HC Deb 17 June 1958 vol 589 cc866-7
57. Mr. F. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Greek Cypriots and how many Turkish Cypriots were in detention or under arrest in Cyprus for offences against public order on the most recent date for which figures are available.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. John Profumo)

On 14th June there were 542 Greek Cypriots detained under the Detention of Persons Law and 281 Greek Cypriots serving prison sentences for offences connected with the emergency. Two Greek Cypriots and 63 Turkish Cypriots were held under arrest pending policy inquiries into recent offences against public order.

Mr. Noel-Baker

While I appreciate that those figures are not very recent, may I ask whether the hon. Gentleman is aware that they may lend credence to the widespread view that Her Majesty's Government are prepared to tolerate acts from one section of the population in Cyprus against which they took the most ruthless measures when they were perpetrated by members of the majority?

Mr. Profumo

I very much regret what the hon. Gentleman has said, particularly at a moment such as this. There is no truth whatsoever in these accusations, and the figures of persons under arrest speak for themselves.