringing back of Makarios from the Seychelles, perhaps some excuse might have been made for that clamour then, but no excuse whatsoever can be found for their insistence now. I would suggest that the ground upon which that suggestion has been advanced hitherto, namely, that Makarios is a sincere and moderate man, is now revealed as dangerously false.
I believe it to be absolutely right that we should have this debate now. Cyprus remains a problem which profoundly disturbs every man and woman in this country. The right hon. Gentleman quite rightly put his finger on a dilemma. There are many people who find extremely baffling the question why Cyprus does not fit in with the general picture of British colonial policy. I have always believed, and I hope I am right in this, that there is no fundamental division between the parties on the broad approach to colonial policy. The right hon. Gentleman quoted Lord McNair, who stated what the broad aims of British colonial policy were. I accept the statement that was made, and I believe that every single one of my hon. Friends accepts it too.
I remember Lord Chandos, when he was Colonial Secretary in 1951, making quite clear, in the early days of the Government of my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill), that our aim in the Colonies was twofold. First, we had to help the colonial peoples to stand on their own feet, to run their own show, within the framework of the British Commonwealth ; and to that end we were seeking as rapidly as possible to create the necessary institutions. Our second purpose was to provide the necessary financial and technical help to enable social and economic progress to keep pace with political developments. That was the basis of the policy of the Labour Government, and it is the basis of the colonial policy of our Administration.
In this noble work, all parties have played their part. There have, of course, been setbacks ; but there have also been considerable achievements. By any yardstick which one cares to use, progress in all colonial matters has, I suggest, been most rapid and encouraging.
396 The trouble is that the solution has eluded us in Cyprus. When I was in the United States earlier this year, in company with the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly), quite a number of people asked me the question, asking it more in sorrow than in anger, "How is it that you British have given freedom to India, to Pakistan and to Ceylon, but you have withheld it from Cyprus? What is the reason?" The answer, of course, is quite simple. The price of independence and freedom in India was partition at the cost of heavy communal suffering at the time and of unresolved problems since, one of which, at least, the Kashmir dispute, not only gravely weakens and debilitates Commonwealth unity now but constitutes a threat to world peace. It may be that when history comes to be written it will be said that it was worth the price.
The proportion of Moslems, future Pakistanis, to Hindus, future citizens of India, was roughly the same as the proportion of Turkish Cypriots is to Greek Cypriots in Cyprus. But there is an enormous difference between a great subcontinent with vast potential resources and a small island dependency, with only half a million people, yet of vital strategic concern not to us alone but also to all her neighbours, and placed only 40 miles off the Turkish coast. The parallel cannot be pursued further. In India, the desire was for independence and self-government. The desire in Cyprus apparently is not for independence or self-government ; it is for union with another country, whatever the minority thinks about it.
What astonishes me and a good many of my hon. Friends is that decent, honourable and sincere people on the opposite side of the House continue to refuse to face the historical, geographical and strategic realities of the situation. I wonder whether it is because so much of their approach in politics is theoretical. If the facts fit the theory, that is all right, but if the facts do not fit the theory, so much the worse for the facts.
Let me give the House an illustration. I was interested recently to read the Labour Party's new publication on colonial policy. It is a well-written document. Its analysis of multi-racial societies and their problems is sound. On page 46, it says :It is … the responsibility of Britain to retain ultimate control in all these plural 397 societies until such conditions for the establishment of full democracy exist.I accept that. That is wisdom, and there is good sense in it. It shows responsibility.
I looked through the document and found that there was reference to Kenya, where there is a multi-racial society, to Tanganyika, to Malaya and to Trinidad, but no reference whatever to Cyprus. When I look for the reason, I find that in the preface there is a small sentence which says :Cyprus is not among the territories dealt with here because it is a multi-national rather than a multi-racial society.What exactly does that mean? Does it mean that the Labour Party is bound by its 1954 Conference decision tooppose Tory policy with regard to Cyprus on all occasions"?The House is entitled to ask whether that means opposing Tory policy whether it is right, wrong or indifferent ; whether it means that however the situation changes, the Cyprus question is a good stick with which to beat the Government.
I should like to think I am wrong in that, and from conversations with some hon. Members opposite I honestly believe I do some of them an injustice, but I do not gather that impression from the speeches made from the Opposition Front Bench. I do not gather that from the speeches of those hon. Members opposite who seem to have a vested interest in sticking up for every country but their own and in advancing the interest of every people but those of Britain.
I do not pursue that argument further. All I would say is that the Economist argued—I thought, perhaps a little unfairly—that this policy document appeared to beLabour's high-minded formula for indefinitely delaying the liquidation of the British Empire.Why, we may ask, does it not also apply to Cyprus?
The right hon. Member for Derby, South enjoined the Government to let the Cypriots have self-government now. That was about the only positive proposal he made in his long and eloquent speech. The plain truth is that the Cypriots could have had self-government a long time ago. They can have it tomorrow if those who choose to speak for them and who are their so-called leaders wish.
§ Mr. Braine
I am making the distinction between self-government and self-determination. I am making the distinction between Cypriots exercising control over their own affairs locally and being joined to another country. In 1948, the Labour Government offered a constitution which, had it been accepted, would by now have formed the basis for a further advance, as all the constitutional offers since the war have formed a basis of further advance in practically every Colonial Territory one can think of
§ Mr. Braine
I said, "almost every Colonial Territory one can think of". I am not prepared to debate the issue with the hon. Member at this moment.
The point is that it is not self-government that the Greek-Cypriot nationalist leaders in Cyprus want ; it is Enosis. It is not Parliamentary self-government as we understand it that they want. It is not Parliamentary self-government as the Gold Coast nationalists have got it, or as the Nigerians or the Malayans have it ; it is union with another country.
The tragedy is that in the absence of representative institutions in Cyprus, nobody knows whether the majority of Greek Cypriots are in favour of Enosis—union with Greece—because those who control them have seen to it that representative institutions are not brought into being. What is crystal clear is that as long as terrorism obtains, any moderate who feels the desire to oppose the terrorists keeps his mouth shut or else receives a bullet in the back.
§ Mr. Hale
I agree with the hon. Member about Enosis and always have done ; I think it is a very bad thing. When he talks about self-government, however, he is really talking about the Grattan Constitution in Ireland. He is talking about a form of government which still has a veto, which still has power to suspend, which makes it possible in British Guiana, for instance, to say, "Because you voted for someone we do not like, we will suspend the Constitution" and to Buganda "We will deport the King ", and which makes it possible 399 for us still to rule from London. That is not self-government.
§ Mr. Braine
I was careful to use the term "internal self-government ". Earlier, I said that hon. Members opposite had not faced the historic, political and geographic factors in the Cyprus situation. In the Gold Coast, on the other hand, we have advanced the territory on the road to the kind of self-government that the hon. Member has in mind.
§ Mr. Patrick Maitland (Lanark)
Will my hon. Friend not also bear in mind that Marshal Papagos himself hailed the Uganda Constitution as an absolute model?
§ Mr. Braine
I thank my hon. Friend for his intervention, but I do not wish to be drawn away from my general theme by the skill of hon. Members.
To me, eloquent proof has been given that the majority of people in Cyprus are not in favour of Enosis and are not in favour of what the terrorists have been doing and what the terrorists seek to achieve. Proof of this was shown by the tremendous relief which swept over the island when the truce offer was made. The sun was shining again. The "hated" British troops were the people's friends once more. People went about as though a great cloud had been lifted from them.
The Cypriots as a people are not a violent lot. They are a peaceful, decent, happy-go-lucky folk, as those of us who number Cypriots among our friends know them to be. As my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary made quite clear earlier, the violence has been imported from outside by an ex-Fascist army officer from Greece. The arms have been brought in from outside. The continuous incitement to murder and disaffection has come from outside. This is an alien movement. There is no proof whatever that either the Enosis movement itself or E.O.K.A., its militant arm, has any substantial support among the Cypriots themselves.
I go further. I would say that this has not been a case of British troops suppressing the natural aspirations of a people who feel strongly that they want union with another country. We are 400 witnessing in effect a civil war. More Greek civilians have been killed than British Service men. More Greek Cypriot policemen have been shot down in cold blood than Turkish Cypriot policemen.
The hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West (Mr. Popplewell), who has just come back from Cyprus, and who spoke with great feeling, talked about the home-made nature of the bombs that were being thrown. Of course, if they mad; contact they did damage. However, so far a very large number, indeed, the majority, of those who have lost their lives or have been mutilated are inhabitants of the island.
§ Mr. C. Howell
Is the hon. Member trying to make the. case put by my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker), who quoted the views of the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) as to what should happen to that type of person? Those views have not been denied. Is the hon. Member making that case and explaining why those people were killed?
§ Mr. Braine
I hope that I am making my own case. I am trying to bring a little clarity into a very grievous situation. I am saying, and I repeat it for the benefit of the hon. Member, that the so-called champions of Greek nationalism in Cyprus are killing more of their own nationals than anybody else.
Since the outbreak of the emergency some 7,000 Cypriots have left Cyprus. They have left the "oppression" of British rule. Whither have they gone? An hon. Member opposite, the hon. Member for Goole (Mr. G. Jeger) told us in our previous debate on this subject in July that nearly 6,000 of them had come to the United Kingdom and that only one had gone to Greece. Tested by practical common sense and by real self-interest Enosis is found to be a thing of the wind. It is a feeling, a sentiment. I do not under-rate sentiment. It has a powerful influence over the minds of men. All I am saying is that there is no proof whatsoever—indeed, everything points the other way—that the majority of Greek Cypriots want union with Greece.
What is clear is that the whole basis and design of the terrorist movement is to prevent a single Greek Cypriot from saying so, to prevent any moderate leader 401 from saying publicly, "Let us end this misery, this bloodshed and violence alien to our people, alien to our way of life. Let us end it all, and let us start anew with a constitution by which we can prove to the world and to ourselves that we can govern ourselves." The whole purpose of terrorism is to prevent that from happening.
Until the publication of the Grivas diaries I was deeply disturbed by the failure of the Archbishop, a Christian priest, to denounce terrorism. I was deeply disturbed by it, as were many Churchmen in this country. From the very beginning the Colonial Secretary and the Prime Minister have made it clear that if only Archbishop Makarios would denounce the use of force a new situation would develop, but the Archbishop has preferred to remain silent. It was in March this year that the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) told us :It is my considered view that the Archbishop is a sincere, patriotic, honest, moderate and very remarkable leader of his people."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th March, 1956; Vol. 550, c. 475.]It is precisely because I believe that the hon. Member for Swindon is himself sincere, patriotic, honest and moderate that that view, coming from him, influenced me a great deal, as it must have influenced a good many people in this country. As recently as 19th July the hon. Member was speaking movingly about His Beatitude Archbishop Makarios.
Exactly six days later—I hope I am in order in referring to a speech made by the Archbishop of Canterbury in another place—
§ Mr. Braine
May I put it in this way? In certain high places the view has been expressed that there are really only two things to do with violence ; one is to suppress it and the other is to circumvent it by pressing on with constitutional proposals ; and it was important that the two should go together. That is a view which I, and, I think, the vast majority of my constituents, accepted. It seemed to be reasonable, fair and very British.
That, it seems to me. has been entirely the Government's policy from the outset, 402 but the key to the whole thing was Archbishop Makarios. Appeals have been made to him from the highest quarters to join with us in denouncing terrorism. The sooner he did that the sooner the situation would become easier, the easier it would be to negotiate, and the easier it would be to arrive at a settlement. I should have thought that appeals of that kind would have evoked a response from any normal human being, let alone a Christian and let alone a Christian priest.
We have on record a letter from Archbishop Makarios in which he makes it plain :I am sincerely afraid that an official condemnation of events by myself would not find at the present stage the necessary response, but would involve the risk of exposing me rather unprofitably.I think that that is quite the most damaging statement any man has made about himself in recent years that I can recall. Consider these words, "the risk of exposing me …" There were two possible explanations. One was that the Archbishop was genuinely afraid that if he condemned violence he would expose his breast to the assassin's bullet. That was a possibility, and it was certainly a possibility that affected my thinking on the subject.
