§ 3.52 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)
I beg to move,That this House welcomes the Cyprus Agreement as serving the best interests of all the people of Cyprus, achieving a permanent settlement acceptable to the two Cypriot communities and to the Greek and Turkish Governments, safeguarding essential British defence requirements, strengthening co-operation between the United Kingdom and her Allies in a vital area thus satisfying Her Majesty's Government's aims of policy; records its tribute to the statesmanship shown at the Zurich and London Conferences without which the rapid completion of agreement would not have been possible; recognises the major role of the security forces and the public services in Cyprus during the last four years; and expresses its deep sympathy with the injured and the families of those who lost their lives during the emergency.For a number of years the House has had many debates on Cyprus, especially in 1956, when the emergency was at its height. The last big debate was on 26th June last, following Her Majesty's Government's statement of policy a week before. There has, therefore, not been a major debate on Cyprus in the House for the last eight months. I recognise that this has been in large part due to the desire of the Opposition not to make a settlement more difficult. We are also entitled to conclude that another reason has been a growing amount of support, in the House and outside it, in N.A.T.O. countries and, indeed, in the world, for the aims of policy which we outlined last year, on 19th June.
Today, rightly, there is a debate in the House of Commons. Five parties were engaged in the London Conference—the United Kingdom Government, the Governments of Greece and Turkey, and representatives of the Greek and Turkish-Cypriot communities. Two of the three Parliaments concerned have already expressed their views: the Greek Parliament, on 28th February, approved the London Agreement, and the Turkish Grand National Assembly did the same on 4th March. I hope that the House will do 640 the same today, and will do so without a Division.
In the debate in Athens the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Karamanlis, stressed the spirit of understanding and cooperation shown by the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and Turkey, as well as by the heads of the two communities in Cyprus. The Greek Foreign Minister, Mr. Averoff, explained that it was essential for any settlement that the two communities should be animated by a spirit of co-operation, and he suggested that both Enosis and partition were thus impossible. The Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr. Zorlu, described the London Agreement as a perfect example of how the most bitter quarrels could be settled by peaceful means, thanks to mutual concessions by the parties concerned. He said that both partition and Enosis were ruled out by the same provision of the Agreement, and that there could, therefore, be no possibility of claiming that one was still possible while the other was not.
Now it is the turn of the House of Commons In commending this Agreement to the House, I would remind hon. Members of the aims of Her Majesty's Government's policy as described on 19th June last. We then said that the policy of Her Majesty's Government in Cyprus has had four main purposes: first, to serve the best interests of all the people in the island; secondly, to achieve a permanent settlement acceptable to the two communities in the island and to the Greek and Turkish Governments; thirdly, to safeguard the British bases and installations in the island, which are necessary to enable the United Kingdom to carry out her international obligations; and, fourthly, to strengthen peace, security and co-operation between the United Kingdom and her Allies in a vital area. I claim that the Agreement reached in London makes possible the achievement of all these purposes.
This miraculous change has been brought about by a number of circumstances. First, there has been the courage, patience and discipline of the security forces in Cyprus, and of the civil administration. They have always shared the view that a political solution was essential. This was throughout the view of Lord Harding, as it has been of Sir Hugh Foot—two far-sighted and generous
641 leaders. But it was the work of the security forces and of the civil administration, in defeating efforts to force the issue by violence, that made the way open for a solution based upon compromise and common sense. Praise could not be too great for the superlative contribution that they and their wives and families have made to this settlement.
Then there has been the growing realisation that in the absence of an agreed solution between the two Governments and the two communities, which also preserved British strategic interests, Her Majesty's Government intended to proceed with the Macmillan Plan—the partnership plan. It was recognised in Greece and Turkey, and elsewhere, that this was not just another plan—as there had been many plans for Cyprus over the years—but, in the absence of a guaranteed alternative, a policy which Her Majesty's Government proposed to follow and from which they would not withdraw.
These are two of the major factors which have brought about the change. I do not think that it is necessary for me to analyse today, in greater detail, other circumstances which have helped to bring about this happy development. Of one thing I am sure; everyone at the London Conference was animated by a desire to restore the Anglo-Greek-Turkish alliance in the Eastern Mediterranean, wherein, as the Prime Minister has said, lies the key to many vital areas of the world. Pray God, this alliance has been restored.
The Greek contingent that we had at Izmir, and which was withdrawn in June at the height of the inter-communal disturbances, returned to Izmir in two groups on 25th and 28th February, a few days after the London Conference. All the leaders in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus have made it clear, in public and in private, that it is their desire and their intention that the alliance in all its old intimacy shall be restored and maintained.
My right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal will have something to say, when he winds up the debate about the diplomatic negotiations. The House will remember, also, the very helpful rôle of the Secretary-General of N.A.T.O., Mr. Spaak.
642 No one who was present, as I was, at the talks during the London Conference, at either its final session or any of the private talks, could be in any doubt of the massive contribution made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to achieve a settlement. When he was Foreign Secretary, he and I strove for an agreement and, as the House knows, convened the first London Conference. It was not at that stage possible to reach agreement. At that stage, the other parties were not prepared to do so.
When my right hon. Friend became Prime Minister, it was his appeal, on 31st July last year, for an end to violence which was followed by similar appeals by the Prime Ministers of Turkey and Greece, and followed a few days later by the end of communal violence. It was also my right hon. Friend who played a major part in the Macmillan Plan and who, by personal visits to Ankara and Athens, adapted the plan to try to meet the rival claims. His untiring efforts have played a large part in bringing about the Paris and Zurich talks which, throughout, he and all his colleagues welcomed and encouraged and which led to the London Conference itself.
I do not believe that any party feeling in the House will be allowed to obscure the fact that among world statesmen who meet and deal with him my right hon. Friend is regarded as a foremost leader of the free world. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] If I make expressions of sentiment of that kind, I assure hon. Members opposite that it is no more than would be said by all those from other nations who co-operated in that and other conferences.
I do not doubt that some hon. Members will say that, as a solution has now been found, so a solution on the same lines could have been found before. I do not believe that that will be the judgment of history, or that anyone who has followed the story as closely as some of us have done can believe that to be true. If hon. Members examine the agreements reached and in the knowledge of the fears, passions and suspicions of the last few years, I am confident of what their conclusion will be. It would have been inconceivable for an acceptable Agreement along these lines to have been reached before.
643 I ask hon. Members, first, to examine the great issues of Enosis and partition. In the basic structure it is recognisedthat the total or partial union of Cyprus with any other State, or a separatist independence for Cyprus (i.e. the partition of Cyprus into two independent States) shall be excluded.In the Treaty of Guarantee between the Republic of Cyprus, on the one part, and Greece, the United Kingdom and Turkey, on the other, the Republic of Cyprus undertakes not to participate in whole or in part in any political or economic union with any State whatsoever. With this intent, it prohibits all activity tending to promote directly or indirectly either union or partition of the island.
In Article 2, Greece, the United Kingdom, and Turkey recognise and guarantee the independence, the territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus, and likewise undertaketo prohibit as far as lies within their power all activity having the object of promoting directly or indirectly either the union of the Republic of Cyprus with any other State or the partition of the Island.Having for nearly five years lived very close to this problem, I can say without fear of contradiction that such a settlement would have been impossible until the Paris, Zurich and London talks.
On the other provisions of the Agreement, I do not propose to try to evaluate the relative advantages which Greece and Turkey each obtain, or to attempt to compare from the standpoint of either country this final Agreement with other proposals which have been made by the United Kingdom or others during the last five years. The House will have read all the details of the Agreement in Cmnd. 679.
Hon. Members will there see the recognition of the rights and interests of each of the main communities in the island, the recognition of the Greek majority in the island and, equally firmly, the recognition of the Turkish interest in Cyprus, not only, as has so often been suggested by hon. Members opposite, because of the Turkish community in the island, but also because of the proximity of Cyprus to the mainland of Turkey and the inevitable strategic consequences which flow therefrom.
The House will also have carfully considered the British declarations. We in 644 the United Kingdom Government wed-corned and in every way encouraged the talks between the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers in Paris and Zurich. It was our readiness to make a major contribution that played a vital part in the talks themselves. Mr. Zorlu, in the Turkish Assembly, said:I stress with appreciation and thanks that from the moment we began talks with Greece on the Cyprus question the British Government encouraged and supported the discussions. Showing great understanding and self-sacrifice they informed us that in the event of our reaching agreement with Greece they were ready to renounce their rights of sovereignty over the island. You will appreciate that this played an important rôle in our reaching a positive result in the talks.At no point during the Paris or Zurich talks, I understand, was there any disagreement that Her Majesty's Government would require the safeguarding, as we said last June, of the British bases and installations in the island which are necessary to enable the United Kingdom to carry out her international obligations. Nor was there any question of failing to agree on those rights to those bases which, in our view, could best be ensured by retaining British sovereignty over them. This was never questioned in the Paris or Zurich talks between the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers. Nor was it ever questioned in any of the talks which I and my colleagues had—
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I am stating historically what happened for the record as well as for other things, and I suggest that hon. Members might listen.
Nor was it ever questioned, in the talks which I and my colleagues had with the Greek and Turkish Ministers in London, or in any of our talks at the sessions of the Conference or privately with representatives of the Greek and Turkish communities in the island.
§ Mr. Kenneth Robinson (St. Pancras, North)
To complete the record, will the right hon. Gentleman answer one simple question? At what point during the last five years did Her Majesty's Government decide that they could abandon sovereignty over the island of Cyprus?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
If the hon. Gentleman will contain himself for one minute, I shall come to that point.
645 Some hon. Members have raised the question whether, over the last few years, we have needed Cyprus as a base, or merely a base in Cyprus. The answer is quite clear. Until the recent talks, the Greek Government and the leaders of the Greek-Cypriot community were pledged to Enosis or self-determination of the island as a whole which would have led to Enosis.
The Turkish Government and the Turkish community in the island were pledged with equal intensity to partition, either as the ultimate or as the immediate answer. Either of these solutions would have led to civil war in the island—and to war not only in the island—and civil war on a scale far transcending last year's communal riots.
At any moment in the last few years any attempt by the British Government to leave the affairs of Cyprus to be settled by the Greek or Turkish Governments and by the two communities, and to retain sovereignty solely over British bases, could have resulted only in an attempt by one nation or the other to impose Enosis or partition.
In such circumstances, with civil war in the island, the bases would have been in great danger. Communications between the two bases would have been threatened. Our port facilities at Famagusta—guaranteed in the Agreement—and our airfield facilities in Nicosia—also guaranteed—would both probably have been unusable. Indeed, most of the vital requirements to make the bases effective, as set out in the annex to the British Government's Declaration could not have been fulfilled.
Because, without any agreement between Greeks and Turks, such a situation was sure to arise, we could not contemplate any relinquishment of sovereignty. We needed all Cyprus as a base. But with the settlement, and the determination of all the leaders to make it work, the security and value of British bases can be ensured and sovereign bases in Cyprus can fulfil our strategic requirements. Under this Agreement we have now retained sovereignty over those parts of the island necessary to meet our interests and to fulfil our obligations.
The House also knows that we made certain other conditions. One was that provision should be made for the protec- 646 tion of the fundamental human rights of the various communities in Cyprus. I am very anxious today to see that provisions to protect the rights of the smaller minorities are ensured. I met a number of them when I was in Cyprus two weeks ago. Among them I saw certain British residents in the island. Discussions have been taking place between the Governor and their representatives and I shall be very ready to consider any suggestion put to me when those local discussions have been completed.
Another requirement that we made is for the protection of the interests of the members of the public service in Cyprus. I also saw a number of them lately in the island and I met their representatives in London three days ago on matters which included the preparation of a scheme of compensation. Her Majesty's Government recognise their obligation to those Cypriot people, whether members of Her Majesty's Government's Overseas Civil Service or not, who, in the Government service, have served loyally and courageously under circumstances of unparalleled difficulty. Discussions have already started with Cypriot leaders to work out plans regarding Government service designed to give to the Cyprus members of the Government service a full opportunity to continue their work and also a sense of security regarding their posts and their pensions.
I now wish to say a few words about detainees and about prisoners. On 22nd February, orders were given for the release of all detainees and the closing of the detention camps. A few days later the terms of the amnesty were announced and, as the House may know, prisoners were dealt with in two categories. The lesser offenders were dealt with first, and by five days after the announcement of the amnesty 227, that is, nearly all of these, had been released.
All the more serious cases, particularly those guilty of offences involving violence against the person, were reviewed, and a list prepared of those who would be released on two conditions. The first condition was that they left Cyprus for Greece immediately upon their release, and the second was that they did not return to Cyprus without the permission of the Government of Cyprus before the date on which their sentences would have expired.
647 By 8th March, 244 releases had been made, leaving 72 people in the second category for decision, including 32 held in prisons in the United Kingdom. Of this number the Governor decided that 49 should be released in Cyprus and the remaining 23, of whom 14 were in England, would be released on condition that they went to Greece. On 9th March, nine prisoners were sent to Greece and four days later 31 prisoners held in the United Kingdom were returned to Cyprus. The following day 14 were sent to Greece.
At the same time as the amnesty announcement was made, the Governor announced that special arrangements would be made for the safe conduct of Colonel Grivas and anyone he might wish to take with him to Greece, and, as the Houses knows, Colonel Grivas has now left the island. Few serious people would say that after a settlement had been reached, we were wrong to follow it up speedily with this amnesty. I am also glad to say that as a result of the return to peaceful conditions it has now been possible to lift the ban imposed in November last on the employment of Greek Cypriot workers in N.A.A.F.I. buildings and on Royal Air Force stations.
Much work arising from the London Agreement still remains to be done. All of us who were closely concerned with these talks realised throughout that it was very desirable to act quickly or some of the momentum, the impetus, might have been lost and the strains of the past few years might have reappeared. "This", said one of the leading participants, "is a soufflé which must be eaten before it subsides."
Much more detailed work has to be done, but spectacular progress has already been made in the island. The Governor tells me that Greek and Turkish Cypriots are increasingly inclined to give their minds to practical, political and economic problems with a desire to forget the animosities of the past. This is indeed very welcome, for Cyprus will have many economic and other problems to face. Most of her exports come to the United Kingdom and are mainly foodstuffs with the advantages of Imperial Preference. Cyprus has a large adverse balance of visible trade financed mainly by a surplus 648 on Government invisible transactions, mainly by expenditure by a large number of British Service men on the island.
Cyprus is faced with a considerable fall in the value of her imports unless the departure of the troops is followed by a huge growth in the tourist trade and an influx of investment funds. Many very important problems concerning trade, banking, currency and tariffs will have to be considered urgently. The machinery for joint consultation is making rapid progress.
Those who have followed this matter closely will know that there are to be three committees to speed the work. There are to be a Joint Commission in Cyprus, to complete a draft constitution for the Republic incorporating the basic structure and, secondly, a Joint Committee in London to prepare the final treaties giving effect to the conclusions of the London Conference. All the parties concerned are now in process of selecting their representatives to sit on these committees and the first formal meetings will, I hope, be held soon.
The third committee—a Transitional Committee in Cyprus to draw up plans for adapting and reorganising the Government machinery in Cyprus in preparation for the transfer of authority—has already met. It is the Governor's hope that additional appointments to this body will be made by 30th March so that a provisional Council of Ministers can be established from that date. First decisions have been taken for the appointment of permanent secretaries and other officers to serve this new Council.
In all this the zeal and drive of Sir Hugh Foot is finding full scope. As was said of Lord Milner after the South African War, he has "turned with the speed and energy of a racer who has been held up at the starting post" to the creative task of administration and planning of peaceful development. Finally, now that we have come to the last chapter of the history of British administration of the island, it is fitting to pay tribute to the achievements of the long line of administrators who have represented Her Majesty's Government in Cyprus.
Those who saw the arrival of Sir Garnet Wolseley, in 1878, would not believe their eyes if they could see the island today. It is true that development in the earlier 649 period of our rule was restricted by financial stringency. In more recent years there has been a major transformation. The bare mountain sides have been clothed with forests, industries have been established, numerous water supply and irrigation schemes have revived the countryside, and the towns have grown beyond recognition. There have been revolutionary improvements in the standards of public health, including the elimination of malaria, and the population which, at the first census after British rule started in 1881 was 186,000, had risen by the census of 1956 to 523,000. Thus, it had multiplied three times in about seventy-five years.
The crumbling antiquities which we inherited, and which are one of the glories of the island of Cyprus, have been put under a proper system of preservation. It would be invidious to mention people individually where so many have contributed. They were proud and happy to serve in this beautiful island, and their work will long be remembered and continue to be fruitful in the years to come.
To reach this Agreement, we have all made sacrifices, but we in the United Kingdom remember with special gratitude and reverence those who, in those bitter years, made the supreme sacrifice of their lives, and whose memory is proudly cherished in so many homes. For some, it was a soldier's death in the performance of duty, in an island familiar to their ancestors so many centuries ago in an heroic chapter of our history. The reward of their sacrifice is a settlement founded on agreement and good will, and not on concessions to violence, and on the secure establishment of bases vital to the defence of the free world.
To others, death came treacherously in the course of ordinary civilian life. Their sacrifice, too, was not in vain, for it was the revulsion from the horror of such indiscriminate and barbarous bloodshed, and its evident condemnation by world opinion, that at last brought even the supporters of violence to seek a settlement by the civilised process of negotiation and agreement. The memory of these sacrifices lays upon us all the duty to ensure that, on the agreed foundation, we build a structure of peace and happiness for the people of Cyprus not unworthy of the price that has been paid.
§ 4.24 p.m.
§ Mr. Aneurin Bevan (Ebbw Vale)
I beg to move, to leave out from "Agreement" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof:and hopes that it may lead to an arrangement by which Cyprus remains associated with the Commonwealth; pays tribute to the rôle of the security forces and the public services during the emergency and expresses its deep sympathy with the injured and the families of those who lost their lives; but regrets that the policies followed by Her Majesty's Government since 1954 have been a major factor in preventing an earlier settlement".Listening to a speech by the Colonial Secretary always reminds me of some unpleasant experiences of my youth at the hands of my parents, when, in trying to get rid of some rash of adolescence, I was made to swallow sulphur. It could only be done by giving me large quantities of treacle at the same time. The speeches of the right hon. Gentleman are always of that curious kind of unpleasant mixture. We have to listen to long passages in which he gives prizes all round. We have not had any prizes on this side of the House. I will try to establish our entitlement to them.
One would have thought by what the right hon. Gentleman has said that no responsibility at all rests upon Her Majesty's Government for the situation that arose in Cyprus. I am not going to deal with the culpability of Cypriots, either Turkish or Greek, or with Turkey or with Greece. We are responsible for the conduct of our own Government in this matter, and the right hon. Gentleman has forgotten when the real trouble started and how it started.
It started from a speech from the Government side of the House, and I am not resurrecting this piece of history, which the right hon. Gentleman carefully left out—in fact, he left out whole slabs—merely to be polemical and to establish the case for our Amendment, but because it will have a bearing, I am quite certain, upon the policies of this Parliament in relation to dependencies overseas. What was the statement? It was a statement made by the then Mr. Hopkinson, Minister of State for Colonial Affairs, in July, 1954, that… there can be no question of any change of sovereignty in Cyprus."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th July, 1954; Vol. 531, c. 507.]That sentence did more damage and has lost more lives than, probably, most 651 sentences ever uttered. What did it say? It said that Cyprus could not expect to advance towards self-government, like other British possessions, and that, no matter what the people of the island thought and wanted, they could never achieve independence.
Let us understand what was meant by that, because it has a very close bearing upon the condemnations of violence which have fallen so readily from the lips of right hon. and hon. Members on the Government benches. With the permission of the House, I want to read a letter which appeared in The Times yesterday; and I do not want to be misunderstood. I am not here myself advocating the use of violence in this affair. I am merely trying to establish the circumstances in which it occurs. This is a letter written by Mr. H. C. Fox, and this is what it says:May I quote from a letter written to my great-grandfather by John Bright in 1866?—'I have never said a word in favour of force. All I have said has been against it—I am at liberty to warn those in authority that justice long delayed, or long continued injustice, always provokes the employment of force to obtain redress, It is in the ordering of nature and therefore of the Supreme that this is so, and all preaching to the contrary is of no avail. If men build houses on the slopes of a Vesuvius, I may tell them of their folly and insecurity, but I am not in any way provoking, or responsible for, the eruption which sweeps them all away. I may say, too, that force to prevent freedom and to deny rights is not more moral than force to gain freedom and secure rights.'I regard that letter as entirely unanswerable. We may say that a people denied their liberty are foolish, imprudent or ineffective in using force. What we cannot say is that they are wrong. We cannot say that they are immoral. If they have reached the stage in their development, both spiritual and material, where they wish to attain national independence, to deny it is, at the same time, to restore to them the right, if they wish, to use violence to secure their liberty.
There is no answer to that. It is very fortunate indeed that we can now discuss these great matters in a calmer atmosphere, because our security forces are no longer in danger in Cyprus; but a lesson must be learned elsewhere and everywhere where we have dependencies and people who feel a sense of injustice.
May I add this: when those words were written the institutions of democracy 652 had not yet fully established themselves. The moralists and political theorists of the nineteenth century had not had experience of their full working. We have. The universal franchise enshrined in proper institutions had not been established in very many places. Therefore, in the nineteenth century, the moralists would have objected even further. They would have said that individuals inside States that enjoyed independence were entitled to use violence if they felt the burden of unendurable wrong.
We have reached a different stage. We say that there are limitations placed upon the use of violence in the State in which we live and that is because individuals themselves enjoy liberty inside the State as well as the State enjoying independence. Once the wishes of people have been ascertained, it does not lie with the minority to use violence to impose its will upon the majority. That is what we say here: but that was not said by the moralists and political theoreticians of the nineteenth century. They were not in a position to establish the limitations on violence. Even here, in this House, there are conventions by our rules of procedure, and by our whole conduct, by which we recognise over and over again that majorities must not use their power in such a way as to oppress minorities beyond the limits of tolerance.
So the case of Cyprus is a classic example of a people who revolted against a statement by a British Minister that no Englishman would ever have lived under. No one on either side of the House, no one in Scotland or in Wales, would ever have accepted such a position. If someone had got up in a foreign Parliament and had said that in no circumstances could the people of Great Britain ever look forward to independence there would be advocates of violence in all parts of the House.
That being so, why have we, on this side of the House, had to endure humbugging sermons from the Government side over the last four years? Over and over again we have had flabby sentiments thrown at us when, as a matter of fact, the people who put the lives of our soldiers in jeopardy are sitting on the Government benches.
