HC Deb 26 November 1957 vol 578 cc986-7
43. Mr. Langford-Holt

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies for how long Cyprus will have been without a Governor resident in the island when the newly-appointed Governor takes up his duties; and why this delay has occurred.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Sir Hugh Foot will arrive in Cyprus in a week's time, barely a month after Sir John Harding's departure. I have complete confidence in the Deputy Governor, who is now administering the Government, and cannot agree that there has been any undue delay.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Since these intervals between Governors may derive from a time when sea passage was the only means for a new Governor to reach his Colony, and derives also, perhaps, from the desirability of taking over after consultation in London, would my right hon. Friend look at the matter again with a view to reducing considerably these gaps? In fact, would not take-over be better effected in the Colony concerned?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Important as it is that Sir Hugh Foot should arrive at an early date in Cyprus, it is important also that we should have important talks in London. I cannot agree that a gap of one month between the departure of one Governor and the arrival of another, with a deputy Governor of such experience as we have in Mr. Sinclair, is in any way unwise.

Mr. Callaghan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that most disquieting reports are coming from Cyprus about the state of public feeling there, that this delay is leaving the Government leaderless at a time when a firm hand is needed and that we hold the Minister responsible for the failure of the Government, in this as in any other way, to start talks with the people of Cyprus in order to bring the state of tension to an end.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I must say, even at the risk of continuing controversy, that I wish the hon. Member had borne considerations of that sort more in mind when he and others lent themselves to their recent Brighton resolution.

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