I have been keeping a list of some of the crimes which have been committed against Greek Cypriots. In February this year the Abbot of Khrysarroyatissa, who was an important member of the Ethnarchy Council itself, was shot to death by masked men in his own monastery. Archbishop Makarios officiated at the funeral. He did not utter one word of protest at what had happened. In March a Greek Cypriot midwife who had been attacked by E.O.K.A. as a traitor and had been wounded and was recovering from her wound, was shot again in her bed in the nursing home. On 19th March four masked men entered the church at Kythrea, in the Nicosia district, while a service was going on, and there shot a Greek Cypriot. There was no condemnation, by the Archbishop or any single member of the Church, of that dreadful outrage.
One could go on citing example after example of such crimes, and it is difficult to understand how anybody possessed of a Christian conscience could not protest against them unless either he felt the fear 403 of being shot to death himself for doing so or approved them. I find it difficult to understand how, against that background, let alone the evidence of the Grivas diaries—and they have not been laid before us, I agree—any right hon. Member here who has held responsible office or who hopes to hold responsible office can advocate bringing that man back to negotiate with him now.
E.O.K.A. has, of course, done much more than make it difficult for Cypriots to find a means of expressing themselves through representative institutions. It has set two communities against one another. There was something in the speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West which struck me as important. He said that the task really is to make Cypriots not pro-Greek or pro-Turkish but pro-Cyprus. Yet the one thing that these evil men have done is to make it more difficult than ever it was before for the two communities to come together and to work together in the interests of their own homeland.
The right hon. Member for Derby, South dismissed Turkish feeling. Judging by the terms of his speech, that was of no account. I beg the House not to underestimate the strength of Turkish feeling, the reality of Turkish feeling and the reality of Turkish claims. It may be that, as the right hon. Gentleman said, there is no basis for fear, and that Turks can live happily under Greek sovereignty. But what is important is not what the facts are but what people feel them to be. That is what governs human conduct and behaviour.
What has been happening in Cyprus has stiffened the resistance of the Turkish community. It has made it impossible for them now to agree to any change which does not give them the safeguards that, I am glad to see, have been laid down in the terms of reference to Lord Radcliffe. I hope that they will accept a constitution based upon those terms of reference. I hope that a way out will be found.
I am convinced in my own heart that the Government intend to pursue the matter until a way out is found, but no way out will be found by submitting to the pressure of violence, by giving way to evil men, by bowing always to people 404 who wish to destroy the peace and happiness of others and who labour against British interests. I do not believe that constant concession to pressure of that kind is likely to produce the better and the happier world which we all want to see. For that reason I heartily support the Government in their endeavours to find a solution of this tragic problem, by suppressing violence and passing on with constitutional proposals, as I am sure does every hon. Member on these benches and, in their heart of hearts, many hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House.
§ 1.34 p.m.
§ Mr. John Dugdale (West Bromwich)
Among many of the points with which we disagreed in the speech of the Secretary of State for the Colonies was its almost insane optimism. One would think from what the right hon. Gentleman said that everything was going on well in Cyprus. He is indeed not the only one who has this optimism. On 1st January, Sir John Harding said that "the net was slowly but surely closing round the terrorists "and that" there was a growing sentiment of defeat among them."
I ask you, Mr. Speaker, what signs are there of this growing sentiment of defeat? I wish we could say that it existed. In fact, terrorism has grown steadily under the policy which the present Government have pursued. They say they are keeping law and order in Cyprus. They say they are preserving the people of Cyprus from the terrorists. They are doing nothing of the kind. In fact they seem totally unable to deal with the terrorist situation.
This morning The Times puts it very clearly and very fully. I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite who support the policy of the Government will note what that newspaper says about this situation. It describes some of the recent atrocities and adds :These and other recent incidents, such as the attacks on the Kyrenia police station, a gun battle in a Nicosia hospital, and the burning down of the Commander-in-Chiefs house have caused much critical comment among the English community about the apparent lack of proper security measures. The fact that not a single leading terrorist has been captured and not one terrorist has surrendered in response to the Government's surrender offer of three weeks ago emphasises the enormously difficult task which the security forces have 405 before them to root out the Eoka terrorists, who appear to have increased in numbers in recent weeks and to be becoming more audacious.Where is Sir John Harding's net into which they are to come shortly? The Government must think again and realise what they are up against in Cyprus. They are not up against just a few men somewhere in the hills, who come down from time to time to disturb the population. They are up against the mass sentiment of the people of Cyprus, and much of this mass sentiment has arisen because, whether we like it or not, the terrorists stand to many Cypriots as the terrorists in Ireland stood to the people of Ireland in days gone by. We may not like it. I am not defending the terrorists. I am certainly not defending those who shoot others in the back or those who shoot and bomb our own troops, but we have to recognise their existence and force, and we cannot write them off as simple people living in the hills who do not matter very much, which is what the Government and Sir John Harding would appear to be doing today.
I may be told, "Yes, but recently there was the truce offer." We all know what happened then. To this extent I disagree with some of my hon. Friends and would say that the Government, in the terms offered, made a considerable advance on the terms which they refused to Archbishop Makarios when discussing terms with him as long ago as February of this year. Then, one of the reasons why the negotiations broke down was because the Government said they could not admit any kind of amnesty, that these people must be punished because they had committed brutal crimes. This time, however, they were told that they could go to Greece, unpunished, if they wished. If these people had been simply out for their own gain, if they had no friends in the country, if they had known that their case was hopeless, they would have accepted this offer. They did not do so, because they knew that they had many friends in Cyprus and were determined not to let down those friends. They remained in Cyprus and they continued their campaign.
Who are against the terrorists? We hear a great deal about the people who are friendly to the Government, the people in Cyprus who want peace, the people who are willing to negotiate with 406 the Government. I ask the Minister of State to say who are the people with whom the Government are to negotiate, because they have not yet appeared.
We all know that the Cypriot people are not cowards. If they wanted to negotiate, they would come forward. It is not because they are frightened ; it is because they do not want to negotiate. It is because they believe that the Government have no intention of giving them what they want, which is freedom to decide their own future. They feel that it is useless to enter into negotiations with a Government which is prepared to give them only internal self-government, and not even the security part of internal self-government, and who have put no time limit on the period during which the Cypriots must remain under this form of Government.
Would the Minister of State tell us a little more about what Lord Radcliffe has been doing? After all, he is there to investigate conditions, since he must know what the conditions are if he is to prescribe a constitution for Cyprus. Has he met any Cypriots or has he received his information solely from the British population there? If he has met them, what sort of views have been expressed to him? Are they all willing that there should be only internal self-government? Are they willing to negotiate with our Government? These are the friendly Cypriots, the Cypriots on whom the Government are relying. Are they willing to negotiate with the Government on a basis of internal self-government only, less internal security, which is what the Government are offering them, or are they in fact unwilling to negotiate, because they do not believe they will satisfy the people of Cyprus?
The Secretary of State said that it was impossible to do more than accept the principle of self-determination. What is a principle, if it has no application at all? It means nothing. It is simply worthless. The Secretary of State and the Government know that as well as the people of Cyprus. I ask myself, do the Government want to have any negotiations? I think the answer is "No." The Government do not want to have negotiations for two reasons ; they have said that they want to have Cyprus as a military base, and that to 407 have a military base they must have control over external policy and over internal security.
Many of us think that the Government are greatly mistaken in supposing Cyprus to be a good military base, even if they could have it. After all, what do we want in a military base? I should have thought that one of the elementary things would be a port. There is no harbour there which could be used. Another thing, I should have thought the principal thing, is security for the forces. To have a military base in a country which does not want us there, and which can make its dislike very forcibly felt, is surely not a satisfactory state of affairs.
We have had recent evidence of the success of attempts made to destroy military equipment. It is difficult enough to fight the enemy alone from a military base ; but when we have a base which is continually subject to attacks from the inhabitants of the area, the position of the troops becomes impossible. I ask the Minister of State to tell us what hope he can give that in future there will not be more attacks on the military headquarters in Cyprus. When we have a position where a house which has been built for the Commander-in-Chief is blown up and when we hear that terrorists can enter into a hospital being constructed as part of the military headquarters, surely we must ask ourselves whether or not this is a satisfactory place in which to have headquarters at all.
In another part of the Mediterranean, not very far off as distances go these days, we have another island which wants British people to remain there, which wants a military base. Why is it that we are so slow to give the Maltese anything of what they want, so slow to spend even a few million pounds extra on Malta, and yet so quick to spend millions of pounds in trying to produce a base in Cyprus among people who do not want to have us there at all? I ask the Government, could they not give more attention to Malta and less attention to Cyprus as a potential military base? If they do that, there will be some hope that we shall get a base in the Mediterranean. If they do not, there seems to be no hope at all.
I fear that the main reason why the Government want to remain in Cyprus is because they have to show that they 408 can remain in the Eastern Mediterranean after they have left Egypt. The Government did not like evacuating troops from Egypt at all. Many of their own supporters thought it was something that would bring this country to disaster.
§ Mr. Dugdale
All right, then, I think that the Government today are determined to say to their supporters, "We cannot control Colonel Nasser. We have evacuated our troops from Egypt. But we shall show that we are a strong and mighty Government by holding down the Cypriot people. We cannot hold down the Egyptians, but we are determined to show that we shall hold down the Cypriots ". One of the reasons why the Government continue their policy in Cyprus—a policy which has led to great loss of life among the people and great hardship for many of the troops out there—is because of their determination to put a bold face on the matter for the sake of their own "Suez Group ".
The policy of the Government in Cyprus has been reckless. It has been extravagant ; it is an immoral policy. The result of all this will be, so far as I can see—and I hope that I am wrong—a continual war in Cyprus and a continuance of the loss of lives, both Cypriot and British. For that loss of life the Government, by failing to come to negotiations and by failing to take any action to bring about a compromise, may be held to be largely responsible.
In common with many other hon. Members I have a number of constituents who are serving in the forces in Cyprus, and I know the kind of life they have to lead. Of course, none of us condone the acts of the terrorists which result in our troops having to lead that sort of life, but neither do we condone the policy of the Government which has made it necessary to send the troops out to Cyprus and which, if it is continued, will make it necessary to keep them there for many years to come.
I hope that the Government will no longer find it necessary to appease their Suez supporters, but I suppose, after what happened yesterday, that they may find it even more necessary. They may be even tougher over Cyprus, in order to 409 make up for the ignominious retreat over Suez which they had to make yesterday. If the Government are really interested in Cyprus and not in Tory prestige, I hope they will put an end to their policy of ruthlessly holding down the Cypriots, and that instead they will begin now a policy of negotiation to which in the end. whether they like it or not, they are bound to come.
§ 1.47 p.m.
§ Sir Henry d'Avigdor-Goldsmid (Walsall, South)
It is always a pleasure to listen to the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale), and particularly on this occasion when he has brought out quite unmistakably the arid nature of the political controversy in Cyprus.
With great respect to the right hon. Gentleman. I think that every possible argument which might be advanced from both sides of the House has already been made. However, I was interested to hear from him that he holds the famous "Suez Group" of the Tory Party responsible for the present situation and for the attitude of the Government.
As a very recent member of the Tory Party I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that the existence of such a group is, to my mind, extremely doubtful and I should have thought that its influence did not exist. I may be speaking in ignorance, but it seems to me only too reminiscent of the time when the famous British intelligence service was supposed to dominate the foreign policy of the world and when there were supposed to be British agents in every capital. I cannot help recalling an incident in a book called "Scoop," written by Mr. Evelyn Waugh, where, in a nightclub in Abyssinia, the English Minister and his party attending the New Year's Eve celebrations played a game of "Consequences." The papers were picked up by the French Minister, who was at the next table, and decoded" with avidity."
§ Sir H. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid
I am grateful for the correction. I had not verified my reference.
I realise how many hon. Members of the House have devoted their attention to this problem, and have paid several 410 visits to Cyprus, while I speak as a newcomer, having never been to Cyprus and having no great knowledge of my own, and I know that in those circumstances the opinions and bright ideas of the ignorant resound with a dull thud on the ears of the experts.
