HC Deb 31 October 1957 vol 575 cc383-4
32. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will abolish the post of Administrative Secretary in the Cyprus Government.

Mr. Profumo

No, Sir.

Mr. Robinson

In view of the fact that this post arose directly out of the emergency, and also in view of the blatant party political sympathies shown by the present holder of the office, does not the Minister think it would assist the new Governor, and perhaps save him embarrassment, if the post were abolished?

Mr. Profumo

It will be for the new Governor to recommend whether he wishes the present organisation of the Civil Service in Cyprus and the establishment of posts to remain as they are now. That is the answer to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question. I must say, however, that I cannot accept the imputation against the present holder of that office. I answered two Questions last Tuesday on this subject and there is another one further down on the Order Paper today.

Mr. Callaghan

Further to that answer, has not this officer made comments of a derogatory nature upon speakers from this side of the House on this question? [Interruption.] Whether those comments are deserved or not, will not it make it very difficult for this officer to serve a future Labour Government if he has committed—[Laughter.] This is a very serious point which concerns not only this gentleman but many others. Will not it be extremely difficult for a civil servant—[HON. MEMBERS: "Threat."] No, it is not a threat, it is a statement of fact. Will not it be extremely difficult for any civil servant who expresses any views about any member of a political party to serve him conscientiously and faithfully in the future? How is this man to be protected from statements of this kind? May I ask the Under-Secretary if he undertook these statements on his own initiative or was he asked to do this by the Governor?

Mr. Profumo

There is another Question further down on the Paper and I wish to deal with the matter more fully when the time comes.

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