§ Mr. John Eden (Bournemouth, West) rose—653
§ Mr. Bevan
The hon. Gentleman asks a very foolish question about the one hon. Member in the House who has an honourable record in this matter, as he will see.
The first substantial point I want to establish is that these disorders broke out into open violence, or rather the disagreements in Cyprus broke out into violence, and developed into organised violence, because a British Minister had told the people of Cyprus what no British Minister ought to tell any dependency overseas. The trouble with Government supporters is that in their hearts they are not democrats at all.
§ Major H. Legge-Bourke (Isle of Ely) rose—
§ Mr. Bevan
I know that hon. Gentlemen opposite do not like this, but they will get more of it.
Then there was a development. The Government insisted at the United Nations in September, 1954, that the Cyprus question was a domestic issue. The then Tory Government invited the Greek and Turkish Governments to a tripartite conference, which broke down over the irreconcilable claims of Greece and Turkey to the island. It was perfectly clear that if they called in Turks and Greeks at that stage they would have disagreement. And, of course, they had it. Then the Government having realised the supreme folly of Mr. Hopkinson's statement, but not knowing quite how to get away from it, modified their attitude by saying this:no prospect of any change in the sovereignty of Cyprus in the foreseeable future.That really was a ridiculous statement to make. In the first place, there could 654 never be independence. Then, when that had caused trouble, the Government said that in the foreseeable future there could not be a change of sovereignty in Cyprus.
Three months later, in December, 1955, the Government retreated again. They modified their policy by recognising self-determination in principle, some time and in certain conditions. Just imagine what happens when those sentences are read by people who are already bitterly resenting the statement originally made. Then there was a conference between the Colonial Secretary and Archbishop Makarios. It is a curious thing that the right hon. Gentleman has managed to make a whole speech today without mentioning the name of the Archbishop. The right hon. Gentleman failed to reach agreement with the Archbishop. I do not want to prolong my speech, but I want to give some of the reasons why that conference failed.
Why did it fail? We had howls from Government supporters when Archbishop Makarios wanted an amnesty for all the prisoners. It has now been granted. Even Grivas has been released and has gone in honour to Athens. He is a general now. The Tory newspapers were headlined day after day about this "thug", this "terrorist", and speeches from the Government side of the House were almost incoherent because of the indignation of the Government supporters, when all that was being asked was that, to facilitate a settlement in Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios wanted what has always been asked in circumstances of that kind, an amnesty.
Today, the Colonial Secretary is anxious to credit himself—
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I was at the talks with Archbishop Makarios and the right hon. Gentleman was not. That was not the reason why the talks broke down. I explained at great length why that was so. At that time, the right hon. Gentleman was not following Cypriot affairs with quite the same attention that he claims to be following them now.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The right hon. Gentleman is wrong again. That was not so. That was in October, after the Radcliffe proposals, when we said that partition must be among the eventual options. It was in my statement after I went to Ankara and Athens in an attempt to commend the Radcliffe plan.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Certainly, and had it not been brought in we should never have had the settlement which we have reached.
§ Mr. Bevan
I am exceedingly anxious to say nothing today, in this hot controversy, which would cause trouble outside. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I said "cause trouble outside". I do not give a tinker's cuss what trouble I get from hon. Member's opposite. The right hon. Gentleman was engaging at that time in a shabby trick. He was himself fomenting the idea of partition in Cyprus so as to drive, by fear, the Cypriots into accepting his position.
Indeed, partition was raised on the Floor of the House. It was raised in an obviously inspired speech by the late Walter Elliot from the Tory benches. Before that no one had ever mentioned partition. It was a most dishonourable situation, and the right hon. Gentleman connived at it.
§ Mr. Bevan
Then, of course, the Archbishop was kidnapped. We were not using violence. We were not using force. We merely sent a number of soldiers to kidnap him. He had no rights at all in the matter. No one on the other side of the House has ever suggested that that is an immoral act. No one on that side of the House said, "What a monstrous thing it is to send soldiers to an airport, to snatch a man and take him away and to make him incommunicado for a number of months." Hon. Members opposite were able to do it not because of any moral ascendancy they had, but simply because they had more soldiers than he had.
§ Mr. Bevan
For the same reason that if the Egyptians could have dropped bombs on London the Government would never have bombed Port Said.
In 1956, from this Box, I made a very earnest and special appeal to E.O.K.A. to give up violence. [HON. MEMBERS: "What about Makarios?"] I am not responsible for the Archbishop. Right hon. Gentlemen opposite have now made themselves responsible for him.
§ Mr. Bevan
I do not think that we paid the bill, did we? Archbishop Makarios was kidnapped. We made our appeal for non-violence, and we made it because we honestly believed at that time that if violence stopped in the island right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite would start talking sense. E.O.K.A. announced a truce. How did General Harding react towards that? He did not say that a truce had been declared in Cyprus because E.O.K.A. was anxious to have negotiations. That is not what he told a meeting of this House. That is not what he told us. He told us that the reason why the truce had been declared by Grivas and E.O.K.A. was that the rebels were being driven into a desperate situation and wanted an opportunity of re-forming. That was what hon. Members opposite had been saying all the time. But after that there followed the bloodiest period of all.
The fact is that hon. Members opposite had dedicated themselves to a soldier's solution in Cyprus, and one of the reasons was that until that time they could not clear their minds as to what they wanted. I am giving the House the facts of the case.
§ Major Legge-Bourke rose—
§ Major Legge-Bourke
On a point of order. I do not know to what extent the right hon. Gentleman is in order. May I ask for your Ruling, Mr. Deputy-Speaker about the extent to which an hon. 657 Member is entitled to go in defaming a professional soldier without anyone having the right to reply?
§ Mr. Bevan
When the governor of an island, a general, takes it upon himself to come to the House of Commons and to address Members of Parliament on an issue of this sort he must expect his point of view to be known and to be criticised. Personally, I hold the view that it is improper, but once it is done, it is a matter of open controversy.
Until quite recently General Harding has adhered to his position, although the Government have departed from it. One of the reasons the Government could not clear their mind was that they did not quite know what they wanted on Cyprus. If I may be allowed to do so, I should like to quote from a speech which I made on 14th March, 1956. This is what I said:Furthermore, it has been very hard to discover whether the Government are anxious to have Cyprus as a base, or a base on Cyprus. In some respects that goes to the very heart of the matter, because if it is a fact that the Government wish to have Cyprus as a base the negotiations with the Archbishop have been dishonest from the beginning. … If we had been insisting all along on having Cyprus as a base, the negotiations with the Archbishop would never have started.The negotiations with the Archbishop were started upon the assumption that we were sincerely wishing to negotiate self-government for Cyprus, with certain limitations for a period of time.
I continued:So we want to know from the Prime Minister at the very outset what it is the Government have in mind. Are they, in fact, saving that they wish to have Cyprus as a base, or do they want to have a base on Cyprus."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th March, 1956 Vol. 550, c. 391.]This is a perfectly fair formulation of the case, because, as we understood it all along, we could have negotiated a base on Cyprus. We have understood in the House, and it has been stated over and over again, that both the Greek Government and Archbishop Makarios had declared that there would be no difficulty, if there were self-government in Cyprus, in giving us base facilities on the island. That has always been our position, but 658 General Harding told us that a base on Cyprus was useless and that the island was too small.
This is the very heart of the matter. All this disagreement went on over and over again because of that fact. Until quite recently the Government have been adhering to their old position. They released the Archbishop from exile in March, 1957, although they refused to consider his return or to have bilateral negotiations. This was after fifteen months of failure either to end terrorism and inter-communal violence or to reopen negotiations with the Cypriots. The Government produced their partnership plan based on the separation of Turkish and Greek Cypriots and the integration of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots into the island's affairs.
We one this side of the House told the Government that we thought the plan would not work. We said to the Government that in our judgment the plan would have no prospect of being considered if it were presented by the British Government alone, because the British Government had covered themselves with such obloquy in the eyes of the Cypriots and Greeks that in representations by them alone there would no longer be any faith. We said that what we could not understand was how this problem remained so obdurate because we had so many advantages on our side. As Greece and Turkey were members of N.A.T.O., N.A.T.O. should be called to obtain the best possible auspices to get acceptance of what we considered to be a defective plan.
Then the Prime Minister went on one of his journeys and dropped one piece of luggage after another. When he came back home he told the House, with considerable unction, that he had accepted two of the amendments suggested by the Opposition in the previous debate, but retained the third proposition which we said would not be accepted. All the time what was involved was independence for the island, but the representatives of the Government went on. They refused ID accept the proposal made by Archbishop Makarios in which he offered self-government for a limited period in the island. That was in September last year.
In rejecting the offer, the Colonial Secretary said at Blackpool, on 9th October, that the Government would not 659 be dissuaded from its short-term, seven-year, proposal bythe pretence that a long-term one is possible when at the moment we know it is not.That was on 9th October last year. He said that the Government would continue to carry out the partnership plan, which, of course, they have now dropped. He said:We knew pressure would grow to urge us to abandon it. We have no intention of doing that.There is a strong fellow. Like a rock outside—cardboard painted to resemble iron.
The right hon. Gentleman went on to make his famous reference to Cyprus as a Turkish offshore island.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd rose—
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The right hon. Member is so constantly misquoting me that he can hardly quarrel if I have to put the record right. I said:To the Turks it is an offshore island.He has left out those very important words. Perhaps his party headquarters failed to give him the full quotation.
§ Mr. Bevan
If I have misquoted I have not done so intentionally. If it is a misquote I withdraw and apologise, but I do not say that I have yet misquoted the right hon. Gentleman. We will check that.
My hon. Friends will remember that in speech after speech the right hon. Gentleman has always insisted on the strategic importance to Turkey of Cyprus. He did so again today. I have never accepted that view on strategic grounds at all. In modern war these small islands off the mainland would be entirely militarily unviable, so it is nonsense to bring that rubbish before us over and over again.
The story goes up to 5th November last year. The then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, the right hon. and gallant Member for Chelsea (Commander Noble), warned in the United Nations that it would be "disastrous" to endorse immediate independence for Cyprus. He said:We must not be mesmerised by a word".
§ Mr. Bevan
Of the possibility of partition, the right hon. and gallant Member said that although his Government did not favour it, it had to be recognised that partition was one of the possible solutions envisaged. That was last November, and then it became obvious to the Greeks and Turks and to N.A.T.O. that the whole alliance was put in jeopardy, in the main through the behaviour of the British Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Yes, because, remember, up to that point independence was regarded by the British Government as impossible. Then there were meetings in Paris and Zurich. Unfortunately, they succeeded in reaching an agreement largely due to the fact that they had the enormous advantage of the absence both of the right hon. Gentleman and the Foreign Secretary by which time they reached agreement.
The Archbishop Makarios was brought to London. The shouting died, the atmosphere became more tranquil, stories about thugs and thuggery were dropped. At the end of the story we had reached what we had warned and prophesied at the beginning of the story. The history of this sort of struggle has now assumed a classic form. It never departs from it. First, we put people in gaol and attack them in the bitterest language, as we did with the Indian and the Irish leaders. We said that we could not "shake hands with murder", and then we did shake hands. [An HON. MEMBER: "Then they shot each other."] I do not wish to make a retort to that, because the fact is that, very largely through Tory behaviour, we have brought about a state of affairs of which hon. Members opposite ought to be ashamed.
We did the same with Nkrumah. Hon. Members opposite put him in gaol. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Well, we shoved him in gaol. [Laughter.] If hon. Members opposite will restrain their hilarity for a moment, I said that this is a part of the classic story of these struggles. If we, by our behaviour—[Interruption.] Hon. Members will not put me on my seat in this way. If we, by our behaviour in this House, allow conditions overseas to degenerate to the point where those who are trying to win independence for their country take violent action, then this is always the grim alternative we have to face. Either at that moment we have to 661 surrender to the physical violence which exists, or we have to win a period of peace in which constitutional advance can be made.
We ought always to try to avoid that situation. That is exactly what we are saying. It is no argument to say that my argument is undermined because, in circumstances which ought never to have arisen, we did the same thing. On the contrary, we are reproached by right hon. and hon. Members over and over again because in the period 1945–50 we did not succeed, in five years, in destroying the wicked work of two centuries of misrule by the party opposite.
I say this, in conclusion, if right hon. and hon. Members opposite will have the courtesy to listen to me. We now have an Agreement between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus which we hope will work. It will be a difficult Agreement to work. It is a constitution festooned with all sorts of obstacles. For example, I am told by some of my Greek and Turkish friends that sonic of the proposals for divided municipalities will be very difficult to work and that the suggested frontiers might become occasions for all sorts of troubles and quarrels.
There is a provision in the Agreement that, where the communities desire to have common institutions, they will not be prevented in fact, they will be encouraged. We ought to say in the House today that it will be desirable, in the working of this constitution, for both Turks and Greeks, if possible, to have common institutions, communally operated by themselves, because only to the extent that the communal divisions now existing in Cyprus can be destroyed will we be able to guarantee permanent peace.
We hope that the bitter feelings which now exist between the communities will not grow into permanent separate communal institutions that can never come together. We hope, also, that the proposal in our Amendment, thatit may lead to an arrangement by which Cyprus remains associated with the Commonwealthwill be accepted, because we believe that if it is accepted it might be possible, if trouble arises, for the good offices of the members of the Commonwealth to be made available to try to prevent open disorder again breaking out.
662 Right hon. and hon. Members on this side of the House therefore welcome the fact that the Agreement has been reached, but we deeply deplore the fact that the unwisdom of the Government made it impossible for the Agreement to he reached long ago.
§ 5.3 p.m.
§ Mr. H. P. G. Channon (Southend, West)
Mr. Deputy-Speaker, in rising to address the House for the first time I ask for your indulgence and that of all hon. Members. I ask for the indulgence always accorded to a Member making his maiden speech, but I also ask as both the youngest and the newest Member of the House, both of which distinctions, if distinctions they be, I have recently snatched from my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. Wolrige-Gordon), whose tenure of those posts was very brief.
When one arrives in the House one is given much advice, frequently conflicting, as to when is the best time to make one's maiden speech. I have consulted the maiden speeches of my three predecessors who sat for the Borough of Southend-on-Sea. They had only one thing in common. They ranged from the merits of the Prayer Book to the demerits of nationalisation, but all three were highly controversial. My aim today will be to try to make the first non-controversial maiden speech by a Member of my family for a very long time.
I chose this debate to make my maiden speech because, as far as I can ascertain, I am the only hon. Member in the House who has had the opportunity of serving in the Army in Cyprus during the recent emergency, even though it was for only a few short months. I am sure that the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) will forgive me if I do not follow him in that part of his remarks which related to the apportionment of blame and the reasons for the long delay in bringing about a settlement of the Cyprus situation.
I welcome that part of the Opposition Motion which stresses the good work done by our Forces in Cyprus and welcomes the Agreement. I was in the island at the time when Archbishop Makarios was deported. Since that time there have been several truces—a short one in 1956, a longer one in 1957 and two last year. 663 Now there has been a truce since Christmas.
In between those temporary lulls the rôle of the Army in Cyprus has not been a pleasant one. It cannot have been pleasant to have walked around the streets of Nicosia or Famagusta with the ever-present danger that one might be shot in the back. In my opinion—and I think that this is non-controversial—the part played by the Army in Cyprus and the great restraint shown by those in the Forces at all times have played a great part in achieving the present settlement. If the British Army had behaved differently and retaliated to the provocation which it received on so many occasions, a situation might well have developed in which relations between this country and Greece would have been permanently embittered. I am glad that both my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale stressed how the Army played its part in the settlement.
I am especially interested in that portion of the Agreement which relates to the British enclaves to be created in Cyprus. I cannot speak with any firsthand knowledge of the Episkopi enclave, so I will confine my remarks to the enclave round Dhekelia. This enclave stretches from Dhekelia almost to the outskirts of Famagusta and covers a large section of territory. Hon. and right hon. Members will have noticed that the main Famagusta-Nicosia road will pass through the enclave. As all trade and traffic in Cyprus goes by road and the railway between Famagusta and Nicosia no longer exists, it will be realised that a very large proportion of the trade of the island will pass daily from the only port of importance, Famagusta, to the capital, Nicosia, and to nearly all the island—always going through part of the British enclave. To avoid that would require a very long detour.
What arrangements will be made in the enclaves for this continual flow of trade should Cyprus decide not to stay within the British Commonwealth—though we hope that she will—or should she decide not to stay part of the sterling area?
Another point in which I am especially interested concerning the British enclaves 664 is what will happen to those villages in the enclaves that were particularly sympathetic to the idea of Enosis and were especially strong supporters of the E.O.K.A. movement. They now find themselves in areas to be specifically reserved for British sovereignty. What attempts will be made to make those villages happy under British sovereignty? I am thinking especially of the village of Athna, on the main Famagusta-Larnaca road, which will probably be included in the enclave, and the village of Avgorou, one mile south of the main Nicosia-Famagusta road, which will almost certainly be included in the enclave.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has told me that he cannot yet give any accurate estimate of the number of people who live in these enclaves, but there are, perhaps, more than 15,000 Cypriots who do so. I hope that every attempt will be made to have the closest possible liaison between the local authorities and the British administration in the enclaves. I trust that every attempt will also be made to provide adequate educational facilities for the British, Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot people in these areas.
The last hon. Member to make a maiden speech in a Cyprus debate, as far as I can discover, was my noble Friend the Member for Hertford (Lard Balniel), who spoke at great length on the importance of providing higher and technical education in Cyprus. I am sure that it is vital that those projects, even should they fall behind in the rest of the island—and we all hope that they will not—must yet be carried forward in the enclaves, so that we can prove our ability to provide and maintain the sort of local governmental institutions that the island has been so sorely lacking for many centuries. We have a great opportunity in the enclaves to provide these opportunities for people of all races.
I was lucky enough last summer to spend a month along the south coast of Turkey and I think that we are very fortunate to have obtained this present Agreement, because at that time the tension, the anti-Greek feeling among people of all classes, was very strong indeed. There seemed to be little, if any, communication between the Greek Dodecanese Islands and the mainland of Turkey, so very near to them.
665 Even the little island of Castel Orizo, which now belongs to Greece, two miles from the shores of Turkey, has not had any communication whatsoever with the Turkish mainland for a very long time. The result is that this once important island has dwindled—its population grows smaller and smaller cacti year—because the Greeks on the island and the Turks on the mainland have no desire to meet, nor any wish to mingle in any way. I hope that one of the results of the Agreement will be to slacken the tension that exists today on the south and west coasts of Turkey.
It is often said in this House that Cyprus presents a very peculiar problem. It is not a purely colonial problem—otherwise it might have been settled some time ago—nor is it a purely international problem. It is the mingling of both the colonial and the international aspects that has proved so difficult in the past few years, but I think that the lesson this Agreement must teach us is that no international problem can be said to be entirely insoluble. A year ago, perhaps, it would not have been believed that we could reach this Agreement today. There will be many difficulties in the years to come and many chances for this settlement to fail, but, at least, we have managed to get the good will of the three nations most actively concerned to try to solve the problem.
When I was at school—and I have been forcefully reminded by some hon. Members opposite that it was not all that long ago—I was taught that the island of Cyprus was traditionally the island of love—the island where Venus first appeared, somewhat scantily clad—off the coast of Paphos. This spirit of love has been sorely lacking in Cyprus for the last few years. That is the tragedy of the past. I know that all hon. Members hope that the future of Cyprus will be very different. Perhaps, if all goes well in the island, this will be the last full-scale debate on its future in this House, and I am proud to have had the opportunity of taking part in it.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Desmond Donnelly (Pembroke)
The hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon) is the son of a former hon. Member who was regarded with affection and respect in every part of 666 this House. As he has reminded us, he is the youngest Member of the House, and this is something on which he will be able to look back with great pride in the distinguished political career which, after listening to him, we will all agree lies ahead of him.
He is probably the only hon. Member who has served in the Armed Forces of the Crown in the emergency that has now come to an end. In those circumstances alone his contribution to the debate would have been remarkable, but I think that I am speaking for hon. Members in all parts when I say two things. First, I should like to congratulate him most warmly on one of the outstanding maiden speeches of this Parliament. Secondly, it is fitting and appropriate—and I am very privileged to have the opportunity to say this—that we in this House should pay tribute, through the hon. Member, to the courage, gallantry and restraint of Her Majesty's Forces through many difficult years.
With those words, I want now to turn to what I might call the "nuts and bolts" of the independence that we are now discussing, as that is much more the practical problem of the future. I do not dissent for one moment from what my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) had to say about the past, and as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) once said, the value of recrimination about the past is to ensure effective action in the future. It is that which underlies our condemnation of the Government in this Motion of censure.
The nuts and bolts of independence fall under two main headings. There is the political problem and there is the economic one, and perhaps I might first say a word about the political problem that faces us in erecting this edifice of independence.
First, the whole Agreement is entirely dependent on the very delicate relationship between the Greek and Turkish communities in the island. We should be blinding ourselves to some of the very grave difficulties if we did not specifically recognise that. There is, for instance, the relationship between the Turkish Vice-President—and his possible veto, which we do not want to discuss here because it is a matter for the Cypriots— 667 and the Greek President. It is very important that that relationship should be good.
The Turks have to realise that in the Agreement the Greeks have gone a very long way. The 70–30 ratio in the House of Representatives is not in accordance with the proportional representation of the population, and the Greeks have gone far to meet the Turkish requirement for safeguards. Therefore, a good deal will depend on the restraint exercised by the Turkish community.
The second aspect of this very delicate balance concerns the British. We have to understand that, in Greek eyes, we have been playing a pro-Turkish rôle for a long time, and that it is not long since we apparently favoured the Turks. If there is any impression of such favouritism in the transfer negotiations now going on, the Agreement might well collapse.
The other political aspect of the settlement is that, as the Colonial Secretary said earlier, it depends very largely on how the will to make the Agreement work is shown in working out the transfer. If the mood of hope and determination dissipates, the Agreement will disintegrate. Therefore, as the right hon. Gentleman said, speed is absolutely vital and essential. I therefore hope that the Home Secretary will be able to give us some idea of the kind of timetable to which the Government are working. I know that it is not an easy thing to say at this stage, but we want to know the sort of tempo that the Government have in mind.
Another point comes out in the Conference document initialled and signed at Lancaster House. I must say that it is the most intriguing set of initials. We have Archbishop Makarios and Mr. Averoff as outside left and inside left, Mr. Zorlu and Mr. Kutchuk as inside right and outside right, with the Foreign Secretary as a kind of centre forward. I did not know that anybody thought he could shoot. After this monumental bit of initialling, not only we but Mr. Khrushchev now know how the right hon. and learned Gentleman justifies his existence.