I recently had a communication from a famous man, Professor Lowdermilk, who is the greatest expert in the world on soil conservation. He has considered Cyprus from the point of view of soil conservation and he suggests that there is a possibility of our doing in Cyprus work of an essential nature in that direction which could have a real effect on the economic life, and so, I feel, possibly on the political views, of the inhabitants. I know that this is a frail and tenuous link, but I would like to develop it in the short time at my disposal.
I hope that I shall not be taken as quoting as facts something from my personal knowledge, which is nil. It will be information which comes simply from records and documents. I understand that the annual rainfall of Cyprus is 70 inches in the mountains and 14 inches in the plains and that the problems of soil conservation are most acute. The general problem has been stated roughly as "more and more people having to live on less and less land ".
The Soil Conservation Officer wrote in his Report for 1951, which I have here :Climatic and topographical features of Cyprus, uncontrolled grazing, destruction of natural vegetation on steep slopes and other easily eroded areas, ignorance of the farmer of the basic soil conservation techniques, fragmentation of land, short term tenancy and lack of co-operation and other means to carry out conservation works on a wide island scale… are some of the main factors which make the erosion menace grave, and which the Soil Conservation Section, first established in 1949 as a part of the Department of Agriculture, has to tackle.I mention this because it is not merely the view of a visiting expert.
A soil conservation law was passed in 1952 which would enable the Government to take on some of the major works which are necessary, but it requires the 100 per cent. co-operation of the individual farmers and that is difficult to obtain in present circumstances. When all is considered, it is clear that the farmer in Cyprus is not using these techniques in the tilling and the production of his land. In most countries, our experience is that 411 agricultural interests very often predominate over the political.
In the Annual Report of the Director of Agriculture for 1954, that official said :The fragmentation of agricultural holdings is a major problem and in some areas it has occurred to such an extent as to render the proper economic utilisation of the land very difficult. The number of plots per holding according to the 1946 Census was 12.6 of an average size of 4.25 donums. In some instances the plots are contiguous but in general the plots are widely separated and in many cases many miles apart.A donum is about a quarter of an acre, which means that the average holding is 12½ plots each of about one acre. The farmers' problems arise out of the extraordinary parcellation of their land. The Report goes on to state :The majority of farmers are living in villages which range in size from mere hamlets to small towns. About 22 per cent. of the agricultural holdings are situated outside the boundaries of the cultivators' village.I am not an expert in these matters, but experts are available. I suggest that we could bring fresh air to this problem if Her Majesty's Government were to set their hand to the work of soil conservation in Cyprus. I honestly believe that if we gave a bit of economic hope to the people who live in Cyprus some of the bitterness and political feeling might be reduced. I know that economics are not everything, but this suggestion would enable negotiations to be carried on in a less tense and savage atmosphere.
I understand that there will probably be three phases in dealing with the soil conservation problem and that the first of them is a survey. According to a remark made by the present Director of Agriculture, at the present rate of progress the survey will take about 107 years to complete. It is clear that the work has been allowed to lapse for political reasons but the time has come, if we are determined to stay in Cyprus, as I believe we are, to justify ourselves by trying to do this vital work of making the land of Cyprus more productive, and preventing it from running away, as it does now, under that enormous rainfall. It is not conserved in any way.
I understand that Sir Herbert Broadley, Director of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, in Rome, is willing to cooperate in such a survey by detaching members of his staff if the Government 412 thought fit to put the matter in hand. I beg my right hon. Friend, whom I am glad to see here now, to consider, with his great imagination—which he always applies to these matters—to give some thought to the economic side. We might get just the change of atmosphere which would show the world as a whole that our attitude to Cyprus is beneficent and that we are engaged in raising the standard of the population of Cyprus.
Some world opinion has perhaps been not uncritical of ourselves in relation to Cyprus. I cannot think of anything which, in present conditions, would be more likely to attract the support of the United States than a broadly-based soil conservation programme in Cyprus on the lines which I have briefly tried to lay down.
§ 1.58 p.m.
§ Mrs. Lena Jeger (Holborn and St. Pancras, South)
I wish that the problem of soil erosion in Cyprus were the main concern of the House today. We have unfortunately to face a problem of the erosion of the whole social and political life of the island, which is confronting us with even greater problems. I agree that the question of land conservation in Cyprus, together with many other social and economic matters, has been neglected, and deserves greater attention in the future.
How refreshing both for the House and the country were the terms in which my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker) opened the debate. We heard from him, after a very long silence, a speech of real greatness which will have done much to restore the prestige of this country and this Parliament at home and overseas. He paid tribute to the fighting qualities of the Greeks during the war., In addition to the actions to which he referred, I would recall the 15,000 volunteers who went from Cyprus to help the Allies in the fight against our common enemy. Too little tribute is paid to those men.
I was reminded when I was in the island a little time ago that the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) said in this Chamber shortly after the war that the part which the people of Cyprus had played in the war deserved well of the British people. I hope we shall show them that we still believe that. I would 413 remind the House also that many of those Cypriots who volunteered to fight for us as allies during the war did so in response to placards which the British put up all over Cyprus calling on them to "Fight for Greece and liberty". That was our incentive to the Cypriots to help us in that time of great danger.
In sad contrast to the speech of my right hon. Friend was the speech which we heard from the Colonial Secretary. The main purpose of this debate today is surely for the whole House to try to apply its collective mind to the breaking of this disastrous and tragic deadlock in Cyprus. Yet not one word we heard from the right hon. Gentleman contributed any element of healing in this sad situation, nor any element of hope. Nothing he said will have given any assistance to those of us who are most sincerely anxious to see an end to violence and disorder in Cyprus. On the contrary, he seemed to criticise those of us who use what he calls political pressure to try to bring about a change of policy.
I wish to ask him, what else are we here for? What else is Parliament for? So long as the people of Cyprus and other colonial peoples are denied fully democratic institutions of their own there is a heavy responsibility on those of us on these benches to see that political pressure is brought to bear when the circumstances demand it. We had an example yesterday of the vital importance, the creative importance, that political pressure can have in the counsels of the nation at a dangerous time. In many ways today's debate is a continuation of the debates of the last two days, because what is happening in Cyprus is directly linked with the whole situation in the Middle East.
We have been told that British sovereignty must continue in Cyprus because we must have unfettered control over the base there. The Prime Minister has said that we must stay in Cyprus to protect our oil interests, although whether he means that we are going to fight for oil I cannot understand. The very people who are saying that we must have a base in Cyprus for security reasons are those whose policy has so jeopardised that base that now many thousands of soldiers are engaged in dealing with the Cypriot population. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman or his hon. Friend will be able to tell us that the French troops will very 414 soon be leaving Cyprus. There is no doubt in the minds of people there that the arrival of thousands of French troops has exacerbated an already difficult situation.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Could the hon. Lady give any sort of justification for her last remark? Candidly, I would be interested to know it. I know of none and I have certain access to points of view in Cyprus ; perhaps more than the hon. Lady has. I cannot conjecture what she thinks might happen.
§ Mrs. Jeger
The difficulty is that the arrival of French troops in Cyprus has brought to many people a feeling that Cyprus is going to be used directly by the British and French in a policy of "going it alone" in a Middle East conflagration. What else can it mean? I have tried before in this House to find from the Government why they insist on our complete sovereignty over Cyprus as a base and will not try to work out some modus vivendi such as led to the establishment of American bases in Crete. Why cannot we have bases in Cyprus on the same terms as the Americans have bases in Crete? I have asked high-ranking officers in Cyprus, and I have had interesting answers. The usual answer is, "The trouble is that we must have unfettered control in Cyprus because we might want to use Cyprus for some undertaking which does not concern our Allies, which has nothing to do with N.A.T.O.", in other words, some adventure which has nothing to do with the United Nations but which is in fact a survival of a unilateral policy in the Middle East which this country cannot sustain for material reasons and could not for moral reasons seek to maintain because the whole basis of our foreign policy in any part of the world—above all in the complications of the Middle East—has to be based on our association with other countries, primarily through the United Nations.
If the right hon. Gentleman and some of his hon. Friends are so concerned about the survival of N.A.T.O. he must know above all that the main weakness of N.A.T.O. at present is the defection—or shall I say the deterioration—in relations between Greece and this country and Greece and Turkey. Why could my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, 415 South and an hon. Member opposite refer so warmly to the co-operation in time of war between Greece and Great Britain whereas now, ten years later, we are faced with a situation in which Greece would not even come to the Suez Conference in London? I agree with what my right hon. Friend said about Athens Radio. We deplore those broadcasts as completely unworthy of the true greatness of that nation. What has happened between the time of that co-operation and now to bring about this situation?
Reference has been made to the Grivas diary. I should like to spend a few minutes on that subject. I have seen the full text of the documents published so far. I have no criticism of the Colonial Secretary for calling a Press conference on a Sunday. Journalists are used to working on a Sunday. If anyone wants to get a good Press, Sunday is a useful day because most of us are hard put to it to get something for the Monday papers. From his point of view, that was quite good, as that is an old problem in Fleet Street.
There is an entry in the diary for January, 1955, which directly refers to Greece and it is not one which was quoted by the right hon. Gentleman. Grivas is supposed to have written :Instead of Papagos sponsoring us—behind the scenes at any event—he has been restraining us until today and anything we have done we have done in spite of him since all has been accomplished by me and my collaborators…As recently as January, 1955, the Prime Minister of Greece was refusing to have anything to do with the conspiracy of E.O.K.A. When I read that I was reminded of a long talk I had with Field Marshal Papagos in Athens a few months before this conversation was supposed to have taken place.
Whatever political differences I may have had with the Field Marshal—my friends will know they must have been many—I think we can all agree that he was a man of very great courage and clarity of purpose. He told me in his emphatic, elegant French that he had never been so insulted in his life as when the British Foreign Secretary, then Mr. Eden—[HON. MEMBERS : "Order."]—snubbed him every time he tried to raise the issue of Cyprus. He referred to a particular occasion when the Foreign 416 Secretary was in Greece on convalescence. The Field Marshal said, "Maybe because Mr. Eden was convalescing—[HON. MEMBERS : "Order."]—I should not have raised this point ". I am quoting the correct title, the temporary title, may I say. He said there seemed to be no reason for the snub and, "Never at any time," said the Prime Minister of Greece, "have I been able to get any British Minister to discuss with me the question of Cyprus."
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I think the hon. Lady will agree from her study of the documents of that period that her own party, when it was in power, did not even answer the questions. On this occasion an answer was returned, even though it was an unpalatable one.
§ Mrs. Jeger
I will take that from the right hon. Gentleman. Because mistakes have been made in the past, it seems to me all the more reason for trying to put our heads together at present. I do not think it is good enough for the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends to wring their hands with regret about deterioration of relations with Greece without trying to see what has led to that deterioration or trying to find ways and means of improving the situation.
So far as our international commitments are concerned, we shall suffer the indignity later this month, I understand, of being arraigned before one of the subcommittees of the Council of Europe which deals with human rights for our policy in Cyprus. Among other items which have been set down against us is the imprisonment, without trial or charge, of now over 500 people, most of whom have been under detention for nearly a year. How much longer are those people to stay in detention? It is not good enough to say "Until the end of the emergency "; because what does that mean? How can this House be sure that among those 500 there is not one man innocent of any complicity in terrorism? I know that there are many of them who think or maintain that they are innocent, and they surely deserve some kind of trial, some kind of charge being brought in order that the situation may be cleared up.
I had hoped that after this debate we should have been able to give the people of Cyprus some alternative to the 417 present policy of violence which is being pursued in their name. What alternative does the Colonial Secretary suggest, because, after all, this is his responsibility? We have not had one word from him about the crux of the whole situation, which is the position of Archbishop Makarios. He said in a broadcast—he has not said it in this House—not long ago, that he no longer regarded Archbishop Makarios as indispensable to negotiations. Is that still his point of view? If so, I think that he should tell the House that he no longer regards Archbishop Makarios as indispensable to negotiations, because, from what we hear from Cyprus, many people in Cyprus do regard Archbishop Makarios as indispensable to negotiations.
