HC Deb 15 December 1958 vol 597 cc743-5
3. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement regarding the course and conclusion of the Cyprus debate at the United Nations.

9. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what decisions have now been reached by the United Nations Assembly on the subject of the situation in Cyprus.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Commander Allan Noble)

I have nothing to add to the Statement which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made to the House last Wednesday.

Mr. Donnelly

How do the British Government expect to make progress in Paris with the reintroduction of the issue of partition by the Colonial Secretary? Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman tell the House what explanation has been given by the British delegation in Paris to allay the Greek Government's fears?

Commander Noble

My right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary was merely repeating, as was stated in May, I957, that preliminary investigations were made as to whether partition was a practical possibility and into the problems involved.

Mr. Bevan

Is this not a singularly stupid moment to select to make a statement of that sort, in view of the fact that we hope that a conference will be held and that the conference will result in a settlement? Will not the Colonial Secretary take the earliest opportunity of repudiating the rumour which has got abroad to the effect that a plan for partition has been drawn up in the event of agreement not being reached?

Commander Noble

If the right hon. Gentleman will study the statement which was made in May, 1957, I think he will understand the position.

Mr. Bevan

Is it not desirable for a statement to be made now to allay Greek fears before the conference is held? Do the Government want a settlement at all in the matter?

Commander Noble

I am quite sure that the Greek Government will appreciate the statement which I have just made.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend make it plain that the Cyprus question is a very special case and that it is not the Government's intention to submit other matters affecting the internal affairs of British territories to the United Nations?

Commander Noble

Yes, most certainly. I think I made that clear in my speeches in the General Assembly.

Mr. Brockway

In view of the disastrous effect which the reported statement of the Secretary of State for the Colonies has had both in Cyprus and in Greece, will not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman. if he seriously desires a solution of this problem from a conference, go much further in repudiation than the statement which he has just made?

Commander Noble

I have nothing further to add at the moment. There is. a Question on the subject on the Order Paper later this week.

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