There are some very significant words in Article 3, in page 10. It reads: 668In the event of any breach of the provisions of the present Treaty, Greece, the United Kingdom, and Turkey undertake to consult together, with a view to making representations, or taking the necessary steps to ensure observance of those provisions.Then it says:In so far as common or concerted action may prove impossible, each of the three guaranteeing Powers reserves the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs established by the present Treaty.I should like the Home Secretary to tell us what that means. In those words there could be great danger. In endorsing this Agreement we are endorsing something that could contain the seeds of great crises in the future and we want to know what it means.
Another aspect of the political settlement is not on the local but on the international level—the Greek-Turkish relationships that have deteriorated during the recurrent Cyprus crises. We have to recognise the geographical and political positions of the two countries—the one as the hinge of N.A.T.O. and the other as the hinge of the Bagdad Pact. I recognise that the Bagdad Pact is in process of becoming, first, an economic organisation, and secondly, a set of bilateral arrangements between the United States of America and different countries. But at one time, however, there was the Balkan Pact. That Pact, which was signed in 1954, has been largely allowed to become dormant, yet, in 1957, Roumania made a Russian-inspired attempt to get it widened and infiltrated.
I know that Marshal Tito has quite recently said that he is not interested in the reactivation of this Pact, but it concerns a vital part of the world. It could well be an area of Communist expansion in Southern Europe. I suggest to the Government that if the Russians thought it worth while exploring the possibilities of diffusing the Balkan Pact, it might be worth the Government's while to examine the possibilities of its resuscitation. If Marshal Tito is cold about it, quite a lot could be done to stimulate his interest. It is our job to do this. Furthermore, this Greek-Turkish rapprochement affords an opportunity that the British Government should take to cement that friendship, and to make it a more positive alliance for the defence of Southern Europe.
669 That brings me to another aspect of the political implications of the Agreement, and that is the future membership of Cyprus within the British Commonwealth. I think that we have to be clear that it is not for us to press for her membership of the Commonwealth, from here, in this House. This is a matter entirely for the Cypriot people. Having agreed to the independence which we have granted her, we have to respect that sovereignty, and Cyprus must decide without any pressure or any apparent pressure. If she should so decide, then it becomes a matter for the Commonwealth Prime Ministers to consider whether she should be admitted to the Commonwealth, but the decision must entirely rest with her in the first instance. Then, of course, the membership has to be considered by the guaranteeing Powers, Greece and Turkey as well.
Cyprus as a member of the Commonwealth has certain implications for the Cypriot people themselves. First, there is the question of British nationality and the position of Greek Cypriots in London, represented by my hon. Friend the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. L. Jeger) in this House.
§ Mr. Donnelly
The Turkish Cypriots also, that is fair enough, but they are mainly Greek Cypriots. What will happen about these people?
Secondly, there are the economic implications for Cyprus if she should decide to contract out of the Commonwealth. Cyprus today has inherited a bankrupt economy and has serious economic problems ahead. As was pointed out in The Times today, in an interesting article, there is a very strong Communist Party in Cyprus, too. If the economic position is allowed to deteriorate it will have political implications for the whole of that corner of the Mediterranean. Much of this Agreement will then be redundant.
The economy of Cyprus in the past has been dependent largely on five things. First, there has been the copper and that is coming to an end; secondly, there have been the military installations and these are being run down; thirdly, the overseas remittances will become less and less if 670 emigration is stopped as a result of Cyprus contracting out of the Commonwealth; fourthly, there is tourism, and there, I think, much could be done; and fifthly, there are the agricultural products of Cyprus. The agricultural economy has been largely distorted as a result of the emergency, and the heavy installations which have gone in. The redeployment of the economy must now be considered so that agriculture can be built up once more. It is not all that easy.
This island is not a land flowing with milk and honey. It has very grave agricultural limitations. With these problems that Cyprus now faces, the economic position is unquestionably very bleak. She has her independence but scarcely a crust of bread. This is something which we, who are not only concerned with the political aspects of the settlement but also with the fate of the Cypriot people—because our interest in them does not end with the signature of the Agreement—have to address our minds to and decide what we can do to help. We have to decide how we can do it and how most tactfully we can do it, because tact plays a great part in the subtle process of freedom.
Obviously, the first great need for Cyprus is a development commission, but this is a matter for them to decide. All that we can do is to offer to make available some of our best economic consultants. We can only make the offer and leave it to the new Government of Cyprus to accept or reject it. They could do with a few good businessmen on the development commission. It is really a case of asking Mr. Niarchos to help Mr. Makarios.
We have to try to provide some of the facilities, as we are leaving, which will enable such a development commission to function, and the main facility, of course, is capital. Here, while we have to be careful about the balance between the three Powers, we have to recognise, too, the economic difficulties of Greece and Turkey and their limited capacity to help. The most important capital investment for Cyprus at the moment is in agriculture. The independence of Cyprus may be secured in various ways in the first stage, but it will really depend in the future on water, fertilisers, and tractors and how much mechanisation and 671 capital investment goes into the farmland to increase not just the productivity of the individual but the productivity per acre.
The second economic point about which something ought to be done—I want to know what the Home Secretary has to say about this—is that of a deep-water port for Cyprus. There has been much talk about a deep-water port. I appreciate that it is a very expensive undertaking, but, on the other hand, if a mole were run out into the sea at a particularly sheltered position, the effect of a deep-water port could be created without a great deal of the expense. I am told, for instance, that at Limassol, which is one of the most exposed areas of the island, the days on which such a mole could not be used would number only 18 or 20 in the year. I should like to know what action the Government are taking about this very important problem. A deep-water port would give Cyprus the opportunity of becoming an entrepreneur in that corner of the Mediterranean which she has been denied until now because of the lack of facilities.
There is one more aspect of the Agreement which has implications not for the Cypriots but for us. In the post-war era, we have been concerned in developing a new concept of Empire geared to the changing conditions of the second half of the twentieth century. During the last few years, we have seen some of the most dramatic changes which have taken place since the collapse of the Roman Empire sixteen centuries ago. But there has been a very big difference—I do not say that either side has been blameless—but, on the whole, a very remarkable change and transformation came over the old concept of colonialism with the freedoms which we have granted to India and the South-East Asian countries. A new pattern was thus set in the development of the Empire as it used to be called.
Sometimes, that trend has been set in reverse. Sometimes, when the conditions have not been so good, the results have been extremely damaging. We must ask ourselves whether here, in Cyprus, we have learnt lessons which will be applied in an even more critical and explosive situation 3,000 miles to the South.
§ 5.32 p.m.
§ Sir Roland Robinson (Blackpool, South)
I find myself in very full agreement with the opening remarks of the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly). I can truthfully say that the maiden speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon) gave a great deal of pleasure to us on all sides of the House. I add my personal tribute to him. Since I knew his father so well for very many years, it is with a sense of real pride that I acknowledge that my hon. Friend did so well. He will not, perhaps, mind if I say that I have been in the House somewhat longer than he has been in this world. Hence, he will realise that I have heard very many maiden speeches, but I do not think that I remember one which gave me so much pleasure.
The speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan), on the other hand, did not give very much pleasure at all to many of us on this side of the House, although we were interested in his reminiscences when he told us that in his early days he had been brought up on sulphur and treacle. Sulphur and treacle must be habit-forming. They are still here. The sulphur is reserved for us in the synthetic anger with which he attacks our integrity and the integrity of the Colonial Secretary. The treacle is reserved for his hon. Friends who are never wrong in anything they ever do. It was a pity that today the treacle became a little bitter when his own friends had to remind him that the cases of Nkrumah and Seretse were their actions and not ours.
§ Sir R. Robinson
I have many more, as the hon. Gentleman will hear if he stays to listen. It is a great pity that the right hon. Gentleman does not take care to discover—it would be a discovery for him—the record of the past before he blames us for so many things done by people on his own side.
The most unworthy part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech was the attack he made on my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Many of us resented his words about "humbugging sermons" and "flabby 673 sentences". It is my opinion and, I believe, the opinion of people all over the Commonwealth that the record of my right hon. Friend is one of really constructive achievement in the constitutional development of the new Commonwealth we have today. History will remember his work long after even the name of the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale has been forgotten.
In the excitement and synthetic anger of his attack upon us, the right hon. Gentleman practically forgot all about the great achievements of this new Agreement. He was concerned with raking up the past and blaming us for some delay which he imagined had been caused by us. I think it would have been far better if he had done what we are doing and turned to the future, thinking of what will happen in Cyprus under the achievements of this Agreement.
It is an outstanding accomplishment, after long years of trouble and strife, that we have been able to reach a settlement which can be accepted with honour by all the parties concerned. It is a great achievement, and I pay my tribute to the Prime Minister, to the Foreign Secretary, to the Colonial Secretary and to the other members of the Government for it. I pay my tribute also for what was done in the final conferences by the Greeks, the Turks and the Cypriots, and I pay my tribute also to Sir Hugh Foot, the Governor of Cyprus. All of them played a part in bringing about a measure of peace.
At this time, it is really too bad that the Opposition should seek to move an Amendment in which the whole emphasis, according to the right hon. Gentleman's speech, is simply to blame us because a settlement was not made before.
§ Sir R. Robinson
The hon. Gentleman says "Hear, hear." I am convinced that we could have attained a settlement long ago if many hon. Members opposite had not, time and time again, made it abundantly clear to the Greeks and Greek Cypriots that if there were a change of Government Enosis was just around the corner. When people representing practically one half of this House of Commons create that kind of atmosphere, it is exceedingly difficult to negotiate with any chance of success.
§ Sir R. Robinson
I turn now to the policy of the Government on Cyprus. It was well stated in June by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, when he said that we had four main purposes in our policy. They were, of course, repeated in Cmd. 455 of June last year. The first purpose—properly the first purpose—wasto serve the best interests of all the people of the Island.Those were the Prime Minister's words and the words of the White Paper. In this settlement, we have, I think, done that. Hate and fear have been replaced by peace and friendship. Point No. 1 has been met. The people on the island of all races can walk about freely and without fear, carrying on with their work and life in decent and proper conditions.
Point No. 2 in the same White Paper wasTo achieve a permanent settlement acceptable to the two communities in the Island and to the Greek and Turkish Governments.At all times, that has been one of the objectives of our policy. We have made it clear in debate after debate in the House and in statements by the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the Colonial Secretary that, if only we could have real agreement between Greek and Turk in Cyprus, we were happy to try to meet them on every possible point.
The aim has been, of course, to reach a permanent solution. This is most important. It is something in which our troops can feel that they have played their part. Some of the greatest tragedies in our history have occurred when we have gone out before a job was completed, leaving the place in chaos instead of order. We have but to think of the example of Palestine. If we had been able to stay just a little longer, making it clear at all times that we were going when our job was completed, a great many lives would have been saved. By getting this kind of permanent solution in Cyprus, we have possibly saved thousands of lives and our troops can say that their stay there has been well worth while.
The next aim in our policy was to safeguard the British bases and installations on the island which are necessary to enable the United Kingdom to carry out 675 her obligations. In the negotiations, the most important British point has been met in the sense that we have sovereignty of our bases. I regard this as vital. Some people would say that it is sufficient to lease our bases, but a lease is not sufficient because Governments come and go. We know from the past that, even though there has been agreement for British bases, when we have put vast sums of money into the installations new Governments have come and, because we had no sovereignty, we have lost our bases. On this occasion, therefore, I consider that the right thing has been done. What is more important from the viewpoint of our bases is that we have managed to do it with good will. Instead of having enemies along our lines of communication, we have friends.
The last of our four points of policy was to strengthen peace, security and co-operation between the United Kingdom and her Allies in this vital area. We have done that and, by the settlement, we have been able to strengthen peace, security and co-operation. As was made clear by my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary in his speech, we are now in a much better position in N.A.T.O. with Greek and Turk working together side by side.
Over the past few years in Cyprus, strong passions and prejudices have arisen on both sides. Now is the time to let them cool off as rapidly as we can. In spite of everything that has happened, I am firmly convinced it was wise that the amnesty should come into effect at once. Of course, there have been crimes and crimes have been committed in the name of freedom. Let us, however, try to forgive these people and see whether we cannot get everyone in Cyprus now to work together for one common aim. We have been generous to those who opposed us, and we have been wise in so doing. At the same time, having been generous to our opponents, let us in every way be generous to our friends. At the head of this category, I put our own troops. No tribute that can be paid to them can be good enough to express our appreciation of all that has been done by the troops in Cyprus during the past few years.
What was so much resented by our troops and by many of us in this House was when certain hon. Members made 676 great insinuations that the troops were doing other than their fair and proper duty. That was remembered, and it will be remembered for quite a long time.
Now that the troops are coming back, having knowledge of what they have done, let us be generous to them in every way. If any political crimes have arisen through over-exuberance while they have been in Cyprus, let them be forgiven along with the Greeks and Turks. At the same time, however, when they come home let us be more warmhearted in our generosity, too. What does it matter if our troops in Cyprus come back with 400 instead of 200 cigarettes [An HON. MEMBER: "Or a watch, too."] On an occasion like this, they should have a great welcome and we should not be too fussy about such matters as cigarettes.
When we pay our tribute to the fine work of the troops, let us pay a tribute to the work which has been done by their wives. That is something which is often forgotten. This is a military operation in which the troops have been allowed to have their wives and families with them under conditions of great difficulty. Towards the middle of last year, when conditions seemed to be very difficult, they were given the opportunity of coming home, but they all said that they would prefer to stay there by their men and to face whatever troubles and difficulties there were.
There were 200 or 300 of them in this country who had been debarred from going and who asked me and others to help to get them out there. There was great joy on their part when my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister was able to arrange that they should join their men in time for Christmas. They went out freely and voluntarily, knowing all the difficulties and troubles that they would face. The whole of those women have what, to use a good British word, we call guts, and we can honestly say that we are proud of the part they have played.
I have spoken of the troops. I welcomed particularly in the speech of my right hon. Friend his remarks about looking after the administrators and civil servants who have stuck with us throughout our troubles in Cyprus. [HON. MEMBERS: "And the police."] Yes, and the police. They have all done a fine job and been very loyal. Whatever happens now, we must see that they have a square deal and that they are not let down 677 because they remained loyal to us while we were there. I am extremely pleased that discussions have already begun, and I would like my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary to know that certainly on this side of the House, and, I think, on the benches opposite, we will back him in securing that a fair deal is given to these people.
The hon. Member for Pembroke spoke of the possibility of Cyprus joining the Commonwealth. He was much more reasonable and proper in his approach to the problem than was his right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale, who more or less wound up by giving his orders about how it should be done. Association with the Commonwealth is a voluntary effort, and the first thing that must come about is that Cyprus and the Cypriots should say that they wish to join. If they wish to join freely, I am certain that on all sides of the House we should be happy to have them. Membership of the Commonwealth carries both rights and obligations, and I am sure that all of us would welcome the people of Cyprus as partners. The choice, however, is with them, and at this stage we should not force them.
I feel that in Cyprus we have been able to reach an honourable solution. It is not a victory for Greek or for Turk, or for or anyone else, but a victory for common sense. There remain many difficulties ahead, both political and economic, but I believe that with good will they can be overcome and that the new constitution can be made to work. Cyprus will carry the good wishes of all of us.
§ 5.48 p.m.
§ Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)
I cannot refrain from paying my tribute to the hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon) and expressing my admiration for his remarkable maiden speech. It was thoughtful, constructive, informative, and what is more, delivered with great charm, which captured the House. All of us, on both sides, listened to him with rapt attention. In common with many other hon. Members, I had the privilege of friendship with his father. Naturally, we would be inclined to favour the hon. Member because of our recollection of his parent, but he has established his reputation among us, not in memory of his father, but by his own ability and the way 678 in which he has addressed the House on this difficult occasion.
There is not one of us, in any part of the House, who does not rejoice that the strife in Cyprus has ended and that peace once more has come to that island, which was so movingly described by the hon. Member for Southend, West in his closing words. Our one hope now is that the people of Cyprus will live together, forgetting bitterness and animosity and having one aim and one aim only: that is, the welfare of the island as a whole and its gradual development—as it must be done gradually—and happiness for all time.
The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies very rightly referred to the fact that we had not had a debate on Cyprus since last June or July. He might have paid a tribute to the fact that those of us who did not agree with the plan which had been put forward by Her Majesty's Government showed, throughout the whole of that period, very considerable restraint under great difficulties. We had many criticisms to make of the plan, but we decided that if it were possible that that plan might bring peace to the island and bring about a settlement, not one word of ours should be uttered which might endanger that possibility. It would have been right if that tribute had been paid to those of us who felt strongly about this matter but, throughout that period, did not utter one word of captious criticism.
An Agreement has now been made between Greece, Turkey, ourselves, the Hellenic Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. It is not for me to criticise that Agreement in any way. I would not desire to do so for one moment, because the aim not only of the people of the island but of all of us should be that the Agreement should be a success and that these people should now live in amity.
But that does not prevent our criticising Her Majesty's Government for the way in which all this matter has been handled. Throughout, I have felt that the people most concerned were the islanders of Cyprus. They were the people of paramount importance. Even our position was secondary to theirs, for we were there as trustees and, that being so, it was their desires and wishes which 679 should have had paramount consideration from everybody. It was because of the failure to give that consideration that all along we were criticising the policy and the attitude of Her Majesty's Government.
If the island were necessary for the protection of our interests in the Mediterranean, then, a fortiori, it was necessary that we, being alien to the people of the island, should carry with us their friendship at all times. It is impossible to establish a base of any value whatsoever among people who are hostile to us and who are prepared to make any sacrifice, even of life itself, in order that they might get rid of the alien domination which they dislike.
One felt all along, that being so, that the right solution for us to adopt, and especially for Her Majesty's Government, was to treat the wishes of the people of Cyprus as of paramount importance. We took a kind of conditional responsibility for these people in 1878. There was a possibility that we might have had to resign our position there and restore responsibility to the Turkish Government and people, but, from November, 1914, when we annexed the island, and certainly after the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, we had sole and complete responsibility for the people.
That being so, and that being our position in every land where we have held dominion, the primary consideration, following the policy which we have always pursued, should have been the wishes and desires of these people. That has been the principle which we have followed in every case where we have held dominion over other lands. It is because we have followed that policy that our position today in the world is so high among all peoples as a people who not only desire liberty for ourselves but for all other people.
Reference is often made, even in the House, to the clauses in the United Nations Charter and the Atlantic Charter dealing with the rights of peoples everywhere, their rights to their own individual liberty, their right to choose their own Government, and their right to decide their own way and destiny. I take pride in the fact, as I am sure everyone else does, that these clauses in these charters merely reiterate the policy followed by 680 this country whenever its Government have acted wisely and correctly. These clauses ought to have been nothing new to us, for it is in that way that the Commonwealth has grown and flourished and the Empire has withered and is continuing to wither. It is only when we depart from that principle that trouble arises.
When we assumed complete responsibility for the people of Cyprus we were responsible not only for their good government, but also for their welfare and their education until they had achieved a position in which they and we could safely say that they were entitled to self-government. Those matters concerned them and ourselves, and nobody else. They were no concern of Greece and no concern of Turkey. They were matters for us and the people of Cyprus alone. That has been the position which we have taken up and recognise as the right position in every instance where the Commonwealth is now flourishing.
It is only when we depart from that principle that trouble arises. How much suffering and misery could have been avoided if that principle had been consistently followed not only in this, but in many other cases. How heavily have we had to pay when we have departed from that principle.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies made a reference to South Africa and Lord Milner. I thought that it was a most unfortunate reference in this connection. I do not think that Sir Hugh Foot would welcome the fact that he had been compared with Lord Milner. Although the people of South Africa have had self-government and freedom since 1906, and the right to go their own way and decide their own destiny, that will not obliterate from their minds what happened between 1899 and 1902. Nothing will obliterate the concentration camps from their minds. The bitterness of that still remains and is the cause even today of all the trouble in South Africa.
In the same way the memory has never been eradicated from those who suffered because of what happened when we departed, as we did in the first instance when this great problem of Cyprus came before the House, from the principles to which I have referred. Again, the wrong policy which was adopted in 1776 still remains a memory in America. It has 681 done harm not only to us, but to all our friends. The idea they had that we were still colonially-minded has caused a great deal of the trouble in Europe today. Even President Roosevelt was firmly convinced that Stalin was less colonially-minded than the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill).
Therefore, I deeply regret the attitude taken throughout this matter by Her Majesty's Government. I hope that the one consideration now will be the future of these people and their welfare. I agree with the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) that it is necessary to realise that we are still under an obligation to these people. As I have said, we have been trustees for them since 1878. We have brought new ideas to them. We have shown them a different mode of life from that which they had before. We cannot desert them now and we ought to treat them with the greatest generosity possible.
Having said that, I still think that the Government were wrong. I agree with the Amendment moved from the Opposition benches by the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale. It is a matter of deep regret that so much suffering and so many deaths should have been caused. People have lost their loved ones, and this need never have happened if we had followed the principles which guided us so rightly in the past.
§ 6.2 p.m.
§ Viscount Lambton (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Nearly every hon. Member who has spoken so far today has expressed his appreciation of the distinguished maiden speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Chan-non), about which I shall say something later. But, first, may I say how pleased I am also to hear an old-timer speaking in his usual pleasant way. The right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) has not spoken much in this House recently, and it is pleasant to hear him again.
Whatever else one has to say, one must express great pleasure that for the first time in a number of years there is peace in Cyprus. I can honestly say that I have not felt the surprise expressed by some hon. Members of Her Majesty's Government, and by the Governor of Cyprus, that this has come about, for once last autumn the Greek Government 682 and Archbishop Makarios officially abandoned Enosis, a great stumbling block to peace had gone. For the Turkish desire for partition had always been a defensive measure, brought about purely by the fact that the Turks could not bear to see their south coast under the domination of a country in whose government they had no say.
Taking this into consideration, it seemed clear at the end of last year that we were losing an opportunity to establish peace and to safeguard our own position in the island by abandoning the partition plan and taking the rule of the island into our own hands until a settlement could be effected. Indeed, the statement of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies of Mr. Zorlu's willingness to leave the matter in our hands if the Greek attitude could be minimised would seem to support this point of view.