The revelations of the Grivas diaries, which may have shocked many people in this country, have, so far as I can gather, had very little impact in Cyprus, because it is no surprise to many of the people in Cyprus to know that the leader of the Church militant in the national struggle has been in contact with the leader of E.O.K.A.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The hon. Lady has courteously given way three times, and I will not interrupt her again. Will she also bear in mind that a number of her colleagues have been saying throughout that the Archbishop has been a moderating influence? If she accepts that the diaries came as no surprise, will she also accept that Archbishop Makarios has not been a moderating but an extreme influence, and does not that cast doubt on the validity of the advice given by the Opposition?
§ Mrs. Jeger
Would the right hon. Gentleman be fair, as I am sure he would wish to be? He has had access to bigger extracts from the diaries than I have. He asked me if the diaries did not indicate that the Archbishop was not a moderating influence. I find that on the 7th June, 1955, Grivas wrote this, referring to the Archbishop :He asked me about arms of which we are in need. It is only now that he has understood that we need arms as well.That was in June, 1955 :Oh! If only I had before the brains which I have now!! No one wanted to listen to me when we had the chance. Now he wants arms!
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I say that this is not the first time in this sort of business that a commander in the field has complained about the inadequacy of the supply of munitions.
§ Mrs. Jeger
If it would not flatter Grivas, I would say that the devil is trying to quote scripture very much to his own purpose. Why should people who are engaged in what is a national struggle be surprised to hear that their national leader—and let us get this clear, that Britain recognised the position of the Ethnarch when we first went into Cyprus as the national leader as well as being the Archbishop—has girded up his loins more strongly than they might have thought in the national struggle?
From what we hear from Cyprus that has made no impact at all. In fact, it has been interpreted in the opposite way, I am sure, from that which the Government hope—a sort of apology in advance for refusing to negotiate. The timing seemed to underline that. It seems to many Cypriots to be a further attempt to avoid negotiating because the British Government at heart do not want to negotiate. If that is wrong, there are various constructive steps which the Colonial Secretary could take. He could re-open negotiations. It is all very well to put the responsibility, as he did for months, on Archbishop Makarios, and to say that because he did not denounce violence negotiations could not go on. Just before we rose the Prime Minister made a statement that if even now Archbishop Makarios would make some statement denouncing violence the position would be changed. We should be told whether that statement still stands, or whether the Colonial Secretary completely knocked Archibshop Makarios out of the picture? What in the Government's view is to be the future of this man? Is he, as it were, to be put into cold storage for eternity, and, if not, on what conditions will he be brought back, either to London or to Cyprus, to take part in discussions about that country's future?
We all want to get out of this terrible deadlock. I am sure of that, and it is certainly so as far as this side of the House is concerned. We would wish Lord Radcliffe well. I think that Lord 419 Radcliffe deserves the congratulations of this House for the work which he has already done and for his courage in taking on this formidable task ; but how I wish the Colonial Secretary would do something to help Lord Radcliffe.
Here we are sending one of our most distinguished lawyers to try to put down on to paper a constitution designed to meet, I hope, the aspirations of a people who belong to a race which gave the very word "democracy" to the rest of us. The right hon. Gentleman seems to be sending Lord Radcliffe to Cyprus with terms of reference which, in fact, are retrograde compared with the point that was reached with the Archbishop. How, then, can we expect Lord Radcliffe, working as skilfully as he can within that framework, to produce the kind of constitution which will commend itself to the majority of the people of that island? I feel that his task has been made much more difficult by what has been said today.
The Colonial Secretary told us, on 2nd May :…that no constitution is likely to have validity or strength unless it produced from genuine discussions by those who will be responsible for working it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd May, 1956 ; Vol. 552, c. 369.]Does the Colonial Secretary still stand by that? Does he still believe that only a constitution which is worked out by discussion with the people of Cyprus is going to work? If so, surely the first thing he must do is to change the atmosphere in Cyprus so that people will feel able to talk freely and openly to Lord Radcliffe, in conference, around the table. What is the use of Lord Radcliffe having to have consultations with people secretly, perhaps behind closed doors, with people coming in fear, hoping that they will not be seen and asking not to be quoted? We cannot find the founding fathers of a new order among frightened people. We have to have contacts with truly representative people, and we have to see that the proposals which we are asking them to discuss are generous enough to commend themselves to a whole population.
I know that the Colonial Secretary appreciates this difficulty, and several references have been made to the question of fear and intimidation, but we must remember that the fear and intimidation 420 were not there when what I may call, for the sake of brevity, the Hopkinson constitution was offered to the people of Cyprus. E.O.K.A. had not started then. I remember asking over and over again in the House, "With whom is the Governor talking?" I am fortunate enough to know many of the people in Cyprus who might be expected to help in the future government of the country, and I have since heard from very many of them about the answer which they gave when they were invited in the pre-E.O.K.A. days to work, in consultation, the Hopkinson constitution. We know the answer which we received to the Creech Jones constitution.
The House must, therefore, ask what evidence the Government have for believing that Lord Radcliffe's constitution, excellent as it may be within his terms of reference, will be acceptable, bearing in mind that all the great field of activity which was previously left out has still been left out of his terms of reference and, moreover, that the question of internal security has also been excluded. That exclusion is more categorical than at the time when consultations were held with the Archbishop.
Have the Government some plan for offering this constitution to the people of Cyprus and somehow writing into it a categorical guarantee of the right to apply the principle of self-determination at some specified time in the future? Unless the two things are associated, we shall never make progress in Cyprus. It seems to me that if we could associate the two, we could undermine much of the propaganda of E.O.K.A. against consultations. If the trade union leaders, the mayors of Cyprus and the Church leaders could be confronted with an offer which was also concerned with the question of their future exercise of sovereignty, there would be a new situation, and they would be able to say to E.O.K.A., "We are not quislings, and we are not just discussing some way with the British of helping them to stay here for ever. We are trying to work out the next step on the way towards the exercise of full self-determinaton."
However helpful we want to be in the suggestions which we put forward from this side of the House, we should not be fulfilling our Parliamentary duties if we did not make it absolutely clear how seriously 421 we believe the Government have been at fault in their handling of the situation in Cyprus since the House rose. I am sure that all our hearts were lifted when we read of the E.O.K.A. truce offer. Whatever we thought of E.O.K.A, at least there was some break in the clouds. The people of Cyprus felt so, too. We read how they came out dancing in the streets with delight.
What happened? The first thing that happened from the Government was that the Prime Minister sent a very stiff, formal note of congratulation to the troops. It is right that the troops should be congratulated. We should commiserate with them for having to be there at all. But surely the one gesture which was made was a most inadequate and ill-judged response to the offer.
After a week, we had the Governor's answer—the surrender terms. The Governor is doing a terribly difficult job, but I must ask, what sort of advice can he get? Who are the people around Sir John Harding who made him think that there would be any response at all to his surrender terms and to the 120,000 leaflets treating the offer of a truce as if it were a complete surrender by a defeated enemy? Is there nobody in Government House who could have anticipated that the answer would be given in the terminology of the battles of ancient Greece? Is there nobody in Government House who understands something of the national pride of these people and who could tell Sir John, if he does not know it for himself, that those terms were so humbling that no one could be expected to accept them without completely losing face? Surely that is a very elementary piece of understanding of the people with whom we are dealing which is obviously and abysmally lacking in so much that is going on in that island today.
No one surrendered, and one of two things can be said of the authorities in Cyprus : either they must have known that those terms were impossible and that nobody would surrender, or they were so completely ill-informed that the sooner drastic changes are made there, the better.
The Colonial Secretary told us—and he has access to information which is denied to the rest of us—that he has information which shows that this truce offer was a bit of a trick and that E.O.K.A. was in a 422 desperately difficult situation, beaten almost to its knees and trying to gain time. I would put to him as a matter of tactics—this is not my job and it is a subject about which I know nothing—that it might have been better, even thinking that it was a trick, if some generous response had been made to that offer, so that if later it were disavowed by E.O.K.A., and violence started again, E.O.K.A. would have been condemned before the conscience of the world, instead of the present situation in which we in the House are condemned—because we must share our Parliamentary responsibility for what is happening in Cyprus.
Not only were those terms completely unacceptable, but the stilted language in which they were put and the delay in announcing them shows a complete failure to grasp what was essentially a dramatic situation. What should have been a situation of great hope and light after darkness has been allowed to deteriorate. All we could offer was the ungenerous, bureaucratic statement of surrender terms. There may be some hon. Members who think it generous to offer the hospitality of Greece to terrorists who surrendered, but let us look at the terms. It was only if the Greek Government agreed to accept the individual that he could go to Greece. How was a man to know, when he surrendered, whether he would be able to go to Greece or not? What would happen to him if he surrendered and then was not able to go to Greece?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Since the whole purpose of his murderous activities has been to be united with Greece, is it wrong that he should be given the chance to go there without anything being done whatever about offences which he may have committed?
§ Mrs. Jeger
Surely, that again shows the complete failure of imagination, and it is a failure of imagination which, as I think Matthew Arnold said, is the one supreme failure. To go to Greece—these men think that they are in Greece. When will the Government realise that it is because these people look upon Cyprus as Greece that the whole of this movement has grown as it has done? What does the right hon. Gentleman mean by "go home to Greece "? He may as well 423 tell the people of the Isle of Wight to go home to England.
Surely he knows that he is dealing primarily with a peasant population whose roots are deep in the soil which their forefathers have tilled for generations, whose roots—he must get bored, I am sure, with historical allusions—go back to before the days of Homer. My right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South made the point, I should have thought beyond any doubt, that Cyprus has always been Greek. When the Secretary of State talks about "going home to Greece "I feel such a depression, because it makes me feel that we are back at the beginning again, and that the Government have learned less than nothing from all these weary months of bloodshed and humiliation.
What are we going to do now? I submit that at the same time as Lord Radcliffe is working on his constitution it is useless to have from Government House a continuation of the present policy of repression ; that we must somehow make a new appeal to the Cypriot people which will help them to get out of this straitjacket of violence and counter-violence. And if it means, as I think it does, consultations with Archbishop Makarios, then, however difficult that may seem to the right hon. Gentleman, surely it is worth it.
We often have to do difficult things to achieve right purposes. I suggest to the Colonial Secretary that Archbishop Makarios should be brought to London. I suggest to him that by accompanying constitutional talks with an unequivocal offer—including a date for the full exercise of self-determination—he might then get some different response from leaders in Cyprus. I suggest that he should even let the trade union leaders and the mayors out of prison to come on this journey. After all, it would not be the first time that colonial leaders have had to be let out of prison in order to take part in constitutional talks. Only in that way, I think, shall we make any progress at all.
I finish with a word of my appreciation of the news that the schools are to be opened again. I hope, with the right hon. Gentleman, that full use will be made of these schools for their proper educational purpose. One of the tragedies 424 of these months has been that those boys and girls of Cyprus, on whom the future of the island must depend, have been running about getting no education at all. I should, however, like to put to him a supplementary question on the subject of schools and schooling.
When I visited the central gaol in Nicosia I found that there, with all the common criminals, were many secondary schoolboys of 16 and upwards—boys speaking very good English, and boys who should very soon be taking an active part, because there are not so many educated people in Cyprus. I have asked the right hon. Gentleman on previous occasions if something could not be done to get these boys out of prison. If they have sentences to run for stone throwing or whatever it may be, could not something be done to provide them with continuing education to try to separate them from the prison environment which is having such a bad effect on them?
I hope that it may be possible for the Minister of State to give some answer on that point, because if we do not have with us the coming generation in Cyprus the future is very black indeed, because even if they want their constitutional ways to part from ours, I am convinced that there is in Cyprus such a fundamental friendliness for the British people that there can still be time, though not very long, for that future to be saved.
§ 2.34 p.m.
§ Mr. Patrick Maitland (Lanark)
There are very many points made by the hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. L. Jeger) that one would like to take up in turn and by all means, in some cases, to support. I would join with her in deploring, as I have deplored before, a kind of congenital lack of imagination which seems to grip and paralyse some British people when confronted with what might be described as the Mediterannean temperament, or Hellenic heroics. I believe that the hon. Lady is on a good point when she talks about the need for an imaginative handling and understanding of the Greek national complex. In parenthesis it might be said, when the surrender terms are condemned, that one of the two English-speaking papers in Cyprus, which is owned by a Cypriot—the Cyprus Mail of 25th August—said that though they were 425 out of tune with the mood of the island none the less the surrender terms,…taken at face value, were generous enough.I was particularly interested in the hon Lady's comment that we cannot expect to find the founding fathers of a new order among frightened men. I was also interested in another of her points—when she recalled that during the war Cypriots were invited to enlist in the allied cause under the slogan, "Fight for Greece and Liberty." If I may take just those two points out of her speech, one sees the dilemma with which we are confronted.
