HC Deb 05 May 1958 vol 587 cc837-8
34. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is now in a position to resume his negotiations on the future status of Cyprus with Turkey.

Commander Noble

I cannot add anything to the Answer which my right hon. and learned Friend gave to the hon. Member and to my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams) on 23rd April.

Mr. Donnelly

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the news from Cyprus today is extremely serious and that the Government have missed a golden opportunity by their procrastination over the last few months? What does he intend to do about it, because the situation is now reaching a point where there is likely to be a recurrence of the violence which was stopped a few months ago?

Commander Noble

I think that my right hon. and learned Friend made it quite clear in his Answer last week that he wished a statement to be made as soon as possible. I greatly regret the recent incidents in Cyprus. They can only make an eventual solution of the problem more difficult and, in the meantime, impose hardships on the Cypriot people. Hon. Members should, of course, address Questions on the internal situation in Cyprus to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Lord Hinchingbrooke

Does my right hon. and gallant Friend realise that what is wanted is not so much a resumption of negotiations between either Greece or Turkey about the future of Cyprus, but an announcement by Her Majesty's Government of what steps it will be possible to take to allow the Cypriots themselves to begin the process of governing their own country, provided that law and order is maintained?

Commander Noble

As my right hon. and learned Friend said last week, he hopes that a statement will be made as soon as possible, and I am afraid that I have nothing to add to that today.

Mr. Callaghan

But in view of the seriousness of the situation, cannot the Minister of State at least tell us whether it is the case that Sir Hugh Foot is returning to this country for discussions?

Commander Noble

I am afraid that I have nothing to add today.

Mr. Shinwell

Does the statement made some time ago mean that, in the event of Archbishop Makarios using his influence to stop violence, there will be a resumption of negotiations with the Archbishop with a view to a settlement?

Commander Noble

I think that Her Majesty's Government have made their position quite clear in the past.