I still think that last autumn this would have been the correct decision to make. It would have divorced the military situation from the political one, and how valuable that would have been. That is made clear when one remembers that had it not been for the intervention of the Foreign Secretary, who telephoned from Paris to save the lives of a few Cypriots at that time, there would now be a severance of relations between Greece and this country and the present solution could not have been reached.
However, that is a matter of opinion, and the main thing we are glad about and must discuss is the settlement. I want to make a very stringent criticism of the way peace was reached, because it seems to me to impinge upon a vital principle. I cannot believe it was right that tire Turkish and Greek representatives should meet at Zurich to discuss the future of a British Colony without one of our representatives taking part in the discussion. Neither can I believe it was wise to let it be believed that we would agree to what those representatives decided there.
It is a business maxim that in any problem where three people are concerned, if only two of the three meet to discuss the solution the interests of the third will not receive just consideration. It has been said in opposition to this point of view that the justification of the 683 Zurich talks was that we were aware of what was going on. However, I find it a further need for comment that it tied our hands even more, since it made it impossible for us to object to what was accepted there. It has always seemed to me that in entering into discussions where one's interests are concerned one should be as uncommitted as possible to any point of view.
Taking all this into consideration, should we not have stated definitely at Zurich that it was our opinion that we must remain in force in the island for a period of from three to five years? I say this not in any colonial spirit, not in the spirit which the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite sometimes thinks inhibits all hon. Members on this side of the House, but because of the singular difficulties existing in Cyprus today. I am thinking of the vendettas that will be pursued and the blood feuds that will be waged and of the opportunities for disorder that will be given to the Communist Party, which is stronger now in the island than has ever been known before. All this, in my opinion, may affect adversely a nation emerging into self-government for the first time.
We have a great responsibility in Cyprus. As the right hon. and learned Gentleman said, we have been there for eighty years. It seems to me that to leave an island emerging from a state of bloodshed without an adequately trained police force is not taking our responsibility in the right way. When we go, goodness knows what the state will be in an island with a new constitution of which we have yet no experience.
However, this is going back into the past in a sense, and as this point of view was not put forward at Zurich, and as the impression reached there was that what was agreed we would accept, we have no alternative but to accept withdrawal from the island. Why, then, do we suddenly throw in the question of the sovereignty of bases? Having abandoned the position of staying for a period, we should then withdraw. What does the sovereignty of bases mean? We are told that there are three areas in Cyprus which we desire to keep.
There is not a single enclave. They are scattered and disordered. There is an 684 aerodrome here, a port there. Anyone who has been to the island can see that only by enormous expenditure will it be possible to concentrate everything into one of those three areas. I return to the singular maiden speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West, who spoke with the experience of having served in the island. He asked the Government how they were to see that the three bases were co-ordinated. Anyone who has been to the island wants to know the answer to that question, and I hope that it will be answered tonight.
It is said that we are to have the right of communication, but are we to have sovereignty of communication? If so, what does it mean and is it workable? I have spoken to several military strategists, generals, all of whom have served in the island, and they cannot see how the scheme can be worked against a hostile community without our having a very large number of troops in the island, which is precisely what we are trying to avoid.
Apart from that, is it wise, when we are beginning a new relationship with a new country, to insist on an irritating situation which it will be very difficult for us to preserve? Without doubt, in the years that lie ahead, by the very nature of the problem and by the very nature of the past, there will be strained relationships between the Archbishop, the leaders of the island and ourselves. Is it wise to leave in their hands a pretext for personal attack against this country, especially, as I have said, when that pretext is one which it will be extremely difficult for us to contradict without enormous expense? Is it worth while, for the sake of saving face which we have already lost, to insist on a position which is the reason for dissension?
Once again, as so often in the last two years, it seems to me that our policy has regrettably fallen between two stools. We had to decide whether to stay on the island for a period of years, nursing, as it were, by benevolent force a new nation coming out—and, taking all the circumstances into consideration, that is the course I would have adopted—or the alternative to it, the acceptance of that to which we were committed by keeping silent at Zurich and accepting what was agreeable to the Turks, the Greeks and Archbishop Makarios.
685 The pity seems to me to be that we have not accepted either of those two courses, each of which might work, but have taken four-fifths of the second and spoiled it by one-fifth of the first. As the result, I fear that we may once again have the worst of both worlds. We should learn the proposition which I have put forward again and again in the last year. It is simply that a policy of pure strength can work, that a policy of pure compromise can work, but that in a situation such as this a mixture of the two cannot work.
§ 6.14 p.m.
§ Mrs. Lena Jeger (Holborn and St. Pancras, South)
The noble Lord the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Viscount Lambton) has made an intensely interesting analysis of the Agreement. Much of what he said will be echoed by hon. Members on this side of the House. It will be for his right hon. Friend to deal with the specific matters which he has raised and I would not make so bold as to try to put a gloss on these admittedly difficult matters.
Looking back at our debates, I felt how easy it would be to make a speech which was merely a collection of quotations from Government benches over the last five years, putting on the record, to the embarrassment of the Government, a series of catastrophic misjudgments and shifts of policy and contradictions which have distorted relations between this country and Greece, Turkey, and all the communities in Cyprus.
We have had to go from the "never-never" land of Mr. Hopkinson, now Lord Colyton, a little further forward to the "not foreseeable future". In the White Paper published in 1956, after the talks between Governor Harding and Archbishop Makarios, we went to a new situation in which the Government announced that it was not their position that the principle of self-determination could never be applicable to Cyprus. Having passed from the "never" to the "not 'never'", we could see how confusion had reigned.
I admit that my own feeling is one of relief that the bloodshed in Cyprus has stopped and it is thus easy to respond to the understandable invitations of hon. Members opposite to forgive and forget. But I think that we should have been failing in our duty if we had let the 686 Government's disastrous record on Cyprus sink without trace.
I say that for several reasons. The first is that it has cost this country as a whole, and many families, dearly. It is easy for politicians by their wrong policies to put our soldiers in jeopardy and then seek to discharge their responsibility to those soldiers and their families by praising the troops. That costs the politicians nothing, but it often costs the soldiers their lives.
It is not only in this country that families have been bereaved and suffered grievous injury. So far today, very little reference has been made to the tragedy which the last few years have brought to the people of Cyprus themselves and to the even longer and in some ways more horrible death roll of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
Those of us who have spent some time in the island and who, for different periods, shared something of the life of the people, as I have, realise what it has meant to the families of the Cypriot people—hundreds of menfolk in prison, many more in the mountains, families deprived of the breadwinner, husband and wife separated, the indignity of constant searches, curfews, the distortion of the economy, the constant atmosphere of fear. Those have all been part of the life of the ordinary men and women of Cyprus over the last few years. It is on hon. Members opposite that responsibility for that must be placed.
I pay my tribute, if he will not resent it, to the hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon), for his maiden speech. The whole House was deeply impressed with its quality and tone, all the more so, because he spoke as a soldier who had served in Cyprus. It is remarkable that almost everyone who has been to the island, and who has spent some time among the people, agrees that part of the heartbreak of the present situation arises from the fact that Cyprus is such a beautiful place and that the people are so likeable and so friendly. I say that because I thought that I detected undertones of near affection for Cyprus in what the hon. Member said.
I have watched soldiers at work in Cyprus when they have been trying to do their desperately unfair job, many of 687 them conscientiously and with the minimum of friction, but in many cases it has been an impossible task. It is most unfair for hon. Members opposite to suggest that there is any lack of appreciation by hon. Members on this side of the House of the efforts of our troops and the work that they have done. Time and again we have said that the fault is with those who sent the troops to Cyprus. It is time that that fact was recognised.
This conflict has gone on for many years. Had the Government made earlier the concessions which they have made now, many lives could have been saved. I feel that we are somehow back at the beginning. It is as though we had been through a nightmare of lost years. Now we are starting out to reach the point that we could have reached several years ago had it not been for the many statements, full of lack of wisdom, that we have had to put up with from hon. Members opposite.
The Colonial Secretary made much of the importance of our strategic needs, and of our bases in Cyprus. I was puzzled to know why he spent so long on this subject, because it has never been a point in issue. If we think back to the tripartite talks between Greece, Turkey and this country which took place in London in 1955, and refer to the White Paper published after those talks, we find that the Greek representative, Mr. Stephanopoulos, made the position quite clear. He said:Greece has never (and I emphasise never) for a single moment entertained the idea of a withdrawal from Cyprus of the British Forces.In none of the discussions that have taken place with Archbishop Makarios has there been any argument about the right of the British to maintain forces in Cyprus. In fact, if hon. Members opposite will read the White Paper published after the breakdown of the talks between the Archbishop and General Harding they will see that a situation far more favourable to our strategic needs could have been secured then, because at that point, just before the Archbishop's deportation, the talks had reached a point at which the Archbishop was prepared to concede continued British sovereignty over the island.
The points then at issue concerned the question whether there should be an amnesty, as my right hon. Friend 688 reminded the House; the composition of the elected Chamber, and the question of who should have power over internal security. It would have been possible to reach agreement on those three points, and in the debates which took place on the White Paper it was pointed out by hon. Members on this side of the House that none of those points was insoluble and that there seemed to be no adequate reason for breaking off the talks at that stage: and certainly no reason at all for the exile of Archbishop Makarios, which followed soon after these very substantial concessions had been made by him.
I thought that it illustrated the almost pathologically hostile relationship between the right hon. Gentleman and Archbishop Makarios—hostile from the right hon. Gentleman's side—that he was able, in this important debate today, to make his opening speech on the Cyprus Agreement without making one reference to the name of Makarios.
It would have been too much to expect him to pay a tribute to the Archbishop. It must have been extraordinarily humiliating for him to have to bring the Archbishop to the Dorchester Hotel via the Seychelles and Athens. It is always easier to get rid of people than it is to bring them back into the picture when we happened to need them. The House must face the fact that, but for the cooperation of Archbishop Makarios, we would not be discussing the Agreement today. There can be no doubt on the part of hon. Members on either side of the House that it is only because the Archbishop has signed the Agreement that the people of Cyprus, from the Left to the Right, have accepted it.
The hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Ely (Major Legge-Bourke) seems to disagree. Perhaps he would like to make his position clear.
§ Major Legge-Bourke
The hon. Lady is arguing that agreement would never have come about had it not been for the Archbishop, but she is overlooking the fact that E.O.K.A., too, would never have gone on for so long if it had not been for him.
§ Mrs. Jeger
That is historically difficult for me to accept, because the heyday of E.O.K.A. came after the Archbishop had been deported. We must get our history right.
§ The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. John Profumo) indicated dissent.
§ Mrs. Jeger
I never know whether the Minister is shaking his head because he does not like what he is looking at, or because he is disagreeing with what I am saying.
§ Mr. Profumo
It is because of the general tenor of the hon. Lady's speech that I shake my head. It is nothing personal.
§ Mrs. Jeger
It must be quite clear that but for the Archbishop agreement could not have been reached. In fact, while Archbishop Makarios was in exile we were repeatedly told that one beneficial result would be that now, at last, other moderate Cypriot leaders could come forward. We have heard that term "other moderate Cypriot leaders" for years and years, in this House, and we have waited for them to materialise. I believe that the right hon. Gentleman was waiting for them, and we told him that he would wait in vain. If his intelligence service had been a little better he would never have acted in that manner.
§ Mrs. Jeger
The real turning point in this tragedy came last autumn, when the Archbishop made it clear that he was prepared to consider a situation in which there would be independence for Cyprus without any claim for Enosis. This was a very bold and difficult step for the Archbishop to take, and that fact should he acknowledged. In many ways this was the catalyst in this hitherto intractable situation, and I cannot see why hon. Members opposite are not gracious enough to concede this.
I should have thought that it would have been only fair and helpful. But no—between this new statement by the Archbishop and the conclusion of the Agreement, 50 more people had to die. The right hon. Gentleman told the House today that the lives lost in Cyprus were not lost in vain. If he can comfort himself with that reflection, I cannot—and I do not think that the relatives of those who died can derive any comfort from that statement.
So much for the past. Looking to the future we have an Agreement, which the 690 House must consider. It is a complicated Agreement. There are many obvious difficulties which must be faced, and I very much hope that we shall be able to give all possible help to the people of Cyprus in this new and difficult stage in their history. But we should recognise that this is the first time in the history of the Cypriot people that they have had the chance of independence and a representative Government of their own.
That chance was never given to them under any of the other dispensations which have ruled in the island, and we must welcome the fact that they now have that chance, because all those of us who know the island and its people have been aware for a long time of their need for more direct political responsibility and experience. At last, they have the chance of an elected Parliament which will be able to speak directly for them. I hope that soon we shall find Cyprus an independent, sovereign member of the United Nations, and for the first time playing a full part there.
I should like to mention one or two points which I find rather worrying and which I hope the Government may be able to clarify. On the first page of the White Paper there is a reference to the right of veto of the Vice-President, who is to be Turkish. If I read the White Paper correctly, it would seem that rather than being a Vice-President, the Turkish member, in practice, will be a co-President. I cannot see any difference in the powers of the President and the Vice-President. I am not arguing that there should be. I am merely asking for information about whether there is in reality any difference in status or in power between the President and the Vice-President.
While many of us welcome the fact that the worst communal features of the—I do not know whether to call it the Macmillan Plan or the Foot Plan; perhaps we had better put a hyphen between the two names and refer to it as "Foot-Macmillan"—Plan have been dropped, and there is to be this General Assembly, this Parliament to which I have already referred. I am sorry that it seems that this Parliament will be elected on a communal roll. It is one of my hopes for the future that we shall find the people 691 voting on a common roll for the best person to represent them in their Assembly.
§ Mrs. Jeger
Indeed it is, for the Cypriot people to decide, and I am glad that the hon. Member admits it.
§ Mrs. Jeger
Nothing I have said implies that I am desirous of imposing conditions. It is the Agreement which imposes these conditions. I am merely asking that some attention be given to this during the intervening talks. There are to be talks about the details of the constitution and I hope that this is one of the details which will merit a little attention.
It is also rather worrying that many matters are to be managed entirely by communal chambers. Education is listed—
§ Mrs. Jeger
I am trying to explain, if I may be allowed to.
I know that hitherto education in Cyprus has, in the main, been divided between Greeks and Turks and I have always thought that that was a pity. For anyone who cares about education it is sad to go to a Cypriot village where there is a mixed population and to find there are perhaps 10 Turkish children in the village who have to go to a separate little school. I have visited such schools, and one finds one teacher teaching the whole school.
§ Mrs. Jeger
I am not opposed to children going to whatever school their parents wish them to go. I am only saying that it is a pity if they have to go to a Catholic school and they do not want to.
§ Mrs. Jeger
If the hon. Gentleman wishes to interrupt me, perhaps he will be courteous enough to stand up.
§ Mrs. Jeger
I feel that the hon. Gentleman has abused the privilege of interruption. He said nothing which was helpful to our discussion. I consider it such a bad precedent that I do not propose to give way again.
The real point I wish to make about education—I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman does not want to listen—
§ Mr. Patrick Maitland rose—
§ Mrs. Jeger
Please let me finish my point about education.
There are few facilities for higher education in Cyprus, such facilities as are provided by the Forestry School, for example, and I think that it would be disastrous if the very limited facilities for higher education, particularly in technical spheres, which have been made available, should be so communalised that we find it impossible for Greeks to go to one institute or Turks to go to another. I hope that where the two communities can come together and agree to share in these limited facilities we shall encourage them to do so; it would not be proper to go any further than that.
§ Mr. Maitland rose—
§ Mrs. Jeger
I do not propose to give way any more to hon. Members opposite. They have so little to say when one does try to deal with them courteously.
I have mentioned those few points, and there are others which I think will be dealt with as confidence develops in Cyprus. The limitations which have had to be laid down, because of the suspicion which unfortunately exists, may in time wither away. I look forward to a time when the Greeks and Turks in Cyprus will not feel it necessary to have it laid down that the Civil Service must be 70 per cent. Greek and 30 per cent. Turkish; that the Army must be 60 per cent. Greek and 40 per cent. Turkish, but that these people will gradually begin to think of themselves as Cypriots living in a common homeland and contributing together to its progress and to its welfare.
693 We have referred to this Agreement as giving sovereignty to Cyprus but it is a very muted sovereignty. The noble Lord the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed referred to the enclaves of which there are to be two in this tiny island about equal in size to a couple of English counties. All sorts of difficulties will have to be worked out. On page 10 of the White Paper we find references to the right of interference by Greece and Turkey, to the rights of Greece and Turkey to have troops on the island. So that in this small country there are to be troops from three other countries.
If, as we all hope, Cyprus remains in the Commonwealth, it will surely be an unprecedented situation that in a Commonwealth Territory there are to be troops from two foreign countries. I am asking for guidance about this, because I find it very puzzling. Coupled with the right given in Article 3 to Greece and Turkey to intervene, either separately or together, in certain very vaguely defined circumstances, it needs examining carefully.
We all wish well to this new country. Most of the past troubles of Cyprus have arisen out of her geographical situation. I hope that in the future most of her prosperity and happiness, also, will arise out of her geographical situation. There she is, on the frontier between Europe and the Orient, at the crossroads of many civilisations and cultures. Cyprus can become a very beautiful, interesting, prosperous and, I believe, happy country which many people would find great pleasure in visiting; a country where, I hope, the people, by their own efforts and their own hard work—because they are an industrious people—will find a new prosperity and happiness.
§ 6.40 p.m.
§ Mr. J. Enoch Powell (Wolverhampton)
Whatever words are spoken and whatever attitudes are taken up in a debate which, unfortunately, it appears, is to end in a Division, I do not believe that there is any hon. Member anywhere in the House who is not glad at heart that these Agreements have been reached upon which it is hoped that a settlement in Cyprus will be based, and who does not pray that that settlement will be rapidly worked out and brought to fruition.
694 It is not a settlement which anyone, until quite recently, was at all expecting in this form. If one goes back five years or ten years, we find that the very nation of an independent Cyprus, a Republic of Cyprus, which is the essence of this solution, was regarded as fantastic. It was taken as axiomatic by people on all sides—hon. Members opposite as well as hon. Members on Government benches—that Cyprus as a separate entity was not "viable". That, I think, was the word which was most favoured.
I will not trouble the House with many quotations, but it is, perhaps, worth remembering one or two things which have been said, which illustrate how automatically it was assumed that this territory could not in itself be independent. In February, 1954, Lord Ogmore, a former Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies in the Labour Government, said, in another place:In my view, there are at least thirty Colonial Territories which can never in the ordinary way be entirely independent of this country … I am looking at Cyprus, as I think we can only look at it, as purely a Colonial Territory and one that is likely to remain so."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 23rd February, 1954; Vol. 185. c. 1083–4.]The hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker), in a very interesting speech which he made in an Adjournment debate in 1954, said:The alternative before us is either to stay in the island … or to hand over Cyprus to Greece."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd July, 1954; Vol. 530, c. 1847.]The Labour Party, in its official document on colonial policy, in 1957, said:… in present circumstances, it seems likely that all, or almost all, of the Territories mentioned"—these were the smaller territories of the Empire and included Cyprus—will neither be capable of national sovereignty nor anxious to attain it.That document went on to say:The people of a territory too small for independence can attain representation in a sovereign Parliament by integration into an existing nation state. Integration can be either with the United Kingdom, as in the case of Malta, or with some other Commonwealth country, or with a nation outside the Commonwealth, as the Cypriot advocates of Enosis desire.So, until almost yesterday, it was common ground that Cyprus, like certain other places, was a territory which, by its very 695 nature, we could not expect to see as an independent sovereign nation. Yet today we are taking part in launching the Republic of Cyprus; indeed, we are proposing to enter into guarantees of its status as an independent sovereign republic.
I believe that there is a lesson in this unexpected change in our point of view which has a value extending even beyond the affairs of the Island of Cyprus. I think that we have been much too ready in the past to assume that this or that territory, because it is small or poor or labours under some disadvantage, is not capable of being a sovereign independent entity in the world of today. The map of the world is dotted with territories which, if today they were dependent, everyone would be ready to deny could ever be independent. One does not need, either, to point to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or the Principality of Monaco as examples; much more substantial cases will occur to hon. Members of territories which, if they were colonial today, we should regard as not viable, as countries for which there could be no independent future.
I believe that we have made these assumptions, proved in the case of Cyprus to be erroneous, all the more readily, and all the more honourably, too, because of the difficulty of conceiving how territories of this kind can both be independent and still within the Commonwealth. I suggest that a good deal of rethinking may be necessary in this respect about the composition of the Commonwealth. We have, perhaps, too readily assumed that membership of the Commonwealth is only practicable for great sovereign nation States like India or Australia. This may be another assumption which will prove on further experience, and with further development, to have been ill founded.
§ Mr. Callaghan
As the hon. Member has quoted from the Labour Party pamphlet, will he go on to say that that was the whole argument of the pamphlet—that there were a number of nations which could well become Dominions, which we regarded as being of vacant status, but should remain inside the Commonwealth?
§ Mr. Powell
Yes, but in relation to Cyprus, and, indeed, many other countries, this was not conceived in that 696 pamphlet; indeed, as I pointed out in the passage which I quoted, it was never imagined that Cyprus could have independence except by being embodied in another sovereign State. It was only yesterday that independence for Cyprus, otherwise than through Enosis or partition, that is, union partly with Turkey and partly with Greece, was conceived by anyone.
But this is not the only assumption which I believe we are called upon to reconsider by this dramatic and welcome turn of events in Cyprus. The assumption which I have been criticising is closely linked with another assumption, also made hitherto on both sides of the House, that sovereignty was necessary to the discharge of Britain's obligations and the fulfilment of her requirements—that it was an indefeasible necessity of the situation. Here, again, neither party until yesterday, so long as that party bore responsibility, had departed from the concept of British sovereignty in Cyprus as being an essential for British requirements.
The right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones), when he was Colonial Secretary, announced in 1947:No change in the status of the island is contemplated by His Majesty's Government."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th March, 1947; Vol. 434, c. 1318.]When the party opposite produced a draft constitution for Cyprus in 1948, the despatch in which it announced it began by rejecting in termsthe principle of fully responsible Government in the internal affairs of Cyprus",and it was a condition of that proposed constitution thatthe Legislature may not discuss the status of Cyprus within the British Commonwealth".In 1950, the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. J. Dugdale) was assuring the House:It has repeatedly been made clear that no change in the sovereignty of the island is contemplated".—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 21st June, 1950; Vol. 476, c. 1279.]Here, incidentally, is the refutation of the charge made today from the opposite side of the House that it is that principle, accepted and enunciated by Secretaries of State of both parties, which has been the cause of our difficulties in Cyprus. If to say, in 1954, that sovereignty was 697 necessary in Cyprus, was the cause of bloodshed, was it not the cause of bloodshed to say so in 1950?