Those of us who love and care for Greece, as many of us in this House do, those who have been privileged to know and love Greeks personally and who have intimate friendships with them, are always under the temptation to lose themselves in what I might call the sentiments of the situation and, perhaps, to lose sight of two prime considerations. The first is : what kind of a world do we want to have? The second is : what are the limitations of the present situation in Cyprus in that regard?
The hon. Lady said that this debate is really a continuation of the one we have had in the last two days. One cannot look at the Cyprus problem aside from the whole complex of the Middle East. That being so, I should like to recall the words spoken yesterday by the right hon. Member for Blyth (Mr. Robens), who concluded his opening speech for the Opposition with these words :…this is not merely a dispute about Suez. It is to decide the kind of world in which we want to live, the world of law and order, or the world of the jungle ; a world in which the sovereign rights of nations are respected and in which sovereign countries are conscious of their responsibilities and obligations to one another, a world in which the rule of law takes the place of force."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 13th September, 1956 ; Vol. 558, c. 183.]I should have been happy to have the chance to debate that single paragraph, because so long as we assume that sovereignty is a total end in itself we are blind to the fact that we have reached a stage in world affairs when national sovereignties must be merged. The moment we open our eyes to the fact that the world is contracting and that it is not a question of pushing a bit of territory from one place to another we are beginning to get to grips with the real purposes which should occupy us.
426 I have quoted the words of the right hon. Member for Blyth. By contrast with those words, which were platitudinous, I should like to allude to some words of the Prime Minister's which set a more precise, realistic, and also more visionary goal before us. Addressing The English-Speaking Union on 12th July last the Prime Minister said :Do we ourselves understand well enough what is the real achievement of our Commonwealth? It is in fact the only institution in the world today which has constantly added to the rôle of free and independent nations…We can, with justice, call our Commonwealth the most creative part of the free world…I believe that the Commonwealth is setting in all this an example to the world of the ideal relations between states, by methods of work in which interdependence is stressed as strongly as independence…If ever there comes about that world government for which idealists of all parties have striven so long, I predict that it will be based on the model of our own Commonwealth. Today it is the pioneer in good relations between nations.The point which we have got to get clear is that whether our ideal is something in the nature of an expanding Commonwealth, as I hope it is, or whether our ideal is something like a glorified League of Nations, certain essentials cannot be avoided, and I think those essentials are made quite clear in the United Nations Charter.
For in Articles 82 and 83 the United Nations Charter made provision for certain trust territories to be set aside as strategic areas. In other words, a world order, whatever it is, is even recognised by the United Nations as needing bases somewhere.
Indeed, in the Suez debates we have had in the last two days there has been no denial, surely, that there might at least be a situation in which force had to be used. There has been argument about where and how it should be used, and with what authority, but no argument that it might in fact ultimately need to be used. If that is the case, bases are inevitable. If that is the case, there must be in various parts of the world some limitation on the absolute, unrestricted, unfettered, eternal right of self-determination.
This point was recognised in the case of the Aäland Islands in 1922. Those islands are occupied by Swedish people and they were, in fact, transferred to Finland by the League of Nations. The point has been recognised in the 427 Austrian Treaty. Members on both sides of the House have recognised it in regard to Malta. I am not saying—and the Government do not say, as I understand—that there can never be self-determination for Cyprus. What I am saying, and what is plain, is that there must be bases of a sort, if we consider the needs of any kind of world order.
The hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South has raised the question why, in order to have a base in Cyprus, it is necessary to have full sovereignty over the island. But the answer is given by Greek and Cypriot sources themselves. It has been said in E.O.K.A, pamphlets that although a Greece which had achieved Enosis with Cyprus would readily grant bases to our country on lease, it would not consent to these bases being used against the Arabs. Athens Radio has said the same. As I understand, the Greek Foreign Minister has said very much the same, and unhappily Greece, a maritime nation, even dissociated herself from the London Conference the other day.
With our responsibilities towards Israel, could we accept a situation in which we were dependent on bases without the free use of them? I am only trying to make the point that in principle, bases and total sovereignty over them are essential to any world order.
§ Mrs. Jeger
What becomes of the American guarantee and the Tripartite Pact? If America feels that she can implement her obligations from Crete, does not that answer the hon. Gentleman's question?
§ Mr. Maitland
I think that is a valid point which, indeed, was taken up by my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, North (Mr. J. Amery) in our last debate on Cyprus, when he quoted mounting difficulties in North Africa. He referred to great difficulties in Crete. He referred to the American base in Dharan in Saudi Arabia. He referred also to Iceland, and there have been other cases as well. What seemed to look safe to the Americans eight years ago does not look so secure now.
I think, indeed, that the case for sovereignty over a base, or at least for some special kind of control over a base, is clear from those examples, but I am 428 trying to be brief and I know the hon. Lady will not complain if I pass to another point.
We are faced with a new situation produced by the sort of review copy of the Grivas diaries issued by the Colonial Secretary the other day. We have only had an excerpt and, having read it with great interest, it has whetted our appetites for more. But certain points seem to arise out of this material. First of all, Grivas no longer denies that he kept diaries. I agree that I was surprised that he should have kept them. I am amazed that a guerilla leader should go around writing letters to himself ; but he does not deny it any longer. He began by denying it, and E.O.K.A. sources denied it as well. A few days later they simply said that they would not bother to discuss it. The fact is that the diaries seem to have been written by a flamboyant character, and, on the face of it, I am bound to say that I accept what we are told as genuine.
But, if genuine, do the diaries not show a certain mood of E.O.K.A. defeatism? I think that the quotation given by my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary this afternoon to the effect, "We are only 100 men, and these are the men I have brought from Greece" is most revealing. I have heard from people with whom I am in touch in Cyprus stories about declining morale of the terrorists. Athens Radio within the week, and certainly since the first excerpt from the diaries was published, has shown some anxiety about the morale of E.O.K.A.
Indeed, if there were not other evidence of unstable morale among the terrorists, I should have thought that the response of the Cypriot people when the truce was announced had proved it. I am not as well acquainted with Cyprus as is the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South, but I try to keep in touch with my Greek and Cypriot friends. I have never had any doubt that while every Greek Cypriot speaker uses the word "Enosis" like we use the word "Amen" in Church, none the less the thought that they really want to be tied up with a drachma block is quite unrealistic. It is one thing to say, "We want somehow to feel Greek and to have freedom of movement," but it is another thing to say, "We want to be terrorised and we want our young men and women 429 shot down in the streets or at the altar to attain that end."
Indeed, one impressive feature of the whole E.O.K.A. operation is that more than half of its victims are Cypriots. When gunmen have to turn on their own people, that seems to me to answer the point made by an hon. Member opposite who asked, "Is E.O.K.A. a mass movement or not?" I do not think it can be. If it were a mass movement, the people would not have danced in the streets when the truce was announced. They would have said, "Let us get ready for the fight again ". If it were a mass movement, the people would only have been willing to dance on the day of victory, and not a minute before.
I believe the people in Cyprus want peace more, than Enosis but, as the hon. Lady asked, how can we find the founding fathers of a new order among frightened men? Of course we cannot. Until the terror of E.O.K.A. has been crushed I do not see any real prospect of serious constitutional discussions. I am not in any event a great believer in constitutional discussions in the present atmosphere of excitement. We have got to wait until the present situation has been calmed down so that it is possible for people to think in a wider and more realistic context.
What is this wider and more realistic context? I believe it would be possible in due course to turn Greek minds to the thought not simply of joining one island to another country against the wishes of a third, but to the thought of the merging of sovereignties in the Mediterranean. The point has been made more than once that if we can all combine—Greeks, Turks and ourselves—to play our cards imaginatively, intelligently and with restraint, the day might well come when those countries would seek to opt into some much more intimate association with ourselves and the Commonwealth through an interchange of citizenship. That idea was put forward in the London Conference just over a year ago, and was repeated by the then Foreign Secretary, now the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he spoke in the Cyprus debate before Christmas. This idea does hold the possibility of a solution, but only if people's minds can be turned, first of all, from violence, and then to thinking in quite a different, and mid-twentieth- 430 century, context about sovereignty. We always come back to the question of what to do about violence.
The hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South was on a very good point when she asked whether the terms of reference of the Radcliffe Commission are to be such as to elicit some support and some interest among those who have been hitherto mesmerised by the concept of self-determination. I think it is very dangerous for back benchers on the Government side, of the House to comment on the terms of reference, but as I listened to them when my right hon. Friend read them out I had just that point in mind. Personally, I am quite happy about them. I think there are features which could elicit and attract some self-respecting Enosis-committed Cypriots.
Of course, I was disappointed in reading the extracts from the Grivas diary to see how deeply committed Archbishop Makarios was to this course of violence. I personally had some belief in his moderating influence with E.O.K.A., but the diaries refute that, and because they refute it and because his own negotiations with my right hon. Friend broke down on the very point of giving gunmen liberty of action and liberty of circulation, there could be no useful parley with him, at any rate, until violence has been crushed.
I know only one way of crushing violence and that is by force. It has been done in Malaya and in Kenya, and we were not told that these were impossible bases to hold. On the contrary, we backed it up.
§ Mr. Maitland
I want to speak for only one more minute in order to give an hon. Gentleman on the opposite side a chance to take part in the debate.
I think we are back again at the single question : what kind of a world do we want? If we think in terms of two extremes, the Greek dream of Enosis or the British slogan "What we have we hold" and refuse to look for compromise in terms of merging sovereignty by an interchangeable citizenship ; unless we can bring the Greek Government, which is still running Athens Radio and pouring out filth and dirt, to come and look for a compromise, there is no hope. It is 431 not our side that refuses to compromise except on violence.
I hope that we go on and that on our side we shall proclaim and illumine the idea of a merging of sovereignties and at last, pray God, an expanding Commonwealth.
§ 2.54 p.m.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
On the last occasion on which I was so fortunate as to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, which was the 2nd August, I gave advice to the House which I may summarise in these words. I advised that we should knock Colonel Nasser's teeth through Colonel Nasser's moustache, and that we should make of this gentleman an example which would terrify our enemies and leave our friends in the Middle East to congratulate themselves on their foresight.
I wish utterly to withdraw what I said then, and to acknowledge that I was totally wrong. I was not wrong because I advised a policy which was beyond our means. It was, of course, within our means to do that. I was wrong because I advocated a policy which was beyond our will, and that is what we have to remember. It was beyond our will, and, therefore, the brave words of the 2nd August have only added to the utter humiliation of the unconditional surrender which we heard yesterday. That is the light in which we have to look at this problem.
We are talking about a base in Cyprus to defend our interests in the Middle East. Yesterday, we gave them to Colonel Nasser. If we are not prepared to use our power—and what else is a base for, except power?—in the ideal circumstances in which land, sea and air are available to our hands, how do we use a base in Cyprus to hold our oil in the vastly more difficult circumstances? Yesterday's surrender has made this base argument utterly invalid, and here I am trying to rectify the mistake which I made last time.
Do let us have a policy which is within our will. We have lost the will to rule, and there is no object in going on trying it. I have advocated, as some of my hon. Friends and certainly the Minister know, a means of stopping E.O.K.A. I discussed it with him, with Sir John Harding and with my friends. The one 432 criticism of that proposal which has never been advanced is that it would not work. Everybody admits that it would work, but we have not got the will to apply it.
What is the point, then, in going on when we know very well that we have not the will to rule? We but add to the humiliation of our surrender. Is there anybody on either side of this House who does not know in his heart that, as this violence mounts, and it is mounting and it is going on mounting, we are going to surrender? Why go on adding to our humiliation? After seeing the Prime Minister yesterday, do we doubt this? The Prime Minister is not a piece of wood painted to resemble iron. There is no disguise or camouflage about the Prime Minister. He is the original banana man, yellow outside and a softer yellow inside. We cannot be deceived about this, so why pursue a policy which can but add to our humiliation?
