HC Deb 25 June 1958 vol 590 c397
8. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Minister of Defence what forces were stationed in Cyprus on 1st May; what forces have since been despatched to the island; and for what purpose.

Mr. Sandys

In view of the unsettled situation, it was recently decided to reinforce the garrison of Cyprus with two additional brigade groups. It would be contrary to normal practice to publish figures of total forces on operational duties overseas.

Mr. Donnelly

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the terms of his answer, in view of the unsettled situation, could easily apply to the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean and only add credence to the fears that these forces which are going there may be for intervention in the Lebanon? Will he make perfectly clear what is the intention of the Government and what is the boundary of the term "unsettled situation"?

Mr. Sandys

I should have thought that the hon. Gentleman, reading the newspapers, would have seen that the unsettled situation in Cyprus was quite enough to justify large reinforcements to that area.

Mr. Ellis Smith

In regard to the reinforcements and my hon. Friend's previous Question, we were given several undertakings during the period of the Labour Government that no boys doing their National Service would be sent abroad under a certain age or before having done a certain number of months' training. Is that now being applied?

Mr. Sandys

I have already answered two Questions on that subject.