§ Mr. Powell
The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) said this afternoon t hat something new was done and said in 1954 which precipitated the troubles and the bloodshed since that time. So far from it being something new, it was the repetition of a principle which was accepted until very recently without question by both the parties in this House whenever they were in a position of responsibility.
Now we are welcoming a settlement under which sovereignty for the island is given up, while sovereignty of two enclaves is 10 he retained. It is great evidence of the desire of all parties, the Turks, the Greeks and the two communities in the island, to come to a settlement, that sovereignty over those enclaves has been written into the agreement; but I share with my noble Friend the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Viscount Lambton) the hope that we shall not be deluded into the idea that there is some magic in sovereignty as such.
The utility of these areas to Britain, whatever be the forms adopted and whatever we say about sovereignty, will and must depend upon the good will of the people of that island. They cannot be of use to us unless we have that good will. The mere assertion of sovereignty gives of itself no security; in fact, there may be circumstances in which it actually diminishes security. The United States has the use of bases in Great Britain; I am far from sure whether the United States would be more certain of being able to use the facilities of those bases if she insisted that they should be under United States sovereignty.
We have to divest ourselves of the notion that sovereignty in itself confers any advantages or gives any security which does not rest upon the real circumstances in the places concerned. Sovereignty in itself is a mere form. The realities within it are the will of the people and the power of the sovereign. Nor are these two different and unconnected realities: they are only the reverse and the obverse of one and the same thing.
698 I believe that this brings us right to the heart of Britain's colonial problems over the last twenty years, problems of which that of Cyprus has only been one facet and one phase. In those last twenty years the reality inside our sovereignty has gradually been hollowed out. Both the physical and the moral or sentimental reality of sovereignty have gradually fallen away—the physical reality by the loss of Britain's absolute and relative economic and military preponderance in the world, and the moral reality by the spread of what we ineffectually call "nationalism", but is really the projection of all that Europe has given over the last two centuries to peoples of different races and circumstances throughout the world. Those two forces have hollowed out the reality, and have left behind little more than the shell of sovereignty—and one thing else, responsibility. It is responsibility inherited from the past, but still responsibility, for all that—responsibility to minorities, for peace, for well-being, for those who have served the Crown.
In this contradiction—for it is a kind of contradiction—lies the essence of Britain's colonial problem, lies the tragedy of Britain's colonial position today. Logically purely as a matter of logic—there can be no responsibility without the power to discharge it; but that is logic and not reality. We cannot, in fact, with a Lex non cogit ad impossibilia, simply wave aside the responsibilities with which history has left us in those territories. Thus, while sovereignty has come to be something different, to be in some places scarcely more than a form, there is still and there remains our moral duty.
In these circumstances, there are two extremes which we must avoid. One extreme is to suppose that we must, or, indeed, that we can, guarantee in perpetuity those things for which we are responsible; that "into the future, far as human eye can see", we have to make ourselves responsible for minorities, for welfare, and so forth. There is also the equally false and equally dangerous opposite extreme of supposing that we can cut the knot by ignoring the difficulties, by ignoring minorities, by ignoring the consequences of the removal of Britain's presence—that we can wish away part of the picture simply because it makes our task so difficult. That is the real difference between the two sides of this House on colonial questions. The party opposite 699 has too often been partial in its view of a situation, been too ready to simplify, too ready to see one side and to forget the additional reality, but still the reality, of those responsibilities which remain.
Between these extremes we have to seek the mean. Our duty goes thus far and no further, but it goes thus far: that wherever humanly possible our presence should not be withdrawn until there is a reasonable possibility that the rights of minorities will be provided for, that there will be peace and justice when we have gone, and that those for whom we have been responsible have a reasonable opportunity and a rational likelihood of survival and of well-being.
To achieve this will not always be possible. It will always be difficult, especially in circumstances like those on the island of Cyprus, complicated by the communal divisions of the island and by the involvement of those communal divisions in an international situation itself of great complexity. If this Agreement is carried into effect we shall, in this case, have achieved and have done our duty, and I rejoice with my right hon. Friend that it should be under his Secretaryship of State that it has been achieved.
But my last word is not for him, as I am sure he would have not wished it. This duty of ours cannot be achieved unless, as long as may be necessary for achieving it, we can hold the ring. In Cyprus, it is true to say that this peace, this settlement, has been achieved by the means of those who held the ring so long. Those civilians, and those in the Queen's uniform, who died in Cyprus, died no less certainly for Britain's honour than if they had fallen on the field of battle in our campaigns of imperial expansion.
§ 6.59 p.m.
§ Mr. Frank Tomney (Hammersmith, North)
The hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) has engaged the attention of the House in one of the most thoughtful speeches I have heard for a long time. At times his argument was on a very high plane indeed. He also left behind a multitude of unsolved practical problems turning upon Britain's colonial policy, whichever Government is in power, whether the Labour Party, as we hope will be the 700 case shortly, or hon. Members opposite. These are problems which cannot easily be solved by ready-made arguments or quick solutions.
Like him, I expressed some surprise when I first heard over the radio that the Greeks and Turks had arrived at a solution of their difficulties in Cyprus. In view of all that had occurred in the previous four years, I could not believe it. After all the strife, the bloodshed, the arguments, the divisions, and the religious influences, it did not seem possible that this agreement could have been reached in such a short time. It had, however, been achieved—and achieved principally at Zurich without the advice and consent of Her Majesty's Ministers.
This at once poses a particular problem for us in Great Britain because of the changing nature and complexities of the Commonwealth and the rising nationalism in territories which we formerly either protected or governed. When we gave independence to India, Pakistan and Ceylon we started a train of events which gathers momentum as it goes along. It does not absolve us from our responsibilities, but it poses special problems for us in this country as the accepted maternal guardian of these people's destinies and rights. When they achieve independence, to all intents and purposes they are on their own. We say, "This is what you wanted. Now you have it. What will you make of it?"
Cyprus is a peculiar problem in this respect. When we had to leave the Canal Base in 1954 we surrendered in the Middle East a vital base which could have been used had war, regrettably, ever broken out again. We took ourselves to Cyprus on the advice of those who ought to know—the military advisers to the Crown. I always had the gravest misgivings whether Cyprus could serve the purpose for which it was intended. I think that the Suez adventure proved conclusively that it could not. For instance, there is no deep-water harbour, there was a hostile population and the terrain is mountainous to a degree.
As a consequence of our move to Cyprus and of the statement in the House by the then Minister of State, Mr. Hopkinson, in which he implied that 701 Cyprus could never be granted independence, there arose a campaign which has been bitter and long. Nor do I believe that the sovereignty granted to Great Britain over the enclaves under the Agreement makes the use of the island a military possibility. Everything being taken into the island must be manhandled, not once but several times, and everything being taken out of the island has to be manhandled in the same way.
If a decision had to be made at this point, surely the right decision was to place the whole of the jackpot in Turkey, which is our reliable and established ally. The policy of basing troops in Cyprus and using it as a base for aircraft in my opinion will not work. I will tell the House why. Although the Agreement has been reached on a proportional basis of responsibility between the Greeks and the Turks, it is obvious that somewhere in the fastnesses of E.O.K.A. there must remain men who will demand complete independence for the island. This concession of independence appears in some respects remarkably similar to the independence of Ireland, and we know what happened there. Any base which we set up in the three areas of Cyprus will be untenable. The people who will become the new self-styled patriots will make them untenable for the soldiers who have to remain there.
We have a long colonial history. We have been responsible for many bad things and much bad government. We have also been responsible for many good things and much good government. We have done much good work in the Colonial Territories, but we are now vacating them one by one. What we leave behind is a responsibility which perhaps we cannot avoid, but it is not a responsibility which we can necessarily shoulder, because the people here must be considered, too. We are the maternal protectors of these Colonies and territories, but we can undertake that duty only up to a certain level; we cannot go all the way.
The Cyprus Agreement presents us with new problems. In Article 3 provision is made, as I read it, for a position which might arise in the event of insurgence in the island and breach of the provisions. This leads me to the question, why should we have British troops in Cyprus at all? If Turkey and Greece are members of 702 N.A.T.O., according to their strength and ability, what is wrong with stationing their troops on the island to perform the task which British troops have carried out? I can see nothing wrong with that. The presence of troops of the same nationality would be a less hostile presence to Greek Cypriots than that of British troops. Cypriot troops and Turkish troops might not have to suffer the same inconvenience as British troops may have to suffer on the island. I cannot see this arrangement of bases working in practice.
Another possibility which may arise, and which has not been mentioned in the debate, is one which we shall have to consider closely. Cyprus is a new responsibility within the Commonwealth. If Cyprus opts for Commonwealth membership, the question will have to be decided by the Commonwealth Prime Ministers in common meeting. It will involve dual nationality within the Commonwealth. It could be Turco-Greek or Greek-Cypriot. Are we to understand that immigration would then be permitted into Cyprus from Greece and Turkey and that after twelve months those people would be eligible for residence in the United Kingdom? If that is so, we shall have something very forcible to say about it. This point has not been considered.
What will be the position of the people here if Cyprus decides to stay outside the Commonwealth? Are we to grant them residence within this country and on what basis? What amount of hardship will it cause? Eventually the British taxpayer will be asked to foot the bill. If Cyprus remains in the Commonwealth, she is not viable economically, either agriculturally or otherwise. Shall we be asked to provide subventions of perhaps £20 million a year to an independent nation?
The situation is somewhat akin to that of Malta. Mr. Mintoff was offered six-fifths of what he asked. He turned it down. The British taxpayer would have had to foot the bill. If Mr. Mintoff wants independence, let him have it, but he must be prepared to take the consequences and he knows that if he has it, he cannot keep his people alive. Such are the difficulties of a changing Commonwealth.
If Nyasaland decides that she cannot remain within the Federation—she is now 703 being kept alive on the Federation budget—what will be the position of this country? It will cost another £40 million a year.
These territories have been a great benefit to us in the past in establishing our predominant industrial and economic position. The world is changing, and we have to change with it. It is a position which may be outside our control. That is why I view the position with the gravest doubt.
I wish to express my regret, as all hon. Members of the House have expressed their regret, about the position in which British soldiers have been placed in Cyprus in the last four years. If it was due to policy executed on the advice of experts, whose knowledge of strategy and the necessity for maintaing certain areas should have been based on deeper thinking than it has been, let us make sure in the future that advice on policy, and any action executed on that advice, is correct when it is taken.
If in the face of rising nationalism throughout the world we have to surrender areas which we formerly protected and in every single case be confronted with bloodshed, and if British troops behave in every case as magnificently as they have done in Cyprus under great provocation, it will be better to go at first by consent and agreement than to have that position thrust upon us. This much we owe to our traditions and our history. Whoever is responsible in the future in a situation which may arise should weigh the consequences gravely.
Before I sit down, I intend to say one thing which has not been said today. I am always fearful when the Church interferes in affairs of State. Archbishop Makarios is not the first bishop or archbishop in history who has interfered in affairs of state. We had a number of them in this country in centuries gone by, and we know what it cost us. It is true that he could at any time by giving the word have ended the activities of Eoka. It is true that in the execution of Government policy men in uniform will take the normal risks assigned to them on soldierly duties. It may be that they were not met face to face by honourable opponents. When one is dealing with guerrilla warfare and ambush one expects 704 to receive the treatment that guerrillas mete out.
One thing which should not pass without notice in today's debate is the issue of Mrs. Cutliffe. She was the wife of a British soldier. She was a noncombatant in Cyprus—a wife giving comfort and solace to her husband performing onerous duties. She, a noncombatant, was shot down in the back in Nicosia. When the final Articles on Cyprus are agreed and signed, taking the view that no man's experience is complete, that no man knows everything and that there is always something to learn either from emotion or experience, a copy should be presented to Archbishop Makarios, together with two photographs, one showing Mrs. Cutliffe surrounded by her five children, and the other showing Mrs. Cutliffe dead in a street in Nicosia. This crime revolted the whole civilised world. It should not pass without notice in the House of Commons.
If we have now to accept in fairness, justice and equity, the changing position in the world—I return to my previous statement—let us do it by consent.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Hendrie Oakshott (Bebington)
It is not by any means the first time that we have heard a most thoughtful speech from the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Tomney). He carried most of us with him in his concluding remarks. He was very right in the earlier part of his speech also—even though I may not agree with all his conclusions—when he drew attention to some of the very real difficulties which will be encountered in making the new arrangements work.
I wish to comment very briefly on two of his statements. First, he appeared to be very doubtful about the stationing of British troops in Cyprus. He said that as Greece and Turkey are members of N.A.T.O. why should they not do it all? I think that I am right in saying that British troops are there also because of our strategic interests in the Middle East, Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and down into the Indian Ocean. That is a very powerful reason why there should be British troops in Cyprus.
Secondly, the hon. Gentleman spoke about the possible problems arising out of dual nationality. I think that he is 705 wrong, but I am not quite sure. I cannot check it up in the White Paper. Surely they have citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus.
§ Mr. Oakshott
Am I not right in saying that? No doubt my right hon. Friend will be able to clear this up. If it is not mentioned, as one is creating a new republic one must be creating citizenship of the republic also. This is an important point which should be cleared up.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
The position as I understand it is that the new Cypriot Government have power over immigration. If they are to be members of the Commonwealth, their citizens will be citizens here, and so will those whom they admit to citizenship. That is the difficulty.
§ Mr. Oakshott
Surely the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) will agree that that is true of any Commonwealth country.
§ Mr. Oakshott
It is an important point which should be cleared up.
I may be forgiven if I add my congratulations to those already expressed to my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon) on his very remarkable maiden speech. In representing that constituency he is replacing somebody who was much loved on both sides of the House. Both for his own sake, and out of affection for his father, I should like to extend my personal good wishes to him.
I wholeheartedly welcome the terms of the Government Motion. I join with hon. Members on both sides of the House who have expressed their pleasure that there is a reference in the Motion and in the Amendment to the security forces and the public services in Cyprus. In their bearing and behaviour the British troops and security services have maintained the highest possible standards and lived well up to the traditions which we expect from our Services in carrying out tasks which very often must have 706 been extremely distasteful. This was referred to by the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. L. Jeger), and indeed it is not very nice for some of our finest troops to be engaged on police duties.
To those in the administration, as my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Sir R. Robinson) has said, the House owes a especial tribute, also. There will be some, no doubt, who, during the emergency, had to leave the island for good reasons and may not wish to return. There will be others who are there now who may, again for good reasons, not wish to stay. All these public servants must be properly compensated, and I most strongly urge my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary to ensure that the terms they receive are generous, so that the House of Commons can make sure that the compensation really reflects the value that we place on their devotion.
I have two things to say about the Opposition's Amendment. I think that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) said—the hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South certainly did—that my right hon. Friend made no reference today to Archbishop Makarios. My right hon. Friend did not mention Mr. Kutchuk, either. The Amendment contains no reference whatever to the Zurich and London talks, nor does it pay any tribute to those who participated in them. Archbishop Makarios participated in the London talks, and reference is made to that in the Government Motion—
§ Mr. Oakshott
The last part of the Amendment alleges that Government policies have prevented an earlier settlement. That appears to imply that there has been unreasonable and undue delay. That was the burden of the speech of the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale. That it took a long time is undeniable; that—in view of all the happenings in the island—it was very sad that this was so is also true; but to say that it was avoidable is flying in the face of reality.
This goes back to the time when my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, then Foreign Secretary, arranged the tripartite talks to which reference is made in page 3 of Command 680. All along, it seemed to many of us that a settlement that had 707 any chance of success or permanency could be arrived at only by arrangements acceptable to all parties. The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale talked of a soldier's solution. The Agreement is very far from that. Addressing the London Conference, the Prime Minister said:Cyprus was a problem which could only be resolved by agreement between our three countries, as well as with Cyprus itself.That does not sound like a soldier's solution.
Many of the critics of what we have been trying to do have never paid enough attention to the views of Turkey. The hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly) appeared to accuse this side of being inclined to favour the Turkish case. I do not think that that is true. Let us look at the position of Turkey. As my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West said, the Turkish mainland lies only 40 miles from Cyprus—Cyprus sits astride the southern Turkish ports. The Turks would never consent to the occupation of the island by any Power other than ourselves. With the relative numerical positions of the communities in Cyprus, the Turks were genuinely apprehensive that self-determination inevitably meant union with Greece. Turkey was not prepared to accept that.
The right hon. Gentleman said that this was really a question of independence. It is not that at all. I well remember a debate here on 14th May, 1956, when my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, speaking then as a backbencher, put the Turkish position very clearly. At that time he was a leading member of our delegation to the Council of Europe. I also was a member, and so was the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). In conversations at the Council of Europe, we all had ample opportunity to appreciate the extremely acute feelings of our Turkish friends on this matter. They certainly let us know about it. My right hon. Friend gave his views then of the strength of Turkish reaction to an early announcement of self-determination, and was followed by the hon. and learned Gentleman, who agreed with him. They were both right.
All the way through, the problem has been to find a way by which the feelings so deeply nourished in Greece and Turkey, and in the Cypriot communities 708 themselves—completely opposed feelings—could ever be reconciled. I therefore do not believe that a solution could have been found more quickly and in a manner acceptable to all. The last part of the Amendment is quite invalid.
We could never have got anywhere except by agreement, and now that we have this Agreement, we have peace in the island, there is much to be done, and many problems have to be met; but we have what we need for our bases. The Greeks, Turks and Cypriots are satisfied. In all the difficulties that may lie ahead we have the great asset referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell)—good will; it is a very fine seedbed for a permanent settlement. But, perhaps, at the end of the day the best thing may turn out to be that this Agreement will, as we pray, heal a schism between old Allies and restore true and traditional friendships.
§ 7.38 p.m.
§ Mr. Kenneth Robinson (St. Pancras, North)
The hon. Member for Bebington (Mr. Oakshott) addresses us in such an engaging way that it is, perhaps, more difficult to disagree with him than with some of his colleagues, but he did try to take my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) to task for saying that hon. Members opposite have wanted a soldier's solution. In defence of his argument, he quoted some words used by the present Prime Minister at the 1955 London Conference. It is not the words of the Government or of hon. Members opposite about which my right hon. Friend complained. He complained about their deeds, and the deeds done in their name.
There is not the slightest doubt that throughout this struggle the Colonial Secretary has thought that he would be able to suppress the violence on the island and then impose a solution upon a cowed population. That was the soldier's solution that was aimed at during Field Marshal Harding's tenure of the Governorship, and it was to that that my right hon. Friend was referring—
§ Mr. T. L. Iremonger (Ilford, North)
But was not the hon. Member present when Field Marshal Harding spoke to a number of hon. Members from both sides of the House? I remember the Field 709 Marshal saying that a political solution was the only solution and that his object was merely to hold the ring.
§ Mr. Robinson
I remember that meeting very vividly. It was when Field Marshal Harding addressed hon. Members after he had given up the Governorship. His words after he left the island were very different from those that he used when he was still there.
The hon. Member for Bebington also said that we had constantly underestimated Turkey's apprehensions about Cyprus. This is a theme which has been repeated ad nauseam by the Government. We are told that Cyprus is only 40 miles from the mainland of Turkey, and when we reply that the Island of Cos or some of the other islands in the Dodecanese are only two or three miles away we are told that that does not count. The fact is that the strategic arguments that Turkey put forward make no sense at all in the world of the hydrogen bomb. The only other thing that I want to say about Turkey is that we should not forget that Turkey formally renounced all her rights and interests in the island of Cyprus at the Treaty of Lausanne.
We knew that the Colonial Secretary was not going to find it very easy to make his speech this afternoon. Even taking that into account, I was a little surprised at the extraordinary travesty of the story of Cyprus that he gave us today. At one point of his speech I felt more like Alice in Wonderland than I have ever felt since I have been a Member of this House. Indeed, we only came down to earth at one point when the right hon. Gentleman started extolling his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in terms that were extravagant even for the Colonial Secretary. It then became clear that we were probably embarking on the preliminary stages of the General Election campaign.
I welcome this Agreement, as, I think, everyone else does in this House. I welcome it not so much for what it contains but for the fact that it was signed by all five parties to this long, bitter, tragic and very largely unnecessary conflict. I think there is very little point in trying to assess the relative degrees of sacrifice made by Greece or Turkey or Greek-Cypriots or Turkish-Cypriots. That would not be a very profitable exercise.
710 I do not, however, think that the same reticence is necessary or desirable concerning Her Majesty's Government. There are lessons to be learned here. One wonders if the Government will ever learn a lesson in the colonial field, but I think that the lesson could hardly be more clearly and sharply defined than it is in the case of Cyprus. We must not overlook the fact that the Government have given up the one thing that has been an obstacle to the settlement of this problem over the past four years, and that is sovereignty over the island itself.
As my right hon. Friend and my hon. Friend the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mrs. Jeger) said, there has never been any argument about bases on this island either for Britain or N.A.T.O. There has never been any difficulty raised by the Greek Prime Minister or by Archbishop Makarios, and if it had been only a question of bases on the island this whole problem would have been solved at least four years ago. But, of course, from the very moment that we had the Hopkinson "never" and then the Prime Minister's "some time not in the foreseeable future" and all those vague phrases and double negatives, so far as we can see there has never been any evidence of Her Majesty's Government contemplating a surrender of the island.
It is just as well for hon. Members on the back benches opposite to reflect that time and again Her Majesty's Government could have had a solution of this problem on the basis of self-determination for Cyprus within seven years, ten years, or perhaps even fifteen years. Now we are faced with a situation where we get out of the island the day after tomorrow. Of course, the Colonial Secretary comes along with an explanation of this today. Like so much in this story of Cyprus, it is a new explanation. The Government are getting almost as bad as at the time of Suez; everything has to have a new explanation when the old explanation falls to pieces in their hands. Now we are told that until this moment we could not have been satisfied with bases on the island because there was such tension between Greek and Turkish Cypriots that the bases would not have been safe. What a palpably falacious argument. Really, the right hon. Gentleman has to do better than that.
711 The fact is that, for strategic reasons, which we all know now to be wholly ill-founded and which we on these benches have always said were ill-founded, Her Majesty's Government wanted the whole island. Field Marshal Harding made it perfectly clear that nothing less than the island as a base would satisfy this country's needs. We were also told that there was no question whatever of independence for Cyprus. That was said as recently as last November at the United Nations. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Chelsea (Commander Noble), who was then Minister of State, told the United Nations that we must not become mesmerised by a word. I say in favour of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman that at least he had the grace to resign his office—
§ The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. John Profumo)
It was nothing to do with that.