The question is not whether we surrender. We are going to surrender. The question is to whom do we surrender, and it is on this point that I differ from my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker). I would ask the House to draw the logical and proper policy of pacifism, and that is for the weaker will to surrender to the stronger. When one does surrender, one surrenders to the stronger will. The stronger will here is Turkey. If we hand over these people to Greece, it means a war, and Turkey does not mind about the opinion of America or the opinion of the United Nations. She will have no difficulty in dealing with E.O.K.A.
If we go from Cyprus, the Turks will come in. Let us, at least, save a war and hand Cyprus back to the people from whom we received it. It would be the logical thing to do, and a policy which is in conformity with the pacifism we have acquired, for it would at least save one war, which I think is an asset.
§ 2.59 p.m.
§ Mr. Aneurin Bevan (Ebbw Vale)
My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) shares the same misapprehensions which exist on the other side of the House. He really must grow up. This is the twentieth century ; indeed, it is the second half of the twentieth century.
433 As I see it, the outstanding fact about the international situation which produces these anxieties and which, at the same time, gives rise to hope is that the extension of universal education and the adoption of complicated industrial techniques in modern society make it inevitable that government is possible only with the co-operation of ordinary men and women. We are not now in the position of being able to compel people to do our will by the application of simple physical force. Physical force can make people perform simple tasks ; it cannot enable people to think. This is exactly what is happening in North Africa and in all our Colonies. The participation of ordinary men and women in the complicated tasks of modern civilisation makes cooperation absolutely essential and relegates the old conception of force, of terror, and of rule to the limbo.
§ Mr. Bevan
I am sorry ; I cannot give way. I offered to share an hour with the Minister, and I know very well that I shall be interrupted. I really must not yield to the temptation of having to pay compensation for my own provocation.
This fact to which I have referred gives rise to the difficulties of the modern world but also, of course—if only hon. Members would try to see it—it is the basis of hope. Just as it is impossible for us to compel men and women who love freedom and who are inheriting this new modern society to bend themselves to our will, so, eventually, will the same process make dictatorships impossible all over the world.
It is this process which is going on inside the Soviet Union. The changes which are taking place in Russian society, which are changes brought about by the spread of industrial techniques in Russia, compel the Russian rulers more and more to share their rule with the Russian people.
Is it not obvious that that is exactly what has been happening? Hon. Members have only to think a little more deeply to realise it. If the doctors who were accused of poisoning their most illustrious patient had been accused of that in 1932, they would have been executed out of hand ; but a new Russian society had come into existence, 434 there were doctors all over the place, and professional demoralisation would have occurred if the heads of the profession had been executed summarily by the Government.
Exactly the same thing is happening in Cyprus now. I know I am drawing a wide analogy, but it is nevertheless an analogy which holds, in varying degrees, all over the world. This is the whole point. It is the reason why I am a profound believer in political democracy. I believe democracy to be the only political institution which corresponds with the requirements of modern society.
What has the right hon. Gentleman told us today? It is an unfortunate fact that poor little Cyprus is always the victim of Suez. This most unfortunate history started as a consequence of the morbid psychology of the Conservative Party. They have got so many strains and stresses that they no longer—[Laughter.] It is not a leader the party wants ; it is a psychiatrist. The fact is that when the party opposite found itself compelled, so it thought, to withdraw troops from the Canal Zone, to try to keep the balance, to try to buy off the backwoodsmen, it gave us, the following day, the "Never, never" about Cyprus.
§ Mr. Bevan
Yes, the same day. Now, after the humiliation and climb-down of yesterday, up gets the hero of today, trying to fit himself to lead the harassed battalions behind him. What did the right hon. Gentleman say today? I have accused him of having a new policy about Cyprus every time he makes a speech. He has given a new one today. Let hon. Members follow it for a moment to see where the Government are taking the nation.
In March this year, there was a very great deal of agreement between Archbishop Makarios and Sir John Harding about the future of Cyprus. In fact, the nearer we come to reaching agreement in Cyprus, the more axious the Government appear to be to avoid it. We are really wondering whether they want to settle it or whether they want to continue the crisis.
I cannot refer to Sir John Harding and criticise him, because he is an instrument of the Government. Therefore, I must refer to what Sir John Harding has said 435 and done as though it has been said and done by the Government—although, of course, the Government did take the exceptional course of getting Sir John Harding to address us.
The Government have said that E.O.K.A. is on the way out. They have said that the truce which occurred on the island, called by Grivas, was a result of their weakness and not of their strength and that they needed time to reorganise, to rearm and to regroup. That was the statement in the broadcast speech by Sir John Harding on behalf of the Government.
Now we are told that the future prospects of peace on the island of Cyprus are so much worse than they were that internal security must be permanently denied to the Cyprus Government. In March this year, it was one of the conditions of the constitution that the extension of internal security to the new Government of Cyprus would be in the hands of the Governor to give it away as the circumstances commended themselves to him.
Today, however, the situation apparently has deteriorated so much that internal security is denied to the new constitution, as is shown by the terms of reference of the right hon. Gentleman. He cannot have it both ways. He cannot have it that the situation is improving as a result of his policy and then admit that it has deteriorated so badly that a concession which was wise in March is not wise in September. Which way does the right hon. Gentleman want it?
The Secretary of State made that statement today and as far as we can see, if that concession is withdrawn it is difficult to understand how Lord Radcliffe will be able to draft a constitution which will commend itself to the people of Cyprus. The fact is that the right hon. Gentleman is making Lord Radcliffe's task impossible. He is undermining his authority all the time. Therefore, it would seem that the right hon. Gentleman has brought about a sharp deterioration in the position.
Furthermore, it is difficult at this stage to see how it is possible for Lord Radcliffe to be able to meet any representatives of Cypriot opinion.
436 I do not know Archbishop Makarios. I have never met him. I do not know what kind of man he is. If we speak about Archbishop Makarios we speak about him merely because he appears to be the most representative Cypriot with whom we could negotiate and who could make a settlement of the problem. If he were not there, some other representative person would take his place.
If we are to reach a settlement, we have to do it with people who can deliver a settlement. It is no use quarrelling about the fact that Archbishop Makarios has been behaving in a way which we find reprehensible. The fact is that so long as he is the most representative Cypriot, and so long as we want a settlement of the problem of Cyprus, we must deal with Archbishop Makarios. It is no use quarrelling with him in that respect.
I do hope we are not going to hear from the right hon. Gentleman long extracts from the Grivas diary. [HON. MEMBERS : "Why?"] I will explain at once before we go any further with the matter. Because I do not believe that this House is a competent tribunal to weigh evidence of that sort. If the authenticity of the diaries or their significance is to be weighed, the only fit body to do that is a court of law. We are political representatives. We are not entitled to put our political opponents on trial and sentence them. We have always believed that that should be entrusted to the judiciary. Therefore, it seems to me a complete travesty of the ordinary principles of justice that we should try to settle the matter here ourselves today.
However, I should like to point out to hon. and right hon. Members opposite where they are getting the reputation of this country. They take a man by physical violence, put him in an aeroplane, carry him to an island, and render him incommunicado. They do not bring him to trial ; they do not allow him to defend himself ; they do not allow him to have friends. The right hon. Gentleman, just before the Recess, even said that he would not permit any hon. Member of the House to have access to him. Having bound Archbishop Makarios hand and foot, making no specific charges at all, the right hon. Gentleman then holds a Press conference and traduces him, giving him no chance at all to 437 speak in his own behalf. That is Fascism. There is no other definition for it. It is completely opposed to all the decent instincts of the British people.
§ Major H. Legge- Bourke (Isle of Ely)
Before the right hon. Gentleman makes any further accusations of the kind he has just made, will he bear in mind that it is possible that Makarios himself did not exactly have very much regard for the feelings or the well-being of the British troops?
§ Mr. Bevan
That interruption is a complete justification of my not giving way, is it not?
I say again that there is no other word to describe procedure of that sort. I ask hon. and right hon. Members opposite, if that is the kind of conduct that they consider the Government should pursue, what complaint have they against anybody's using violence against them? Because what is left? If they take a citizen forcibly and imprison him and deny him a trial and render him completely silent and then abuse him, what, I would ask hon. and right hon. Members opposite, in the whole roll of history, has an individual been able to do but use violence against a tyrant of that kind?
The excuse of the right hon. Gentleman would probably be that he cannot bring Archbishop Makarios to trial for security reasons. Every tyrant hides behind that. That is an easy one. We have to accept it in time of war. Now, apparently, we have to accept it in time of peace. The right hon. Gentleman does the same thing with people on the island. He puts them in prison. He has kept men there now for over a year without trial, and there appears to be no hope of them being let out.
What moral answer has the right hon. Gentleman got, in terms of any principle that I know of, to people who use force against him in circumstances of that kind? He has reduced the individual to the position where there is only one way of securing his rights, and that is by violence.
§ Mr. Foster
Is the right hon. Gentleman suggesting that these diaries should have been suppressed and not published?
§ Mr. Bevan
No, I made it perfectly clear. I said that if there is evidence that Archbishop Makarios has committed a crime then we should bring him at once before a court of law. What we are not entitled to do is to keep on abusing him and denying him the most elementary access to justice. That is why I say that this is a procedure which no decent person should try to defend. I think that the Government have no defence there at all.
There is another matter which I want to raise, because I consider it to be of considerable importance. It has always been a principle of the British Constitution that State funds should not be used for party propaganda. If, however, right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to vary the principle it will be very useful for us because, as a general rule, they have more money than we have, and so we would be able to extract money from them to conduct our political propaganda.
I have here in my hands a document entitled, "Why we are in Cyprus" issued by the Government. I have been reading it and I find it interesting, but I cannot see how it can be justified. It goes far beyond the necessities of the case. The Government argue their case as if they are arguing it in the House of Commons. It may be said by them that they need to do this to maintain the morale of British Service men in the island, but this conflict undermines their morale. This might have been written by Captain Marryat or Seaton Merriman.
There is nothing that undermines more the morale of the British Service man than to have a stupid pamphlet of this kind put in his hands, which persuades him that he is the servant of a Government which thinks like this. If we send people abroad in the execution of a policy of the Government, we want to make the policy look as intelligent as possible, though I admit that it is difficult in this case. What have we here? The pamphlet states that Turkey—…trusts the stability and loyalty of Great Britain as an ally and is happy to have her in Cyprus. She is doubtful of the stability of Greece, suspicious of her panhellenic ambitions, and is strongly opposed to letting Greece, which she fears may be a potentially 439 neutralist or even Communist country, take over an island only 40 miles from the south coast of Turkey and in a position to dominate the ports of Mersin and Iskenderun. Turkey has not yet forgotten Greek efforts, starting in the 19th century, to recreate the Byzantine Empire and to gain possession of the old Byzantine capital of Constantinople.I believe that it has been written by the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill). It is very much like his history.
In the next page we are told :Other reasons apart, there are, in fact, solid economic reasons for Cypriots to remain in the British Commonwealth rather than be annexed by Greece. Greece is neither a rich nor a stable country.This is the country which is to re-establish the old Byzantine Empire. Why should we undermine the morale of our people with a document like that? We have not only behaved unconstitutionally, but stupidly. If you are to spend money unlawfully, try to spend it intelligently. It is a monstrous piece of work.
This document also gives another piece of information which, of course, completely supports what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. L. Jeger) and which was contradicted by the right hon. Gentleman. My hon. Friend said that the reason why we want to stay in Cyprus and not make it a N.A.T.O. base is because what we want is activated by our own purposes, which are not necessarily the purposes of N.A.T.O. That was denied. Well, listen to this. I suppose the right hon. Gentleman is responsible for this. I hope he is not, because it is not good enough, even for him. It says here :The next reason is that we have in the Middle East a number of important special obligations apart from our general N.A.T.O. obligations.
§ Mr. Bevan
But the right hon. Gentleman has just denied that.
