HC Deb 19 February 1958 vol 582 cc1198-9
21. Mrs. Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the results of his talks with the Greek and Turkish Governments on the future of Cyprus.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I would refer the hon. Lady to the statement which I made to the House yesterday afternoon.

Mrs. Jeger

Is the Minister aware that the statement he made yesterday was to the effect that no statement was yet ready? Is he aware that the House has been patient towards him almost to a fault in this matter and that, in the absence of a statement from him, the local Press in Cyprus is full of rumours about Turkish vetoes and the British Government's plan, which are having a most disturbing and exacerbating effect upon the island?

Mr. Lloyd

I quite agree that it is necessary for us to get on with this matter as quickly as possible, as I said yesterday, but I also said that I firmly believed that there was a possibility of reaching common ground, and I therefore hope that anybody with any influence will counsel a little further patience.

Mr. Bevan

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that on neither side of the House is there a desire to see an outbreak of violence in Cyprus, but in the meantime, while discussions are taking place, will he try to elicit statements from Ankara and Athens to the effect that both the Turkish and Greek Governments hope that conditions will be favourable on the island while these discussions are continuing?

Mr. Lloyd

I gladly acknowledge what the right hon. Gentleman has said about the wishes of this country, and both sides of the House. As to the position of the two Governments concerned, I did my best on that topic during my talks with them.