§ Mr. Profumo
The hon. Gentleman ought to get this in perspective. I said under my breath that it had nothing to do with that, and I wish to say it publicly. If he is trying to tell the House that my hon. and gallant Friend's resignation had some connection with the statement he made at the United Nations, it is as well for me to make it quite clear that it had nothing to do with that at all.
§ Mr. Robinson
It is quite proper for the hon. Gentleman to say so. I can only say that I am sorry. I hoped that it had something to do with that. I hoped that at least one Member of the Government, when they turn on their heads and completely repudiate their statements in public in the councils of the world, would feel it necessary to return his seals of office.
The Colonial Secretary this afternoon put another very interesting and quite new gloss on another aspect of the Cyprus story, and that was in connection with the Foot-Macmillan plan. I remember it very vividly, because it was not very long ago when this plan was presented to the House of Commons as Her Majesty's Government's final solution of the Cyprus problem; a solution which was to be imposed 712 and which might possibly be modified in some small details but the basis of which was not capable of modification at anybody's instance.
We know very well that the first thing that happened was that the Prime Minister went to Athens and Ankara, as my right hon. Friend said, dropping pieces of luggage everywhere he landed. One feature after another was whittled away from the Foot-Macmillan plan, and all that we have left of it in this Agreement is the two communal assemblies. Nevertheless, we are now told that we said that we would impose this plan purely in order to bring the Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots together to make an agreement which they hitherto were unwilling to make. If the right hon. Gentleman is telling us that this was a subtle Machiavellian plot of the Prime Minister aided by Sir Hugh Foot in the island in putting forward that plan, he is straining our credulity a little too far.
My hon. Friend the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras said that it was a very remarkable thing that the Colonial Secretary could make half an hour's speech about Cyprus and not mention Archbishop Makarios once. I am not surprised that he did not mention Archbishop Makarios. I can see that the whole situation must be deeply painful to him. He had undoubtedly a very curious, strong personal antipathy to Archbishop Makarios, which was obvious in every reference he made about him during the last four years. The fact is that Archbishop Makarios signed the Agreement, and possibly his signing of it was the most difficult decision of all. The fact that he signed it at least vindicated his good faith.
As I ventured to say in a supplementary question to the Colonial Secretary, the Archbishop's good faith has constantly been impugned on the Government benches. Without the Archbishop's signature this Agreement would be worth absolutely nothing. Despite all the efforts of the Government to destroy the Archbishop's influence in the island, there is quite obviously nobody else who could have persuaded the Greek-Cypriots, that is, 80 per cent. of the population of the island, to accept this Agreement. When he was still in London, many people had doubts whether even he would be able to 713 persuade the left-wing trade union movement or, perhaps, the extreme right wing to do so. I am happy to say that since he has been back in Cyprus there has been every indication that he will carry his people with him.
This shows how utterly foolish the Government are. When they have a leader of opinion, of nationalist opinion, in a Colony, they always try to deport him or destroy his influence in the hope that some mythical moderate person who will be a stooge will come along and enter into agreements. But no such person ever does. In the end, the Government must eat humble pie, and, of course, it is not a very palatable dish.
There have been many quotations from speeches in the course of the debate. I wish to make one from what my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) said in the debate of 14th May, 1956: He said:The Ethnarchy Council should be invited to send representatives to London for discussions and Archbishop Makarios should be brought to London for consultation and participation in those discussions. [Laughter.]."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th May, 1956; Vol. 552, c. 1662.]The House will note that HANSARD records that there was laughter from the Government benches. It was a ludicrous thought that the Archbishop, who had, I think, only just been brought back from the Seychelles, could be brought into negotiations. Of course, in the end, as we have always said from these benches, the Government had to negotiate with him. They had to swallow their pride and save their face as best they could.
The Colonial Secretary said that we should look to the future and turn our hacks on the past. I can well understand that he wants to do that. I have dealt with the past because I believe that there is a lesson to be learned. It is all very well saying that the Cyprus problem was not like other problems, that it has been complicated by all the communal differences between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots in the island. Basically, it is the same as other colonial problems. A people feel they are enslaved and they want their freedom. That is what the fight has been about. They have their freedom, at the end of the day, as we on these benches always said that they would.
714 I welcome the Agreement. I hope that the strife and bitterness of the last few years will be forgotten and that this beautiful island, one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean, will be able to go forward as a democratic, independent republic.
§ 7.42 p.m.
§ Mr. Patrick Maitland (Lanark)
The hon. Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. K. Robinson) suggested that there was little of othe Macmillan Plan in the present Agreement. When he re-reads all the documents, he will, I think, agree that he was less than fair in that analysis. The essence of the Macmillan Plan was not that there should be two separate assemblies, though that was part of it. It was that Greece and Turkey, by the appointment of commissioners, should be built into whatever solution was reached, so that there would be, as it were, a self-locking and self-enforcing solution which, at the end of the day, no one party could disturb without bringing down upon it the force of the others.
What we now face is not a sharing of sovereignty, for which I myself had hoped, but a transfer. It is a critical difference. But the heart of the matter still is that Greece and Turkey are built into the foundations of the structure of the Republic of Cyprus, with Britain alongside, and it will be very difficult for any one of the three parties to disengage itself, or be disengaged, from now on.
I shall return to some of the points which the hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Pancras, North made. Before I do so, I should like to add my word of tribute to the maiden speech which we heard this afternoon from a new and very welcome Member, my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon). His speech was not only worthy of his constituency and worthy of his father, but, by invoking the loves of Aphrodite, he evoked the love that all of us who know the island have for Cyprus.
I share some of the misgivings of my noble Friend the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Viscount Lambton). This is a kind of half sovereignty. I do not think much of paper rights of re-entry. Rights of re-entry are of value exactly in proportion to the will of the re-entrant, and that, in turn, may be conditioned by many factors. No paper charter is a guarantee.
715 I was more interested in the trend of argument used by my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), who went with some thoroughness into the concepts of sovereignty which are being turned aside at the present time. For that reason, I think that we should have the record straight, and it is worth while taking a last look at the context of the famous "never" of 28th July, 1954. I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths), who took part in that critical exchange, is present. He will know that I have given him warning that I proposed to raise this matter.
The famous "never" was stated in reply to the final point of several which the right hon. Member for Llanelly made to Mr. Hopkinson, as he then was—Lord Colyton, as he is now. The right hon. Gentleman said:Finally … are these steps being taken with the full intention that they shall lead eventually to full Dominion status, which means that when that status is reached Cyprus will have the right to decide its own future?That was the question to which the answer, causing so much controversy and, I think, misunderstanding, was given. The answer was in these terms:The last and the most important question which the right hon. Gentleman put to me was whether in due course this would lead to selfgovernment—I think he called it Dominion status—and the right, I take it, to opt out of the Commonwealth. Certainly this"—that is to say, of course, the new constitutional arrangements under discussion—is a first step on the road to self-government and it depends on how the new scheme is operated by the parties in Cyprus as to how fast we can go along on that road. At the same time, my statement has made it quite clear that there can be no question of any change of sovereignty in Cyprus"—then, after interruption, he repeated it—no question of any change in sovereignty. That, therefore, would act as a limitation on the suggestion which the right hon. Gentleman put in the last part of his question." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th July, 1954; Vol. 531, c. 506–7.]My reason for reading that passage is that the context is important. The question was about Dominion status, which is a recognisable, identifiable and definable condition known to the Commonwealth, of which there are now ten or 716 eleven precedents well established. It was that concept of freedom to opt out of the Commonwealth which Mr. Hopkinson said there could not be.
My hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West very rightly pointed out that, in the intervening period, there has been much rethinking by everybody, including Members on this side. [Laughter.] That men should rethink is not a matter for mockery. Only those who have stopped thinking fall back upon mirth.
What is now proposed for Cyprus is not Dominion status. It is not, even, full and real independence. It is a republic which is to be underpinned by certain guarantees, limited as to its freedom of action and restricted in various ways by the involvement of Britain, Turkey and Greece in its structure. It is not, therefore, a full surrender of British sovereignty and it is not, of course, Enosis.
The context in which it was constitutionally correct at the time to say that Dominion status was not thinkable for Cyprus was a context when it was normal to require three main conditions to any territory that should graduate to dominion status. The three conditions were set out by my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations in a speech the same year, or, possibly, in 1955.
He said that a territory would be considered qualified for the sovereignty that comes with Dominion status if, first, it had developed democratic institutions that were well established and the electorate had attained a certain maturity of judgment. Nobody can contend that that has happened in Cyprus.
Secondly, my noble Friend said, there must be a viable economy, because unless the economy was viable the form of political independence might altogether lack content. These are absolute statements, of course, and I recognise that there is no such thing as total economic autarchy outside a totalitarian Communist State, and not always even there.
My noble Friend laid down as the third condition that there must be what he called a moral readiness for the responsibilities of sovereignty. There must be some stability of judgment about the great issues, which, in sovereignty, are 717 the final ones, of peace or war. Is a territory, are its people, is its form of government and are its institutions all such that these decisions can, and will, be taken responsibly? By none of these criteria can Cyprus be considered, even now, to merit Dominion status as it is well known and recognised in the Commonwealth. It may even be asked whether Cyprus is yet ready for a total severance of the ties that exist through her Commonwealth relationship with Great Britain; but to that question I shall return presently.
What is certain is that the Republic of Cyprus, its future, its stability and its happiness will depend on its economy and on the level at which that economy can be made viable. For one thing, if the Cypriots are at least busy making money and enjoying the fruits of their labour, working hard, enjoying hard, saving hard and enjoying, say, an expanding economy, it would be natural that the frustrations which express themselves often in political agitation would to some extent die away.
And what is equally certain is that there is no hope whatever that the aspiration for Enosis, on the one hand, or the clamour for partition, on the other hand, will evaporate merely by itself, merely by the signature of agreements in London and the creation of a new constitution. There must be some degree of prosperity and contentment in the island based upon a sound and virile economy. That is the heart of this matter as I see it—the heart of the problem of this new State underpinned by three foreign countries in a sort of glorified checkmate.
The economy of Cyprus, which is so poor and whose poverty was so admirably and thoughtfully described by the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly), can only be advanced along these sort of lines. First, I should like to see the British enclaves, which are by definition to be under absolute British sovereignty, British property and part, if one likes, of the old British Empire, really well developed. I want the deep-water harbour to be provided and to be shared between ourselves and the Cypriots. That will need a lot of money. I want to see good hotels in the enclave. I want to see a very good school or schools for the offspring of British merchants and others throughout the Middle East. I want the place to hum with business as it gathers the 718 entrepôt trade of the Levant. I want to see it—and, I believe, it could be—something like a Hong Kong or a Singapore commercially; and I am now thinking purely in commercial terms.
I believe that if we pump investment into the enclaves and make them a really prosperous going concern, this in turn will stimulate Cypriots to work for stability and for the respect in the outside world that will enable them to call upon investment for their own development. I believe that a really imaginative programme of investment in the British enclaves would stimulate the whole island and stimulate the Cypriots to imitate the example. We might well see coming into being in our lifetime something that throbs and hums with commerce like a Singapore or a Hong Kong.
Such prosperity and such gathering of the entrepôt trade of the Middle East, of South-East Europe and of Northern Africa, is not likely to come about, however, unless there is freedom of movement. It is vital for Turks and Greeks and Britons to have real freedom of movement into and out of Cyprus. Here is one aspect of the citizenship problem to which a number of hon. Members, on both sides, have already alluded.
I take the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Bebington (Mr. Oakshott) that once the Republic of Cyprus is created, its citizens and subjects will be citizens of that Republic. Before it can be created, however, we will be alienating that territory from the sovreignty of Her Majesty to what at that moment becomes an alien State. It will not go through the procedure of Dominion status. The Statute of Westminster will not be applied to it. It will not go through the process that Burma underwent of becoming a Dominion and then freely leaving. Cyprus is territory that will be alienated and its citizens with it. Consequently, one must presume that its citizens who are already over here will be alienated in the same way.
What is to be done? I believe that citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus must be of a very special kind. It must be, in some ways, not unlike the citizenship of the Republic of Ireland. Its citizens must be not foreign to Greece, not foreign to Turkey and not foreign to the Commonwealth. Whether such a position can be devised on the Irish 719 model, I do not know, but it seems to me that something of that kind is necessary if people are to have absolute freedom of movement into and out of the Republic of Cyprus as of right, to trade and go about their commerce. But the business of being not foreign involves many legal complications, as those of us who have Irish constituents know very well.
Before leaving this phase of my argument, I would only make the further point that if it is possible for Greeks from Greece to go to and from Cyprus with absolute ease and freedom, and if it is possible for Cypriots to go to and from Greece with the same ease and freedom, traffic is almost certainly likely to be in one direction only—namely, into Cyprus; but at the same time the thirst for Hellennic unity which is at the heart of the aspiration of Enosis will to some extent have been satisfied.
The question has been posed in different forms as to the future relationship of the Republic of Cyprus with the Commonwealth. There are those who assume that it will never leave the Commonwealth and that when this territory is alienated it will somehow still remain a member of the Commonwealth. But it is not even a member now. It is a dependency of Great Britain.
But whatever the decision is to be, and however the Commonwealth Prime Ministers, with whom the decision finally rests, handle this matter, one thing is quite clear. We cannot equate a Cyprus of half a million people with New Zealand, with 2 million, with Ghana with 4 or 5 million, with Ceylon or Malaya with 8 million, Canada with 16 million, Australia with 10 million, or India with 390 million. I do not believe that Cyprus really qualifies to come into that category. In any event, from the structure of the Agreement, Cyprus will not be fully sovereign. So on that basis, too, it is debatable whether Cyprus can ever be given Dominion status in the Commonwealth, particularly as no Dominion status is provided for in the Agreement.
I was encouraged by the form of words used by the Government when the Cyprus Agreement was announced. Reference was made to the possibility of "some form of association" between the Republic of Cyprus and the Common- 720 wealth. That is very different from saying "membership of the Commonwealth", and I believe that we may now be on the brink of a completely new experiment, which is to contrive a new status of association with the Commonwealth which is short of Canada's or India's position but is still different from the foreign position of foreign countries. The Republic of Cyprus might continue to enjoy the benefits of Commonwealth preference. It seems plainly to be to everybody's advantage that she should remain in the sterling area. It would not seem improper to me if relations between Cyprus and this country were handled by the Commonwealth Relations Office as with the Republic of Ireland.
§ Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)
On a point of order. I have been trying to follow the hon. Member's speech for some time. In the last second or two I have been trying to relate it to the Motion and the Amendment before the House. Is an argument about the complicated nature of Cypriot nationality at some future date relevant to any issue raised by the Motion or by the Amendment?
§ Mr. Maitland
I am obliged to you, Sir, for your protection. I am afraid that if the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) had listened to the other speeches, he would have been on his feet with such points of order at intervals of five minutes throughout.
The relationship such as I have suggested could be handled at this end by the Commonwealth Relations Office as in the case of the Republic of Ireland. There might well be regional consultations between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom Government as a matter of normal right. There might well be some arrangements whereby citizens of the Republic of Cyprus were guaranteed easier access to naturalisation as Commonwealth citizens, easier, that is to say, than for foreigners. There might well be Cypriot participation in many specialised activities of the Commonwealth such as in the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, which could be of great use, the Shipping Committee, in telecommunications, in the Commonwealth Press Union, and the like.
721 There are many respects in which Cyprus might join in some kind of external association with the Commonwealth which would not debar the new State from later on attaining a kind of membership distinct from the status of a Dominion, but suited to her special position.
It is for the Commonwealth to decide what is to be done. I will not say that something will "never" be conferred. We know that today's debate has largely been about the word "never". "Never" is a dangerous word. I sometimes think that the Spanish mañana is better. It serves the same purpose without being so final. What is clear is that on past Commonwealth convention the standing of Dominion status is not one that will be appropriate to the Republic of Cyprus.
On the other hand, this may well mean that we are at the beginning of a two-tier Commonwealth. Some people think that we already have that, because of the Republics and the Malayan monarchy, but that is not so much of a two-tier system as is commonly thought. When we are considering these matters, as we are bound to do in working the Agreement and watching the work of the Commissions bringing it into effect, and studying particularly the legal aspects, we should have regard to the consequences elsewhere of the precedents that we set.
Without wishing to call the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne to his feet again with more points of order—and I know that he is only waiting for his chance—I cannot help remarking that the Motion before the House does not allude to the consequences that would follow our decisions in this field. But there is the possibility of a Greater Somaliland in East Africa and there are developments in West Africa with the Guinea-Ghana union that could be accommodated by a form of external association.
My hope has always been, and it has run through number of speeches tonight, that the Cyprus crisis in the end would lead to reconciliation between ourselves and the people of Cyprus and, indeed, not only between ourselves and the Kingdom of Greece and the Republic of Turkey but between those two foreign countries and the Commonwealth of nations. One thing made plain in every 722 speech tonight has been that this is a changing Commonwealth. My hope had been that we might by sharing sovereignty in Cyprus try to draw those two countries closer to us. That hope has receded. But Greece and Turkey are to be built into the structure of the new Republic which it would be difficult irrevocably and finally to remove from some kind of association with the Commonwealth and this leads me to hope for a wider and grander association in the years to come between the present but expanding Commonwealth and foreign nations.
To conclude: this is a transfer, and not a merging, of sovereignties, which I regret. It cost me some difficulty to stomach the Agreement but, having swallowed my doubts as best I can, I look to new political forms arising out of this experiment to create a new form of association between foreign countries and our own system. I believe that if such comes to pass the crisis, the struggle, and the tears in the end may well have been worth while.
§ 8.10 p.m.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
The hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon), in a most engaging maiden speech, anticipated that this would be the last debate that we should have on Cyprus. I only wish that I could share his optimism. I do not feel that this is by any means the end of the Cyprus problem for us. I do not blame the Government because their policy has delayed an agreement. I blame the Government for a policy which has been so disastrous as to make this Agreement acceptable.
Just consider what the Agreement does. Among the lighter prospects of Dominion status within the Commonwealth is the attendance of Archbishop Makarios at the meetings of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers, accompanied by his alter ego Dr. Kutchuk with the dedicated task of saying "No" when the Archbishop says "Yes" and "Yes" when the Archbishop says "No", because that is what the Constitution provides.
I have on occasions in the past been accused of being pro-Turkish. Let me say now, God save me from ever having to be in the position of a Government subject to a Turkish veto at every stage, because the Turks have a profound 723 suspicion and a deep subbornness. They have a preference for inertia, and how the constitution of Cyprus is to work upon this basis, I shudder to think. What Cyprus lacked was capital. Our great failure was the failure to produce investment here. Does anybody imagine that any private investor will invest in this show? Does anybody seriously imagine that any of these Governments, with their divided situation, will invest in this show? I say, God keep me from having to govern subject to a Turkish veto.
There is something which may be worse than that, and that is to be put in the position in which Her Majesty's Government are putting us, of having to guarantee the working of that arrangement, with the duty to intervene if anybody has the sense to interfere with it. That is where we stand on the Agreement.
Some years ago I was in Cyprus when Field Marshal Harding arrived. I was there with the hon. Member for Stafford and Stone (Mr. H. Fraser) on an intensive fact-finding tour. The first thing I realised then was that in my travels within Cyprus the one person I never met was a Cypriot. I met Greeks who were in Cyprus and I met Turks who were in Cyprus—the most passionately Greek and the most intransigently Turkish I ever met. The one thing which they were not, and which nobody was, was Cypriot. I came to the conclusion then that unfortunately, as it seemed to us, we were condemned to rule there because the only way that community could work would be if a third party, which had done a great deal to earn the trust of both as an honest broker, carried the balance. There was no other available policy.
One thing I am certain of is that if at that time we had said to a Greek, "Would you prefer British rule or this?", he would without hesitation have said, "I would prefer British rule". If we had said to a Turk, "Would you prefer British rule or this?", he would at once have said unhesitatingly, "British rule". The grim thing is that our ineptitude in those three years, our vacillation, the cowardice of the Government in the failure and refusal to do the things which they knew were necessary for their policy, have produced a state of anarchy and misery and lack of assurance of any 724 future for anybody who served the Government. That is the grim thing, the lack of assurance of any future for a policeman, a civil servant or anybody who served the Government, because the Government had shown themselves too weak to assure that future.
That situation, that anarchy, that hopelessness, have made even this Agreement acceptable. Do not let us be proud of ourselves and say that we have worked on these people until they have agreed. We have worked to the point where they are prepared to agree to something which, at any earlier stage, would rightly have been totally unacceptable to them. That is the strength of our achievement.
Now what is to happen? I agree profoundly with the speech made by the noble Lord the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Viscount Lambton). In these issues the Government must make up their mind one way or the other. Either they stay and rule or they go—and if they are going, for God's sake go.
What are these enclaves, that we term a base, worth to us? Militarily, I believe, less than nothing. I have said before that the value of a base, according to the great military invention of Marshal Touraine, is to provide the scope of manœuvre. If we can move our troops to their supplies, we can get greater concentrations with less troops; but once our base becomes a commitment, once our base becomes something which we have to supply instead of drawing supplies from, once our base becomes something in which we have to deploy troops rather than draw troops from, then it has ceased to be a base and has become a commitment.
Is there any doubt about what will happen in Cyprus? The Government provide this quite unworkable Constitution. They then have enclaves over which they maintain a futile sovereignty. Now, as neither the Greeks will be able to work the Turks or the Turks will be able to work the Greeks, both will find their alibi in blaming the British. Everything that goes wrong here will be our fault, because all these areas, as was pointed out in the maiden speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Southend, West, cover the main communications of the island of Cyprus, involving its port, 725 involving its working. Here is the occasion for every friction and the placing of every blame on us.
That is supposed to add to our military strength. It is insane. I urge the Government to have second thoughts on this. They have ruined their position in Cyprus to the point where they cannot stay there. They have suffered the grave indignity of having to leave the agreement to people other than themselves, other sovereign States, who could agree only on condition that we kept away.
It is agreed by everybody that it is to everybody's advantage that we should get out, and yet still we are not getting out finally. We are keeping this tenuous hold which will involve us in every sort of trouble. We are keeping the liability of guaranteeing what I believe to be plainly unworkable, and we are supposed to be doing that for our military advantage.