Let hon. Members face this ; that we have said, and Greece has said, that Greece is quite prepared to facilitate a N.A.T.O. base on the island. We could have it at any time we like and, so far as we can gather, for as long as we like. It has also been said by Archbishop Makarios that the Cypriots are prepared to agree to anything which may be necessary 440 to secure the security of the base. So that, so far as we are concerned, so far as concerns all our obligations, all our international obligations under the Charter, all our obligations under N.A.T.O. could be satisfied by a base on the island of Cyprus with the agreement of the Cypriots and of Greece.
§ Mr. Bevan
When we talk about the Tripartite Agreement, we are discussing an act of aggression and the Charter is invoked, and we are in the position of invoking it at once, and N.A.T.O. and the United States and France would be immediately involved in a tripartite undertaking.
The whole point is that yesterday right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite found that it was not possible to "go it alone." Now they are insisting upon maintaining this situation in Cyprus in order to have a chance of doing what they could not do yesterday—" go it alone." If anybody is suggesting that, if we made an arrangement of that sort, we should have to meet with the active, armed hostility of Turkey, what are they saying when they say that? They are saying that the structure of N.A.T.O. is so flimsy, is such a ramshackle affair, and is so liable to fall apart at any moment, that even with a base on Cyprus, held by the United States and Great Britain, we would not be able to prevent Turkey from attacking it.
What a statement. Do hon. Gentlemen on the Government benches sincerely believe that Turkey would conduct an armed attack on the island of Cyprus, with Britain, the United States and other allied nations in possession of a base on the island? I have never heard such juvenile rubbish in all my life. Yet we have emphasised all the time, and we would wish that Government supporters would give their minds to it, that it is possible for us to obtain all we need from Cyprus with the consent of the Cyprus people.
I must make a further point. When I spoke on Cyprus last in the House of Commons I said that I utterly repudiated what was being done on the island and that the right hon. Gentleman had all along sheltered behind the terror as an excuse for making no progress in constitutional development. I said that if 441 E.O.K.A. and the leaders of Enosis were sufficiently sagacious they would desist from further acts of violence so as to give the Government an opportunity of making such progress. I said that it would strip the Governmentstark naked of any further excuse for not proceeding."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 19th July, 1956; Vol. 556, c. 1512.]I am not suggesting for a moment, and it would be immodest for me to do so, that the decision to call a truce followed directly upon the debate. That does not matter ; we had the truce. All terror ceased. That was evidence of the highly organised character of E.O.K.A. We are told by those who were witnesses on the spot that the political and social climate was transformed overnight. Our young men fraternised with the civilian population, there was dancing in the streets, and general hilarity and festivity that the terror had stopped, and there appeared to be a chance that we might come to some agreement.
What did the Government do? The most unimaginative action that has ever been known. Suppose it were true, as Sir John Harding said in his broadcast, that E.O.K.A. was on its last legs ; that was all the more reason for making the utmost concession to it, because it would be only too anxious to save its face if it were so weak. It was the very condition in which we should be generous and imaginative. Instead of that we had a broadcast which was a boast, a schoolboy boast, "Ah, we've got them on the run. They're being beaten now. They want time to reform. Let's go ahead now. Surrender. Deliver up your arms. Come along to me in Nicosia and I will put you in jail." That is what the broadcast said, in those terms. It said," Either take the chance of going to Greece or we will undertake to put you in jail and keep you there as long as we like."
§ Mr. Bevan
Yes, "as long as you surrender your arms and rely on us."
If I were a Cypriot and I was asked to rely upon that, I would not rely upon it. I would say at once that these were humiliating conditions which represented the bankruptcy of statesmanship. They threw away a state of affairs which had 442 been created for the Government and of which they could easily have taken advantage to get a settlement on the island.
It really is time that Government supporters began to adjust themselves to the facts of life. It really is time that they began to realise that this kind of schizophrenic situation they have got themselves into ought to be altered. They really must make up their minds whether they are going to enter into the spirit of the twentieth century or try to bludgeon their way out. They cannot bludgeon their way out all the time ; they must come to agreements.
I would suggest that there is nothing dishonourable or weak or humiliating in getting Archbishop Makarios to London—nothing at all. If hon. Members read their history they will see, as was pointed out by my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker), in a most remarkable speech this morning, that this has happened before. It has been done before but we have had statesmen in office and not men who are always whistling to keep their spirits up and trying to prove that the lion can still roar even if he cannot bite.
It really is time we got an entire change of attitude and I beg right hon. and hon. Members opposite to realise that. In this matter we have not caused unnecessary difficulty for the Government. [HON. MEMBERS : "Oh."] No, we have not. I have just been pointing to an instance where we tried—whether we were responsible at all I do not know—to create a more favourable social and political climate on the island, but they have thrown it away. I must say that if further British lives are lost in Cyprus the Government will share responsibility with those who are the assassins.
§ Captain Charles Waterhouse (Leicester, South-East)
The right hon. Member ought to be ashamed of himself.
§ Mr. Bevan
It is the duty of any Government to assemble the circumstances which enable our soldiers to do their task without unnecessary risks. I say without equivocation that there is every evidence that the Government have failed to do that but it would have been possible for British soldiers on the Island of Cyprus to live amicably with the people of Cyprus if we had had any 443 sagacity on the benches opposite. Therefore, so far as we are concerned, as a consequence of what the right hon. Gentleman has said today and as a consequence of the policy that has been pursued throughout, we are bound to divide the House.
§ 3.33 p.m.
§ The Minister of State for Colonial Affairs (Mr. John Hare)
We have listened to yet one more of the eloquent speeches of the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) that we have come to expect of him, but I am afraid that once more as he sat down I was left with the sad regret that his wisdom really does not match his rhetoric. I am always interested to see the right hon. Member at the Dispatch Box because he tries to indicate that he is the supreme owner of knowledge of the facts of life and none of us knows anything at all. [HON. MEMBERS : "Hear, hear."] There are certain times when members of his party would agree with us that he is quite wrong in that belief.
This is the fourth debate that we have had on Cyprus since 14th March this year—four debates in eight months. I think that shows the vast importance that this House of Commons places on the problems of Cyprus. The first remark that I would make about this debate is that unfortunately it has shown, perhaps more clearly than any other, the strong division of opinion between most of the Opposition and Her Majesty's Government as to how the Cyprus problem should be solved. That has been made abundantly clear. I personally deeply regret that because I have always passionately believed that on colonial affairs there should, if possible, be an all-party approach to problems. I am not for one moment doubting the sincerity of the views of hon. Gentlemen opposite. I believe that in their hearts, although they cannot agree on this occasion, they would not disagree with what I have said.
I think that when the story of Cyprus is written it will be interesting to know how far it was affected by the fact that from 1945 to 1951 no move was made by the present Opposition to consider the applications for self-determination which were presented to them. I have also wondered whether or not, if they had been in power during these last five years, they would have done very differently 444 from us ; but that, of course, is a matter on which we can never be certain.
The second point which emerges out of this debate is that the Opposition, for the first time, I believe, have faced the fact that Archbishop Makarios is definitely associated with the terrorist movement. I think that most hon. and right hon. Members opposite genuinely believed, up to the publication of the Grivas diaries, that Archbishop Makarios was a man of moderation and was someone who could be relied upon to use his influence to effect a reasonable peace settlement in Cyprus.
I have been most interested that no one has seriously attempted to deny the genuineness of the Grivas diaries or the documents which have been quoted. The fact that my right hon. Friend so soundly and thoroughly gave the reasons why there could be no doubt as to their authenticity is probably the reason why hon. Members opposite, much as they may regret it, have agreed that what we have said about them is true. [HON. MEMBERS : "No."] That is my impression, otherwise I should have thought that that was a matter which would have been raised very prominently in this debate.
As I have said, many hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite based their hope on Archbishop Makarios as a negotiator because they thought that he was a moderate man.
§ Mr. Hare
The hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) quite genuinely has expressed that view. On 19th July he said :We are looking round and wondering where those moderate elements are now. Indeed, there is no more moderate element than the Archbishop of Cyprus himself. Instead of trying to build him up into a bogy man. the Government ought to be thankful that they had there a nationalist leader with whom it would be so easy to co-operate and with whom one could get such effective results in the future."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 19th July, 1956; Vol. 556, c. 1440.]I know that the hon. Gentleman believes that. On the other hand, I know that these diaries are true.
§ Mr. F. Noel-Baker
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that nothing in those diaries adds one ounce to the accusations made months ago by the 445 Secretary of State? How much longer do the Government Front Bench intend to pour out accusations and vilification against Archbishop Makarios without giving him any opportunity of replying to them?
§ Mr. Hare
I am grateful to the hon. Member for his intervention. The point that I was trying to make is that I entirely supported, and many of my hon. Friends supported, what my right hon. Friend said—that there was every reason to believe that the Archbishop was connected with the terrorist organisation. But none of the Opposition, certainly not the hon. Member for Swindon, believed that. I think that, on the publication of these diaries, any fair-minded, any sane person will agree that in fact the Archbishop was actively identified with the leadership of that movement.
I believe that the captured documents have dotted the i's and crossed the t's of the accusations made against the Archbishop at the time of his deportation. They show for anyone, unless he is blind, what is the Archbishop's responsibility for all that has happened in Cyprus : the organiser of the arrival of Grivas in the island ; the close coordinator of the training of the terrorist organisation ; the man who paid the bills for the organisation, having raised the money for it ; the man who decided the date on which operations would start and thus pulled the lever which plunged the terrorist machine into action ; the leader able to send instructions to Athens Radio to raise the pitch of its recriminations and incitements to violence if he felt that the tune was not being sung loud enough. [HON. MEMBERS : "Why not bring him to trial? "] The Archbishop played all these parts. Surely no one should seriously think—although repeated speeches from the Opposition appear to have suggested it—that Her Majesty's Government should make a new approach to the Archbishop.
I have been asked whether he will be brought to trial. The Cyprus authorities have considered this matter, and their conclusion, with which my right hon. Friend agrees, is that it would not be in the public interest to do so. [HON. MEMBERS : "Oh."] His removal from the island has prevented his undoubted capabilities from doing further damage 446 to the peace of his homeland. There can be no question of his return there in any capacity until conditions have been created which may make it unlikely that he could again become a serious danger to the security of the State.
The right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker)—and here may I add my tribute to the eloquence and vigour of his speech—
§ Mr. Hare
I cannot promise that.
The right hon. Gentleman asked us to look at a cartoon which showed that the Tory blimps were the only people who could not see that the Archbishop should be brought back. I should like to quote from a newspaper which certainly could not be called a Tory newspaper. It embraces the whole Christian world, and is called the Christian World. In its issue of 30th August, it admitted that in its previous number it had suggested that the Archbishop should be brought back, but in this article of 30th August, it said :Makarios was engaged in serious negotiations with the British Government to find a way of giving Cyprus self-government in an extremely complicated situation.It goes on :There was always hope of a peaceful and agreed settlement of the whole question of Cyprus. Yet while discussing these matters over the conference table, the Archbishop was secretly planning acts of violence and murder against the nationals of the Power which was treating him with respect and courtesy as a recognised plenipotentiary.It goes on further to say :No excuse is possible for this utterly uncivilised and wicked behaviour. Archbishop Makarios can no longer be regarded as a possible negotiator on the Cypriot side. The question has been raised as to whether the Archbishop should be brought to trial for his active participation in the activities of E.O.K.A. This is a comparatively small matter. It is enough for the present that this misguided ecclesiastic is under lock and key. But the Cypriot people have a duty—a duty to themselves—to find a negotiator who is not. like the Archbishop, unrepentantly guilty of treacherous bloodshed.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
Order. First, can I appeal to the House to conduct this debate with the seriousness that the occasion deserves? Secondly, the hon. 447 and learned Member must not intervene unless the right hon. Gentleman in possession of the House gives way.