I urge that this be reconsidered. We shall shortly be having a change of Government and that may be the occasion for reconsidering it. But when we have a change of Government, the situation in Cyprus will have gone past our heads, so let us then get out and get out entirely. That does not mean that by consent and within a sovereign Cyprus of sorts, or within Turkey, we cannot have landing rights, commercial rights and stations, but a base on these terms is not an addition to our power but an addition to our military commitments. It ties up our troops. It prevents our trade. It weakens our nation. It is a futile effort to save a face which is shamed beyond saving.
§ 8.21 p.m.
§ Mr. T. L. Iremonger (Ilford, North)
I want for a moment to follow the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). He did not tell us his in-tensions for tonight, but I do not see that he can possibly support the Opposition Amendment, because the Amendment is to leave out from the word "Agreement" and, therefore, to leave in what comes before "Agreement". Therefore, if he were to support his right hon. and hon. Friends he would be welcoming the Cyprus Agreement, so I have no doubt that we shall see from the Division list tint he has allowed his feet to follow his voice.
§ Mr. Paget rose—726
§ Mr. Iremonger
I will give way in a moment, but I have one other comment to put to the hon. and learned Gentleman and, knowing his dialectical skill, I am sure that he will want to reply to that as well. Does the hon. and learned Member want me to give way now?
§ Mr. Iremonger
That is a constitutional principle which I would accept with very serious reserve, but it is for the hon. and learned Gentleman to make his own decision. However, it is not very much to the credit of this institution that he should boast that although he opposes an Amendment he will vote for it. But we will leave it at that, for I understand his difficulty and he has been quite frank.
I also want to take him up on one other point of difference which he established between himself and his right hon. and hon. Friends. It has been a matter of general agreement on that side of the House that the one thing about which there was never any difficulty in the past was that we should have bases in Cyprus. We were asked why we did not accept what the Archbishop and others would have been glad that we should have. There was never any difficulty about that, and yet the hon. and learned Gentleman is opposed to the Agreement on the argument that the bases will prove an intolerable sore to the people of Cyprus and that we shall have to get out because they will be no use to us. I do not agree with him, but I register the fact that his right hon. and hon. Friends do not agree with him either. I do not want to labour the point or be tedious.
But I am the only Member from Essex who is now in the Chamber, and I associate myself with the deservedly kind words said about the maiden speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon). We all welcomed him to the House because he is his father's son, but we can now also welcome him because he will be a great asset to our councils 727 here and do great credit not only to his party but to the House as a whole.
This is an occasion which gives rise to serious temptations which have to be resisted. There is a temptation to us on this side of the House to accuse hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite of misjudgment and mischief. That temptation should be resisted. Having heard the speeches which have come from hon. Members opposite, it would be uncharitable to point out the temptations which have risen before hon. and right hon. Members opposite. It is only too obvious what the temptations are, and I scorn to suggest that they should resist them.
However, there is a temptation which arises outside the House and which presents itself to widows, to mothers and fathers who mourn their sons, a temptation which leads them to look with anguish and a feeling of bewilderment and betrayal at this Agreement, as they see in the newspapers all these junketings in Athens and junketings in Cyprus, when it is made to appear that the Government have shaken hands with those who have bloodstained hands.
This country would not be what it is if those misgivings did not arouse passionate understanding and sympathy, but we ought to say to people who feel like that, that much as we understand their feelings, they are mistaken and those temptations should be resisted. Anger is a bad counsellor, and it is always a mistake to allow great passions to arise over emotions which, measured by the scale of history, are rather small. It is much more constructive and positive and hopeful that we should address ourselves to the future. The temptations should be resisted by all concerned.
I do not want to emulate Oscar Wilde and say that the one thing I cannot resist is temptation, but I intend to yield to the temptation to deal with one or two points which have been made by hon. Members opposite and which are somewhat unfair. I say that the Government deserve praise for the speed with which they took the opportunity which presented itself after the meeting of the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers in Zurich. They deserve praise for the way in which they have kept constantly before them the supreme objective in the whole operation, which has not been adequately emphasised in the debate so far.
728 We ought to recognise that the Government's principle upon which they had been working in seizing the opportunity of Zurich was the one which animated them from the very beginning, the principle which animated the Prime Minister, when he was Foreign Secretary, in the London Conference of five unhappy years ago. It was the principle that a solution to the Cyprus problem could be found only with the agreement of the Greek and Turkish Governments. It was on that principle that the London Conference was held. Although it was not successful, it was well conceived, and this Agreement is merely a decision taken now which ought to have been taken then.
I want also to refer briefly to another point, which we ought not to allow hon. Members opposite to get away with. The party opposite cannot claim that it has known the answer, because it has not. I will not bother the House with the record, which is beautifully presented in the reports of the Labour Party Annual Conferences, but the Labour Party has never conceived of a solution to the Cyprus problem in the terms in which it has now been solved. It has always been talking about the one thing which was totally irrelevant—what it called independence, or freedom. Independence did not mean anything to the people of Cyprus. They did not want independence; they wanted union with Greece—and it was because independence meant for them union with Greece, and union with Greece meant civil war in Cyprus and also war between Greece and Turkey, that it was never realistic to propose it. The party opposite cannot claim to have advocated a policy which would have ended in anything but bloodshed.
I am glad that my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) quoted what the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) said, because in 1950 he said exactly what the right hon. Member for Fbbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) attributed to Lord Colyton. The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale is having trouble with his Delilahs and is determined to show that he is growing his hair. Leaving that aside, however, I would point out that in the most deplorable speech that he made tonight he said that it was an observation by Lord Colyton, that a change of status 729 was not contemplated, which led to the bloodshed of the last four years.
I want to point out that an identical statement was made in 1950 by the then Labour Minister of State, the right ton. Member for West Bromwich. It is not correct to say that a new principle was enunciated by my noble Friend when he spoke at the Dispatch Box in 1954.
§ Mr. Iremonger
I do not want to trouble the House with the record, but this is what was said by the right hon. Member for West Bromwich on behalf of the Labour Government on 21st June. 1950:My right hon. Friend is aware of this plebiscite. It has repeatedly been made clear that no change in the sovereignty of the island is contemplated."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st June, 1950; Vol. 476, c. 1279.]
§ Mr. Slater
The topic under consideration is the action of this Government, and Mr. Hopkinson, as he then was, as Minister of State at the time, said that self-determination or self-government would never be granted to the people of Cyprus.
§ Mr. Iremonger
If it was that which caused the bloodshed it would have caused it four years before when the same thing was said by the right hon. Member for West Bromwich. The fact is inescapable. The hon. Member for Sedge-field (Mr. Slater) is entitled to disagree, but the fact is unanswerable, and it is unfair to continue to make the point that my noble Friend, Lord Colyton, started the trouble.
Having now finished yielding to temptation, I suggest that we should address our minds to three matters. We have to ask ourselves what is the supreme objective of the whole problem of Cyprus; we must examine the agreement and see how far that objective is upheld; and we should acknowledge soberly the concessions made by all five parties to the agreement individually, and the concessions and gains made by all five collectively.
In order to define the supreme objective, we cannot do better than to quote the Prime Minister's words in the final statement at the closing of the plenary session of the Conference on Cyprus, when he said that the Agreement was onewhich preserves to the United Kingdom the defence facilities which are essential not only 730 for our narrow national purposes but for the greater alliances of which we are members.This point has not received sufficient attention in this House today. Underlying that statement are certain fundamental assumptions. There is the assumption that our way of life—the fruit of 2,000 years of civilisation, freedom and order—is positively threatened by an order which we are determined to resist. Underlying it also is the resolve that we have a duty to take part in alliances in resisting this attempt to undermine the order of the free world. There is the proposition that we have rights and duties in the Middle East independently of our alliances, and the proposition that Cyprus is essential to our doing our duty in connection both with our alliances and with our national responsibilities.
I do not propose to argue the validity of those assumptions; there are other debates in which that question would be more relevant, but we should ask whether the base will be secure if we accept those assumptions. Why, if we were so insistent in the past upon having Cyprus as a base, and said that a mere base in Cyprus was inadequate, should we now be satisfied with what is, after all, no more than a base in Cyprus? I think, therefore, that we want to look first at the security of the base and to take note of these points which are to be written into the Treaty and Constitution of Cyprus.
British sovereignty is guaranteed by the proposed Treaty of Guarantee. For whatever they may be worth, the rights over the rest of the island are similarly guaranteed. Cyprus is debarred from union with Greece, and the United Kingdom and Turkey are guarantors of this. We have a right under the Treaty, if the Treaty be contravened, to assert our rights by force. That is a very different base in Cyprus from the base that was previously envisaged and rejected as being inadequate; a base not guaranteed by any international subscription in a Cyprus liable to become part of a politically unreliable Greece—I say that with respect—and one which was not guaranteed by any agreement and not undewritten by the new and stabilising influence of Turkey.
Of course, we have to recognise that there are risks. Any constitution can be breached. We have only to look at the Union of South Africa to see what can be done if people really try. The 731 best one may say is that a constitution which is underwritten in this peculiar way by three independent sovereign guarantors is more difficult to breach than an ordinary constitution like the one in the Union of South Africa. But we recognise that no one can guarantee that political freedom will be maintained for ever in Greece and Turkey. One cannot guarantee that they will not go behind the Iron Curtain. No one will guarantee that there will not be a recrudescence of Enosis, stimulated by Greek ambition in Cyprus, which could wreck the Treaty.
These are risks which no human instrument can obviate, but they are much better than the certainty of some or all of the disadvantages that prevail at the moment—the possibility of civil war between Greek and Turk in Cyprus; war between Greece and Turkey; and continuing terrorism which would pin down 20,000 United Kingdom troops in Cyprus. With all the reservations one must have about the impossibility of ensuring that treaties are kept and constitutions are not breached, all in all the Treaty gives us as sound a military situation as any human promise can guarantee and it would be unrealistic to hope for better.
I turn now to assess the concessions and the gains which have been made. The Prime Minister said, and I think that this was the heart of the spirit in which the Agreement was made:To reach it, each of us, all of us in this room, have had to make concessions, and I am sure that it was right for us to make these mutual concessions.The Turks have had to make great concessions. They have had to reconcile themselves to Greek and Turk in Cyprus entering into a risky experiment in partnership. They have to try to be part of a partnership in which they are the minority community.
The United Kingdom has had to make concessions with regard to the base which is to a certain unavoidable extent in pawn to the good faith of other Governments. I do not think that we have had to make any concessions in the independence of Cyprus, whether in or out of the Commonwealth. That is something which, provided we discharge our responsibility properly, is implicit from the beginning in our conception of the Commonwealth.
732 But the Greeks have had to make a most painful and, if they really face it, an almost intolerable concession. Both the Cypriot Greeks and the Greek Greeks have had to abandon the idea of union between Cyprus and Greece, they have had to abandon Enosis. That is what they were fighting for. I have never believed that the Cypriot Greeks were half as keen on it as the Greek Greeks. It was largely pushed by the Greek Government which wanted to divert attention—but perhaps it would be better not to go on in this vein when I am saying that we want to resist temptation. The Greeks have had to accept the abandonment of what they were asking for. They did not want an independent Cyprus guaranteed by treaty and never able to achieve union with Greece. That is exactly what they did not want. They have, therefore, made very great concessions, and we should not begrudge them either the flag-wagging or the drum-beating in which they have been indulging.
While, individually, we have all made concessions, I think that collectively we have nothing but gains. First, we have an end to the waste, the misery, the bitterness and the terrorism, and the need to suppress it. I honestly believe that we have an end to the danger of civil war in Cyprus. We have an end to the danger of war between Greece and Turkey and the consequent disruption of the N.A.T.O. Alliance. Secondly, and a far more important gain, we have shown to the world at large that in the free world we can resolve deep, difficult and important differences by common sacrifice and mutual trust. That is of supreme importance, I believe, and I think that the Prime Minister was quite right to emphasise that in his statement when he said:… unless we stand together, our most cherished ideals and deepest interests will be overwhelmed in a common catastrophe.I think that this example which we have given of this mutual trust in the free world is a valuable one, and I hope it will be marked in quarters in which "Suez" is a term of reproach and "Hungary" is not.
That is the balanced assessment that should appeal to the reason of the country, and I now want to turn for a moment from the reasons of the head to the feelings of the heart, to say two things. First, with hon. Members opposite, we wish this new Republic well, and we are 733 confident that the two peoples will muster the requisite trust and restraint to make this extremely difficult and testing partnership work. The second is about our own British troops. I think the House should make clear to them the pride which the nation feels in them. No one ever doubted their skill or their courage. We on this side of the House never doubted their decency or their honour.
We hope that they may add to those qualities the political wisdom to understand that the essential interests of their country and of the free world have been maintained, and that this was only made possible because they have been, throughout these terribly difficult years, worthy of and true to their traditions and their duty.
§ 8.43 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Fernyhough (Jarrow)
The hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Iremonger), like the hon. Member for Lanark (Mr. Patrick Maitland), obviously has some difficulty in speaking in the House tonight. They are men of deep conviction. They feel deeply about our Commonwealth and Empire, and I know that they find it very difficult joyfully to subscribe to any agreement which in any way lessens what they feel is our special power and our world position.
The theme running through the first portion of the hon. Gentleman's speech was one which I welcome, because I think that a great many hon. Members, even some on the Opposition side of the House, though I think practically every hon. Member opposite, have to try to learn from this the hard lesson. It is not a new lesson. It is a lesson which we have been learning right from the days when we lost the American Colonies. It is the lesson of Ireland and of India, and too many hon. Members on the Government benches can only learn it when violence has broken out and lives have been needlessly lost. I hope that as a result of this settlement hon. Members on the Government benches will be very careful in the future about the language they use against those to whom at any particular time we may be opposed.
Last week we signed an Agreement on Suez. I remember, on one occasion when Egypt was being discussed, saying to the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke), "Some day, perhaps tomorrow or next 734 week or next year, we shall have to talk to Nasser." The language in which Nasser was described was hardly fit for reasonable people to hear. The same things have been said about Archbishop Makarios. He has been described as one of the most wicked, indecent persons that ever breathed God's air. The Secretary of State for the Colonies has subscribed to the proposition that the Archbishop has done things which cannot even be found in the calendar of crime. He is alleged to have been associated with murder, arson, sabotage and a whole list of things. Yet, despite all the evidence we are said to have had and in spite of the fact that we have had the Archbishop in custody, we never attempted to charge him and to bring him to trial.
That is the lesson which Government supporters have to learn very quickly. I can understand the attitude of some hon. Members on the Government back benches. Some of them are directors of companies, and when they are in the Forces most of them are officers. They are always in the position of making other people obey them. I sometimes think that what happens in their everyday life they believe can be carried out in every branch of the Colonial Empire. They are like some mothers and fathers who do not realise that their children are growing up. They want to keep the strings of authority tightly round them. The children are beginning to develop and want to exercise independence, but the parents will not slacken the reins. Therefore, in countless homes there is a bust-up, a terrible row, because those in authority have not known when to relinquish some of it and grant a little more independence. The people of Cyprus were as entitled to be free and independent as anybody else.
This is our quarrel with the other half of the world and particularly with the East, where they deny the freedom and independence to which we subscribe. What a mockery we make of our professions and our principles when we say to the East, "Yours is a tyranny and a denial of human dignity," but we try to hang on and ignore the danger of exercising the kind of authority with which any totalitarian régime is maintained.
Nobody on this side of the House has ever said a single word to the detriment of our troops. During two years of this 735 campaign I have had a lad in the Army, although in another part of the world. He might have been called on to do things to which I should have objected, but I should not have blamed him; I should have blamed the people who gave the orders. In Cyprus we were asking the troops to do the impossible. We were asking a relatively few thousand men to try to keep down half-a-million people who were determined to have their freedom. There is not one hon. and gallant Member opposite who does not believe in his right to be free and who does not believe in the right of Britain to be free. In this day and age we cannot claim that right for ourselves and attempt in any way to deny it to other people.
I remember listening to the military Governor of Cyprus when he spoke in Westminster Hall. He said, "In six months' time we shall have quashed this rebellion. The terrorists will have been rooted out and calm will have been restored to the island." Everybody knows that as the months went by the violence increased, and as the violence increased the Government foolishly resorted more and more to methods which, having regard to our past experiences, it is very difficult to justify.
When we imposed collective fines and other collective punishments, I protested in the House, because this, of all ways was the way in which we could not win a single Cypriot to our side. We were making guilty people of innocent people. We resorted to the whip and to the closing of the schools. This is very important. Let us try to understand what would be the reaction of people in this country if somebody came here and did things like that. Much as we may regret it and express our horror at what the Cypriots were doing, in fact they were doing that for which we hailed the French, the Belgians and others during the war.
In such a situation they cannot wage war on the basis of meeting one another face to face. There is too much military power on one side. There has to be a resort to the methods which they adopted, but they were not new methods in our history. Remember Ireland and India. I could give other examples. This has always been the problem and the way in which we tried to tackle it, 736 and always in the last resort we have had to concede to violence what we would not grant to reason. I hope that we shall have no more repetition of what has happened in Cyprus. I hope that in Nyasaland in a few years' time we shall not have to reach the same conclusion and leave behind the same bitterness and hostility.
I have always been amused—and I say this deliberately—when we have been discussing this problem, by the attitude of most hon. Members opposite to Turkey. The hon. Member for Lanark is not here at the moment, but the number of occasions during the debates on Cyprus on which I have heard him refer to our gallant allies the Turks is almost beyond counting. The reference has always been to our gallant allies the Turks. What about 1914–18 and 1939–45? Except for its association now with N.A.T.O., it is a very long time since Turkey was a gallant ally of Britain. It is very strange that in both world wars Greece was on our side. One would never have thought during the debates that Greece had been our ally and Turkey had been in one case neutral and in the other actively hostile. It always appeared that the friendliness had been from Turkey and the hostility had been from Greece.
At least one hon. Member has attempted to make play of what my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) said about a soldier's solution. What my right hon. Friend said was quite clear. In circumstances of this kind, it is never possible to impose a soldier's solution, because a soldier's solution means force. It means complete subjection of a people that are demanding freedom. In present-day circumstances we could never impose a solution to a problem of this kind by force.
§ Major Legge-Bourke
Will the hon. Member not agree that a soldier's solution founded on justice is a good deal better than a politician's solution founded upon dishonour?
§ Mr. Fernyhough
I am not prepared to subscribe to the notion that the Secretary of State is dishonourable in bringing forward the Agreement. I would not use language of that kind. I believe that the right hon. Gentleman is a changed and a wiser man. I do not believe that he is a dishonourable man in that respect or he 737 would not have been recommending the Agreement to us this afternoon.
I welcome the Agreement because I hope that it will mean peace on an island which has been torn asunder by war for four or live years. I welcome the Agreement also because it can mean the restoration of normal relationships between our own people on the island and the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. I am glad to know that trade is once more beginning to flow and shops which were closed have been reopened. Generally speaking, a new spirit is abroad in the island.
The island now requires a period of tranquillity. It wants an opportunity for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to live harmoniously and freely together. Our own history shows that, given time, that can be possible. There were cities in this country during this century where it was almost impossible for Englishmen and Irishmen to live together. That state of affairs has disappeared. There were certainly times much earlier in our history when it was impossible for Catholics and Protestants to live together in this country. History has taught them that they will either live together or they will die together.
What we have to learn from the Agreement is the one simple fact that today force has no relationship to the problems confronting the world. We live in the days of the H-bomb. We live in the days when all people of every creed and clime are demanding their freedom. We who right down through the centuries have demanded that for ourselves, far from denying it to other people, should always be in the vanguard helping them to obtain it.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. James Callaghan (Cardiff, South-East)
I am sorry that we shall not have the benefit of the views of the hon. and gallant Member for the Isle and Ely (Major Legge-Bourke). We always like to listen to his views even though, usually, we do not agree with them. I trust that he will have another opportunity to tell us his thoughts on this problem.
I must say that when the Colonial Secretary had finished distributing the prizes—including a modest one to the Government—I almost felt that he should 738 have ended by asking you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, to grant the usual half-day holiday for the boys. After his speech, with all the paraphernalia that he went through, one would have thought that we were listening to a review of the activities of the school over the last year: it had done pretty well, everybody had done their jobs well, and a number of awards and honours had been gained-" and now, let us look to the next year and see if we cannot do better."
The right hon. Gentleman at least took a little more responsibility for the situation than did a number of Government back-benchers. When I listened to the speeches of the hon. Members for Blackpool, South (Sir R. Robinson) and Bebington (Mr. Oakshott), I began to feel that the Government had no responsibility at all for the events of the last five, six or seven years. So far as one could tell from listening to those speeches, the Government had been honest brokers attempting to reconcile a difference between Greece and Turkey about the future of the island of Cyprus; and, once the two parties showed signs of coming to an agreement, then of course the Government were very ready to offer assistance in making the necessary accommodation.
I do not think that that was quite the view that the Colonial Secretary took. As far as I could understand it, his defence of the Government's attitude—over the last five years, in particular—was, first, that an earlier agreement was not possible. The second leg of his defence was that if Britain had given up sovereignty earlier there would have been communal violence. Those were the two things on which he principally relied, but neither he nor those of his supporters who have spoken today have touched the kernel of the case, which is that Britain herself has a major responsibility for what has taken place over the last few years by her insistence on retaining sovereignty over the island.
Some have argued that the Labour Government took the same attitude and that, therefore, if the Labour Government did that in 1948, and repeated it in 1950, that exonerated the Government from any responsibility for themselves taking the same attitude several years later. That is a curious argument, and if it appeals to the Home Secretary as one that he 739 wishes to follow, I should like to put it in this way:Agitation for union with Greece became dormant for many years until, coincident"—
§ Mr. Iremonger rose—
§ Mr. Callaghan
I am in the middle of my sentence—coincident with the world-wide advance of 'nationalism', the embers were fanned to flame by … Archbishop Makarios, shortly after his election to the Archbishopric early in 1950.
§ Mr. Iremonger
I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. That is simply not true. The question that his right hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) was answering was about a plebiscite in favour of Enosis in 1950.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman does not think that to be true, because I was quoting the best possible authority. I was quoting the Monthly Survey of Commonwealth and Colonial Affairs, published by the Conservative Party. That has, of course, become a political "Lolita." It is now an indecent publication and anybody quoting from it is likely to be prosecuted for obscenity. Nevertheless, at the risk of having my home searched, I still have a copy of it.
I want to point to this difference between 1950 and 1954. Until Archbishop Makarios appeared on the scene, little interest in Enosis was taken in Greek political or official circles on the mainland. Indeed, the Greek Government felt that any discussion in Greece on the sovereignty of Cyprus could only harm the international position of Greece herself. That was the difference then. Greece herself did not want the situation discussed, and was entirely against raising the matter at all.