§ Mr. Hughes
On a point of order. I agree that the debate should be conducted in the way in which debates are normally conducted. I wish to conduct it in that way, and merely ask the right hon. Gentleman—
§ Mr. Hare
If the Archbishop chooses to renounce violence, then, as has been said repeatedly before, a new situation would arise, but I do want the House to realise that, in view of his record, one cannot feel optimistic about his ability or desire to help in restoring peace in Cyprus. Meanwhile, I would suggest that we leave the Archbishop to his own conscience. He has much on which to ponder.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. It is quite out of order for an hon. Member to continue standing if the Minister does not give way.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Perhaps I could just ask this, Mr. Speaker. The Minister has indicated that the evidence of the diaries simply dots the i's and crosses the t's of what was already suspected by the Government at the time of the negotiations. If that is so, does it not reveal a situation of unmitigated humbug on the part of the Government, not only towards the Archbishop but, incidentally, towards me?
§ Mr. Hare
I think that it was our duty to negotiate with the Archbishop as long as there was any hope that he would come to some reasonable agreement.
Next, I should like to touch on Lord Radcliffe's visit. Various hon. Members have expressed doubts about the purpose of Lord Radcliffe's next visit. They have said "Who will talk with him? Nobody will. He will be wasting his time." The House will be interested to know that Lord Radcliffe most certainly does not share that view. In recent talks that he has had with my right hon. Friend and myself he has said that his forthcoming visit which, I hope, will take place before the end of this month, will be most useful to him.
448 The first time he went to Cyprus he wanted to look around and form a general impression. Now his work has begun, and his ideas are beginning to take shape. He would, therefore, like to check up on those first impressions before building further on them. In particular, he wants to learn more about the educational system, about the budgetary and financial systems, and various other matters. These will involve him in discussions with the Governor and the Administration. He is not going to Cyprus to negotiate with anybody. We cannot, I am afraid, hope to shape a constitution for Cyprus at a round table conference. E.O.K.A. terrorism prevents that from happening.
The first practical contribution to get things forward is for the Government to publish the constitutional scheme which they would be prepared to put into being once law and order is restored, and of course there will be ample opportunity for this House to express its views on that constitution when it is published. People in Cyprus can then think over those constitutional proposals, and I believe that the vast majority of them will be able to appreciate how much could be done for them if only peaceful conditions could be restored.
I am not saying for one moment that that would preclude people from going to see Lord Radcliffe and making their views known to him. Indeed, during his last visit a number of people did so, and he would welcome a continuation of such interviews. At this time perhaps they would be even more useful in that people will know the terms of reference under which he is working.
I was asked a number of points. My hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, South (Sir H. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid) was most interested in what could be done to get on with the job of soil reclamation and stop the present wastage and erosion of land in Cyprus. I am glad to be able to tell him that a good deal is being done. For example, the Cyprus Government are going ahead with a pilot scheme to reclaim land in Morphou Bay marsh. Also there is a scheme for reclaiming a disused reservoir in the Famagusta area.
The hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West (Mr. Popplewell) felt that if only more could be done to improve the 449 economic circumstances of the island there would be a far greater chance of a peaceful solution, and he rather indicated that we should feel some shame that Cyprus had been neglected for so long. I would tell him, as he probably knows from his visit, that there are a whole number of schemes—social insurance schemes, schemes for building schools, hospitals etc., which are being undertaken.
The hon. Member ought to be fair in his criticism. If he looks at any of the other islands in that part of the Mediterranean, if he goes to Rhodes or to the Dodecanese Islands, he will find that even without these new schemes there is a considerably higher standard of living and prosperity in Cyprus than there is in any of these neighbouring islands.
I should like to sum up. I cannot agree with the views of those who try to show that brutal murderers are patriots. To commit the sort of crimes that are constantly committed in Cyprus is nothing less than savage murder—the crime of a young fellow countryman being taken by a couple of thugs from his bed and shot in front of his wife ; or the shooting of a man in hospital by his own fellow countrymen when he has gone to see his new-born baby. For a small group of men to intimidate vast numbers of their compatriots and prevent them from ever saying what is in their minds also seems, to my way of thinking, to fail completely
§ to create an atmosphere in which political advancement can be achieved.
§ Therefore, E.O.K.A. must be destroyed. E.O.K.A. will be destroyed, despite the doubts which the right hon. Gentleman places on our ability or our will to rule. At the same time, we shall press ahead with the preparation of this new constitution. I am quite certain that the House has also listened to what my right hon. Friend reiterated about the principle of self-determination. That principle has been accepted by Her Majesty's Government, and it is only present conditions which are making it impossible for us to make any further progress in that direction. Much as right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite disapprove of our policy, we are convinced that we are pursuing the right methods in order to achieve a peaceful solution in Cyprus.
§ I am asking the House this afternoon to support the Government, and by doing so to pay a tribute to Sir John Harding and to his troops, his administrators and his police who are working under him. In spite of the criticisms that have been made of our policy, these people are tireless in their efforts, and their efforts are the same as ours, which are to bring back peace and happiness to the people of Cyprus.
§ Question put, That this House do now adjourn :—
§ The House divided : Ayes 243, Noes 308.453
|Division No. 281.]||AYES||[3.56 p.m.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Champion, A. J.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)|
|Albu, A. H.||Chapman, W. D.||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Chetwynd, G. R.||Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Clunle, J.||Fernyhough, E.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Coldrick, W.||Fienburgh, W.|
|Anderson, Frank||Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury)||Finch, H. J.|
|Awbery, s. s.||Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Fletcher, Eric|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Cove, W. G.||Forman, J. C.|
|Baird, J.||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)|
|Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Cronin, J. D.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.)||Crossman, R. H. S.||Gibson, C. W.|
|Benson, G.||Cullen, Mrs. A.||Gooch, E. G.|
|Beswick, F.||Daines, P.||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.|
|Bevan, Ht. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Greenwood, Anthony|
|Blackburn, F.||Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||Grey, C. F.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)|
|Boardman, H.||Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)|
|Bowden, H. w. (Leicester, S. W.)||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Grimond, J.|
|Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Delargy, H. J.||Hale, Leslie|
|Boyd, T. C.||Dodds, N. N.||Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)|
|Brookway, A. F.||Donnelly, D. L.||Hamilton. W. W.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||Hannan, W.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Dye, S.||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)|
|Burke, W. A.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hastings, S.|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Edelman, M.||Hayman, F. H.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||Healey, Denis|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Herbison, Miss M.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Hewitson, Capt. M.|
|Hobson, C. R.||Mellish, R. J.||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Holman, P.||Messer, Sir F.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Holmas, Horace||Mitchison, G. R.||Snow, J. W.|
|Houghton, Douglas||Monslow, W.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Moody, A. S.||Sparks, J. A,|
|Howell, Denis (All Saints)||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Steele, T.|
|Hubbard, T. F.||Mort, D. L.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Moss, R.||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich)|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Moyle, A.||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Mulley, F. W.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Hunter, A. E.||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. p. (Derby, S.)||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||O'Brien, Sir Thomas||Swingler, S. T.|
|Irving, S. (Dartford)||Oliver, G. H.||Sylvester, G. 0.|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Oram, A. E.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Janner, B.||Orbach, M.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Owen, W. J.||Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. Pncs. S.)||Padley, W. E.||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Thornton, E.|
|Johnson, James (Rugby)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Timmons, J.|
|Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Palmer, A. M. F.||Tomney, F.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield)||Parker, J.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Jones, David (The Hartlepools)||Parkin, B. T.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Paton, John||Usborne, H. C.|
|Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Pearson, A.||Viant, S. P.|
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Peart, T. F.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Plummer, Sir Leslie||Watkins, T. E.|
|Kenyon, C.||Popplewell, E.||Weitzman, D.|
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|King, Dr. H. M.||Probert, A. R.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Lawson, G. M.||Proctor, W. T.||West, D. G.|
|Lee, Frederick (Newcon)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Randall, H. E.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Rankin, John||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Lewis, Arthur||Redhead, E. C.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Lindgren, G. S.||Reeves, J.||Willey, Frederick|
|Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Reid, William||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)|
|MacColl, J. E.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|McGhee, H. G.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|McInnes, J.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|McKay, John (Wallsend)||Ross, William||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|McLeavy, Frank||Royle, C.||Wintertottom, Richard|
|MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Short, E. W.||Woof, R. E.|
|Mahon, Simon||Shurmer, P. L. E.||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Mann, Mrs. Jean||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Mason, Roy||Skeffington, A. M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES :|
|Mayhew, C. P.||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)||Mr. Rogers and Mr. Deer.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Brooman-White, R- C.||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)||du Cann, E. D. L.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.|
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Burden, F. F. A.||Duthie, W. S.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William||Butcher, Sir Herbert||Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David|
|Arbuthnot, John||Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Eden, Rt. Hn. SirA.(Warwick&L'm'tn)|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Campbell, Sir David||Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)|
|Atkins, H. E.||Carr, Robert||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Cary, Sir Robert||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Channon, H.||Errington, Sir Eric|
|Banks, Col. C.||Chichester-Clark, R.||Farey-Jones, F. W.|
|Barber, Anthony||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston||Fell, A.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Finlay, Graeme|
|Barter, John||Cole, Norman||Fisher, Nigel|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Cooper, A. E.||Fort, R.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Cooper-Key, E. M.||Foster, John|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Freeth, D. K.|
|Bidgood, J. C.||Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||George, J. C. (Pollok)|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. 0. E.||Gibson-Watt, D.|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Crouch, R. F.||Glover, D.|
|Black, C. W.||Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Godber, J, B.|
|Body, R. F.||Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan|
|Bossom, Sir Alfred||Cunningham, Knox|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Currie, G. B. H.||Gough, C. F. H.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Dance, J. C. G.||Gower, H. R.|
|Braine, B. R.||Davidson, Viscountess||Graham, Sir Fergus|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Grant, W. (Woodside)|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Deedes, W. F.||Green, A.|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Gresham Cooke, R.|
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Redmayne, M.|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Rees-Davies, w. R.|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Lloyd-George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G.||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Gurden, Harold||Longden, Gilbert||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W.||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Rippon, A. G. F.|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Robertson, Sir David|
|Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||McAdden, S. J.||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Harrison, col. J. H. (Eye)||McCallum, Major Sir Duncan||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry||Ropner, col. Sir Leonard|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Russell, R. S.|
|Hay, John||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.||Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Maclean, Fitzroy (Lancaster)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Sharples, R. C.|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain (Enfield, W.)||Shepherd, William|
|Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Soames, Capt. C.|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W.(Horncastle)||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Holland-Martin, c. J.||Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Speir, R. M.|
|Hope, Lord John||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Hornby, R. P.||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)|
|Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence||Marples, A. E.||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Marshall, Douglas||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Maude, Angus||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)|
|Howard, John (Test)||Maudling, Rt. Hon. R.||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Mawby, R. L.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.||Storey, S.|
|Hughes-Young, M. H. C.||Medlicott, Sir Frank||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Hulbert, Sir Norman||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Hurd, A. R.||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)||Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)|
|Hutchison, sir James (Scotstoun)||Moore, Sir Thomas||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Hyde, Montgomery||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.||Teeling, W.|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Nairn, D. L. S.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Neave, Airey||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Nicholls, Harmar||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)||Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Nugent, G. R. H,||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Joseph, Sir Keith||Nutting, Rt. Hon. Anthony||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot||Oakshott, H. D.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Kaberry, D.||O'Neill, Hn. phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Keegan, D.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Kerby, Capt. H. B.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Vickers, Miss J. H.|
|Kerr, H. W.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)||Vosper, D, F.|
|Kershaw, J. A.||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Kimball, M.||Osborne, C.||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Kirk, P. M.||Page, R. G.||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Lagden, G. w.||Partridge, E.||Wall, Major Patrick|
|Lambert, Hon. G.||Peyton, J. W, W.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Lambton, Viscount||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Langford-Holt, J. A.||Pitman, I. J.||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Leather, E. H. C.||Pitt, Miss E. M.||Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)|
|Leavey, J. A.||Pott, H. P.||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Leburn, W. G.||Powell, J. Enoch||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Legh, Hon. peter (Petersfield)||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. 0. L.||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Profumo, J. D.||Woollam, John Victor|
|Linstead, Sir H. N.||Raikes, Sir Victor||TELLERS FOR THE NOES :|
|Llewellyn, D. T.||Ramsden, J. E.||Mr. Galbraith and Mr. Bryan.|
|Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G.(Sutton Coldfield)||Rawlinson, Peter|