I have many more quotations if hon. Gentlemen wish to interrupt me again but I will spare them any more at the moment. I assure them that I have read this document very carefully indeed.
I think the noble Lord the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Viscount Lambton) has proved a most uncomfortable bedfellow for the Government this afternoon. He said, not for the first time, that Government policy in foreign affairs 740 over the last few years had fallen between two stools. It had wavered between force and compromise, four-fifths force, he said, and one-fifth compromise. The point on which I disagree with him is that he thought that the policy of force could succeed.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I think that he used the two words, force and compromise, when he said that we had lost face because on some occasions we used force and on other occasions we attempted to compromise. I was waiting for him to ask the question: why is it that we have these two faces in Conservative policy? Why is it that in so many countries, throughout the Middle East in particular, we have had this twin face of Conservative policy which has led to the humiliation to which the noble Lord referred?
The answer is simply that not all Conservatives are lineal descendants of Lord North. On the other hand, there are sufficient of his descendants still in the Conservative Party to make it impossible for them to follow a consistent policy. That is the simple truth of the situation. We have only to review the history of the last few years to see that a Cabinet based, on the one hand, on Lord Salisburys and, on the other hand, of right hon. Gentlemen like the Leader of the House at the moment simply cannot follow a common policy for long that will be either one of strength or one of compromise. Any hon. Gentleman opposite can take his choice as to which camp he falls in. I am very much in favour of compromise and I think that if the Home Secretary had been handling this problem over the last few years we should have seen far fewer displays of strength and far more displays of compromise, and I doubt whether the noble Lord would have found himself in the humiliating position that he is in tonight. The Conservative Party is still in the same psychological stage that it was in a number of years ago.
I have heard every speech made today except one. When listening to the speeches and watching the reactions of hon. Gentlemen, one finds that they are a compound of shame, relief, dislike and apprehension because of what has happened. They simply cannot bring themselves to see that 741 in bowing to the inevitable facts of the situation they are carrying this country along a path which should have been embarked upon many years ago.
The whole attitude of a great many hon. Members in the Conservative Party was summed up by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), who has been a Minister, in what, I think, was a very analytical speech with parts of which I agreed, when he spoke in a sentence of the tragedy of Britain's colonial position. In that, I am sure, he is expressing the view that most hon. Members opposite take. It is that which accounts for this dualism in Conservative policy today.
I propose to weary the House by reading into HANSARD a number of quotations which, I think, it would be as well to have on the record for future discussion. It will not be a bad thing if we have them all assembled in one place. Although it is true that there has been much discussion about whether Britain should or should not have yielded up her sovereignty at an earlier stage, the Government took up a prior position to that. The prior position they took up was that they simply would not discuss this matter. Indeed, there was not a problem to discuss. I think it is not going too far to say that.
There are many people who hold the view that the trouble really started when Sir Anthony Eden met Field Marshal Papagos in Greece and told him that there was no Cyprus question. That remark rankled with the Greeks for a long time afterwards. It was that which started and gave rise to much of this trouble. We have had a long succession of these things. I shall not comment on them. I shall merely read them.
First, there was Lord Chandos, when he was Mr. Oliver Lyttelton:In all British Colonial Territories, we do not admit the right of any foreign Power, however friendly, to interfere with the sovereignty of the British Crown.Can the House imagine the cheers from hon. Members opposite when that was said? He went on:Let me make it quite clear that that applies to Cyprus as well as to every other British territory."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th July, 1954; Vol. 531, c 552.]742 Sir Anthony Eden, on 15th March, 1954:… as has been made clear to the Greek Government, Her Majesty's Government cannot agree to discuss the status of Cyprus."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th March, 1954; Vol. 525, c. 8.]The Foreign Secretary, on 12th May, 1954:We cannot agree that any foreign Government, however friendly, can assume the right to be consulted about the future status of one of Her Majesty's present possessions."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th May, 1954; Vol. 527, c. 1230.]The hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Dodds-Parker), when he was Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs—I must say this, though I am very fond of the hon. Gentleman—reached a new low level of fatuousness:… I trust we shall hear no more of this Cyprus agitation."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd July, 1954; Vol. 530, c. 1852.]I remember how he crushed one of my hon. Friends who was bold enough to raise the matter at the time.
Then, of course, there was Mr. Hopkinson, now Lord Colyton, who rose on 28th July, 1954—there was a long succession of them just after Sir Anthony Eden had sat down after announcing the withdrawal from Egypt. Three times, Mr. Hopkinson said it—… the Government cannot contemplate a change of sovereignty."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th July, 1954; Vol. 531, c. 504.]and:… the abrogation of British sovereignty cannot arise—that British sovereignty will remain."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th July, 1954; Vol. 531, c. 508.]I do not really know whether to award Mr. Hopkinson the biscuit instead of the hon. Member for Banbury, but he concluded by saying,I do not see any reason to expect any difficulties in Cyprus as a result of this statement …".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th July, 1954; Vol. 531, c. 510–11.]Really, hon. Members opposite and the Government Front Bench must bear a share of responsibility for misjudging the situation. They misjudged the situation. They misjudged the temper of the people of Cyprus. They misjudged the changes which took place when Archbishop Makarios became the Ethnarch of the island. For four years, they went on repeating these phrases while the tension mounted.
743 I think that I have read enough. The Colonial Secretary, of course, has some which could be quoted. Just one for the record, perhaps—it is not a bad one—The Government cannot reopen the question of sovereignty. That has been settled." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th December, 1954: Vol. 535, c. 2439.]I have lots more quotations.
§ Mr. Callaghan
Where is the Minister of Labour tonight? Is he not here to advise the Government on their choice of weapons? It is they who put down this Motion. It is they who invited us to applaud their record in this particular matter. If there are any boomerangs flying about, the right hon. Gentleman might have been there to give the Government a little advice, before starting to give us advice, because there are plenty of other weapons which could be chosen. The Home Secretary, I suppose, with his present responsibilities, might choose the flick knife. But, in view of what the Prime Minister did to him when Sir Anthony Eden resigned, he might care to pass it on to the Prime Minister who showed himself a very handy and slippery customer with the flick knife when he had the opportunity.
Now I come to the Government's misjudgments over E.O.K.A. On 3rd June, 1956, an official announcement was made that the E.O.K.A. gangs had been broken up following operations. [Interruption.] The continual talk will not put me off quoting these things. It is a well-known trick, but it will still get into HANSARD and be read. [An HON. MEMBER: "By whom?"] A fortnight after the E.O.K.A. gangs had been broken, however, further operations were undertaken against the terrorists. Then, in August, two months later, more violence was followed by an E.O.K.A. cease-fire. E.O.K.A. announced that this was done to give Archbishop Makarios a chance to solve the Cyprus national question, but E.O.K.A., it said, would keep itself ready.
Here is the second misjudgment. That was interpreted by the Government in this House and by the Governor on the spot as a surrender by E.O.K.A. They put out surrender terms on 22nd August and 744 Sir Anthony Eden sent a message to Lord Harding sayingYour work has made this possible.The jubilation was very short-lived, because the very next day E.O.K.A. denounced its truce offer and violence was resumed once again.
Why have the Government been so badly informed about the position of E.O.K.A.? We have been working against E.O.K.A. for years and endeavouring to break it. We have had thousands of troops on the island to do it. We have been told more than once that it was practically at an end. Now, in the last few days, tons of arms have been handed in. They include five British mortars. Can the Minister of Defence tell us where E.O.K.A. got them from or when they were used? Hundreds of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition have been handed in and the only revolver left on the island was that which Mr. Grivas—[An HON. MEMBER "General Grivas."]—I am sorry, General Grivas—took with him when he left.
The Government are responsible for a great deal of cynicism which exists about this situation. Do not let them mistake the temper of the British people over this. For years, we have been told that they were on the point of crushing this movement. They failed to crush it. They have now made peace with those whom they have been readily denouncing and the man in the street in Britain has an account that he will settle in a very short time.
Now, I come to the Government's relationships with the Archbishop. This is a significant point. It relates to the dualism in Conservative Party policy which we see from time to time and which has still to be resolved by the Conservatives before they can follow a consistent colonial line. We have alternated between trying to negotiate with the Archbishop and with deporting him. In February, 1956, Lord Harding was playing a great part in trying to get negotiations going. The record exists of the fine points to which the disagreement was reduced. The differences were narrowed down to very fine points indeed. The Colonial Secretary went out to clinch it. He tried to clinch the discussions that were going on.
There were three points only. The Archbishop demanded an amnesty for 745 all offences and the Government offered an amnesty for certain crimes only. I am trying to summarise fairly in a short time. On internal security, the Archbishop opposed indefinite control by the Governor and the Government proposed that foreign affairs, defence and public security should be reserved to the Governor. The third point of difference was that the Archbishop demanded an elected Greek majority. I should like to make it clear, to start with, that all these three points have now been conceded.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
As I was actually present at the talks I had with Archbishop Makarios, I should point out that those talks in his mind were in the context of eventual self-determination for the whole island, under which Enosis would have been achieved. Nor even in the detail is the hon. Member right. As I explained at the time, in regard to there being only three difficulties, as soon as one was cleared away another appeared. But the main point is that it was all within the context of self-determination for Cyprus as a whole, which meant Enosis, which would have meant civil war.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I fancy that my recollection is clearer than the right hon. Gentleman's, because I had looked this up before coming here and I could read what is on the record. The right hon. Gentleman is as entitled to say, as we are to disagree with him, that if he had settled those three points the Archbishop would have found other points of difference. That has always been the right hon. Gentleman's line of defence. On what grounds he bases it I do not know, because there is nothing in the correspondence in the White Paper that would lead one to that conclusion. Indeed, if he had thought that, surely he would not have gone out there to try to clinch this deal.
I said that there was dualism about Conservative thinking, and I will now suggest to hon. Members opposite why this broke down. Three days before the breakdown of this agreement, General Glubb was dismissed by the Jordanian Government and the impression made on hon. Members opposite was of such a character that they immediately became obdurate about any concessions to Archbishop Makarios. This is just in line with 746 the pattern of announcing evacuation from Egypt and saying that they would never evacuate from Cyprus. Unless they can free themselves from this dualism, we shall never get consistent Conservative policy.
§ Mr. Callaghan
Then, of course, after that, they immediately decided to make up for General Glubb, and Archbishop Makarios was deported. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) said at the time, one would have thought from the reaction on the faces of Members of the Conservative Party and from the waving of the Order Papers that we had won a new battle of Trafalgar, such was the excess of their excitement when this happened. They misjudged the position of the Archbishop and his hold over the people. Throughout the whole of this scene the Government had failed to take advantage of the oportunities that were offered to them.
I come now to the Amendment and the Motion. This is an all-embracing Motion. It is cast in terms wide enough to sweep all the dirt under the rug. The question is—and that is why we on this side of the House seek to leave out part of the Motion—whether the Agreement does what the Motion says it does, that is, safeguard Britain's essential defence interests. Doubts have been expressed about that on both sides of the House today. I range myself with the doubters.
I do not know what the Minister of Defence thinks about it. Perhaps he does not believe that Cyprus is now worth very much—a view which I have held for some time. But the most powerful torpedoes were fired this afternoon, in the course of his non-controversial speech, by the hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon). It was a maiden speech and one which, if I may say so, did him very great credit indeed. He put some searching questions to the Government, having come back, as he has, from Cyprus as a serving soldier.
He said, first, that in the middle of the enclave now reserved for British sovereignty live the most ardent and violent E.O.K.A. supporters. Secondly, he said that throughout the main part of one of the enclaves runs a main road on which most of the commerce and trade 747 of the island is conducted. He wanted to know from the Government how they proposed to safeguard their sovereignty over this small part of the territory. I hope he gets a reply, but it is not often that in a maiden speech an hon. Gentleman delivers quite such searching questions to his own Front Bench. I hope I am not getting him into trouble, but I do not think I shall; I think his uncle will look after him.
I say this to the Government. If there had been any question of merely needing a base on Cyprus, they could have had it years ago. Field Marshal Papagos when he was Prime Minister of Greece offered this to Sir Anthony Eden. He did more. He said "I even offer bases on the mainland of Greece". That was the attitude before we reached the time when Mr. Henry Hopkinson got to his feet and said that these people could never have self-determination. We could have had bases on the island then. Why did not the Government make up their mind years ago that what they needed were bases on the island, if indeed they could be safeguarded, and not Cyprus as a base, because for years they have been saying to us that they need Cyprus as a base?
As for the Motion, we have left out these portions because we do not believe that the loss of prestige to Britain in lives and in money can justify us in applauding what the Government have done, or even accepting what they have done over the past few years. As for the Amendment, we say in the most general terms what we have said consistently, and what I have said to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West, that we hope arrangements can be made under which the island can be associated in some form with the Commonwealth. That has been our consistent policy on this matter and that is why we express it in the most general terms here.
Of course, it is for the people of Cyprus to choose. We are not the people who have tried to deny them that right in the past. The people on the benches opposite are those who have tried to deny them that right and we wish to go on asserting that the people of Cyprus have the right of choice if they wish to exercise it.
Let us come to the balance sheet. We said we would not discuss Cyprus with 748 anybody; we have done so. We said that they must remain in the Commonwealth; they are now free to leave. We said that public security, defence and foreign affairs must be handled by Britain—we said it time after time. They will be handled by the Republic of Cyprus. We refused to deal with Archbishop Makarios; we have now feted him in the Dorchester Hotel. Indeed, more than that, the Prime Minister has gone on record, unlike the Colonial Secretary, in paying tribute to him. The right hon. Gentleman said he desired humbly to pay tribute to the leadership shown by those responsible for the affairs of Cyprus. This sounds strange when the Colonial Secretary could not bring himself to announce the name "Makarios" this afternoon. The fact that the Prime Minister should now be paying tribute to the Archbishop is a rather astonishing thing.
Let us continue the balance sheet. We have surrender the sovereignty of the island. We shall withdraw from administration. We have closed the concentration camps. We have released the E.O.K.A. members and the other detainees. We have allowed Makarios to return to the island. We have declared an amnesty. We have facilitated the departure of Grivas. And we are asked to applaud the Government's action.
We cannot do it. We uphold the Agreement. We are glad that it has been reached. We trust that it will lead to better relationships between people living in the island. It has been agreed by the parties concerned, and the road is open to the re-creation of good relations. But we do not blind ourselves to the weaknesses of the Agreement, and my hon. Friend the Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly) pointed out that the unilateral right of any one of the parties to the Agreement to march in on the island could be a cause of considerable friction in the future. We do not know how long the people of the island will be willing to tolerate foreign bases, quite apart from how far they will be useful to us.
The lessons we draw are these. There has been vacillation in our policy. We have alternated between strength and compromise without ever consistently following either policy. We have repeated in Cyprus the lesson which we repeated 749 at Suez and in Malta and which we are now in danger of repeating in Nyasaland, of learning too late the consequences of trying to prevent people from meeting the basic desire of all of them, to be free. Because we believe that the cost in life and in money has been very heavy, because we believe that the Government have misjudged the serious nature of this problem over many years, we shall vote for our Amendment, and hope that we shall get some support from some hon. Members opposite.
§ 9.32 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)
Before I come to grips with my speech, I pay tribute to the maiden speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon). I entirely endorse what was said by the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly) immediately after that speech, namely, that it was both gracious and bore signs that the hon. Member would serve us well in the House in future.
He is the son of a distinguished father, who was once my Parliamentary Private Secretary. I should like to say to the hon. Member that in those days I used to have the job of winding up in a most difficult period for the Foreign Office. When his father left me for higher and better things, he gave me a volume entitled, "Winding Up", in which all my speeches were included. To give me justice, I have never looked at that book again.
If I may say so, the art of winding up is very difficult, and I hope that the hon. Member in his future participation in our debates will preserve that same sense of modesty and that slightly nervous apprehension which assails any of us if we are of any use when we address the House of Commons. At any rate, we congratulate him and wish him well.
I am sure that we all regret the absence of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary. The Opposition have been good enough to indicate their understanding of the reasons for the absence of my right hon. Friends whom, I am sure, we all wish well in their task in North America. In their absence, I can but say that the solution of the Cyprus problem owes a great deal to their patience 750 and their hard work. [Laughter.] Hon. Members may laugh, but I am convinced that the pages of history will include a testimony to the work of my right hon. Friends and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies, who has worked through a long and arduous period and whose speech today was a triumphant vindication of a long policy.
The Agreement which we have reached solves our major problems, as my right hon. Friend indicated. The justification for that is that our major policies have been carried out. The diverse communities in the island and the two Governments particularly concerned, namely, Greece and Turkey, have sunk their differences and have shown their determination to operate the new plan, even though compromises have had to be made by all parties on previously held convictions. It ought to be the case—and that is why I am sorry about the latter part of the Amendment—that the House of Commons should show the same spirit on this occasion.
Her Majesty's Government have certainly indicated their determination to play their part in this settlement, and despite the speeches to which I have listened throughout the debate, and despite the Opposition Amendment, I have been able to sum up what I believe to be the underlying sense of the House, namely, that there is evidence of considerable relief in the minds of hon. Members opposite that this Agreement has been signed. At any rate, this is the most important feature of our debate this evening, for this is the message that we want to send to Cyprus. I am glad that to that extent, at any rate, we can say that the House of Commons is united in wishing this Agreement well.
I am sure that the Agreement deserves an encouraging welcome and unselfish co-operation, so as to have the best possible chance in the immediate future. I have a certain amount of matter to refer to the House in answer to the speeches which we have heard, and I do not propose that the main theme of my speech should consist of an inquest into the inglorious record of the Opposition in relation to the island's affairs.
The Opposition have had a somewhat unfortunate and uncomfortable week. 751 There has been an improvement in unemployment, a settlement in Egypt, and now there is an agreement over Cyprus. On the first issue this week we had a majority of 62, and on the second occasion a majority of 72. I can assure hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite that we shall defeat their Amendment by a very large majority tonight.
I can imagine the feelings of the Opposition in regard to their third damp squib in one week. I can also imagine the feelings of the right hon. Member the Leader of the Opposition as he goes home tonight. It will be a rather lonely home- coming for him. He will say to himself, "Poor old Samson has put his foot in it again. I wish to goodness we had decided on a perm and not a large haircut." The right hon. Gentleman will also regret the speech of the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), usually so buoyant but tonight apparently unconvinced by the case he was putting. He will regret the participation of his leading lieutenants in this debate.
One point made by both of them, and especially stressed by the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East, was that there is a certain dualism in Conservative policy, and that we do not have to our credit a creditable or progressive colonial or overseas record. All I can tell him is that the great continent of India today owes its well-being and Constitution to the initiative taken by the Conservative Party. [Interruption.] I can also tell him that the constitutions of Malaya, Singapore, Nigeria and Ghana have all been due to steps taken by Her Majesty's Government and are a logical conclusion of the belief that we have in the independence of overseas territories. I would say that no Colonial Secretary of modern times has to his credit more advanced thinking or more progressive results than my right hon. Friend.
As for Ghana, I think the less we say about the speech today of the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) about Dr. Nkrumah the better. The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that it was under a Labour Government that Dr. Nkrumah was detained. I would only say this: we have heard already that Mr. Khrushchev wishes to join the Conservative Party, and judging by the speeches made by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen 752 opposite tonight, I should not be at all surprised if Dr. Nkrumah has exactly the same feeling.
My business will be to answer some of the points which have been made. The first general point I wish to make has something to do with my own responsibilities, which is to refer to the public services and the police. I am glad that there is mentioned in the Opposition Amendment the security services and the police. A tribute has been paid to them by my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary, and except for one or two rather jarring references which have been made in this House and outside, I think the whole sense of the House has been in favour of a tribute to our security forces, and also in favour of a tribute to those who have lost their lives or been injured and to their relatives. I am glad to acknowledge that that appears in the first part of the Opposition Amendment.
As Home Secretary, I wish to add a personal tribute to the police. They have done a first-class job. We have sent many sterling recruits from the police forces in this country, including women police, and I am only sorry that I have not had an opportunity of going out and thanking them myself. But I think we should express our thanks in this House for their courage and their example. I have also in mind many members of the public services, including such services as the prison service and the fire officers and others who have gone from this country and whose service has been of first-class quality throughout this difficult time. Our police standards are the highest in the world, and we feel sure that future police forces which have to be recruited will benefit from the tradition which we have set and which we shall leave behind. I do not wish to limit my praise for the police only to the British members. I also extend it to the Cypriot members of the police force who have done so much in these difficult times.
I turn for a moment to the speech of the hon. Member for Pembroke, who asked me to give some description of how the new State is being created. Now we have to spell out in full much of what was set out in the Zurich and London Conferences. The Governor returned immediately to Cyprus and began immediately the restoration to normal conditions. The facts show that he moved with a sense of the greatest urgency, and 753 he deserves our thanks for his sense of reality and the manner in which he is carrying out the London settlement.
There are three bodies—I will not speak about them for long, but I will give an impression of the latest news—which are the Joint Commission on the Constitution, the Transitional Committee in London, and the other Committee which is to meet in Cyprus. It has already been agreed in relation to the Constitutional Committee that official asistance to the Greek Cypriot representative and to the Turkish Cypriot representative should be given by two eminent Cypriot Q.C. Law Officers of the Cyprus Government. So we can hope for developments there.
In Cyprus, the Transitional Committee held its first meeting ten days after the Governor's return, and from now on it will meet twice a week. This body has to discuss the complex mechanism of the new Constitution and the transfer of power, and in fact already it has set up as a form of Cabinet and already decisions have been taken about Ministries to be established. It is hoped that by the end of this month additional appointments to the Transitional Committee of seven Greek Cypriots and three Turkish Cypriots, nominated by the Governor after consultations with Archbishop Makarios and Dr. Kuchuk, will be made so that the provisional Council of Ministers can be established from that date. I think it is not a bad achievement that, within little more than a month of the island being administered purely by direct rule, there should be functioning what is virtually a Cabinet, representative of the Cypriot people. I think that is a speed of action which augurs well for the future.
As regards the Joint Committee in London, the parties to the settlement will be represented on it, and it will prepare the final treaties under which the transfer of sovereignty will take place, in accordance with the conclusions of the London Conference. First of all, there are matters such as the areas to be retained under British sovereignty, the facilities that Her Majesty's Government require, and such questions as nationality, which are being decided by that Committee and which depend largely upon the conclusion as to whether Cyprus becomes a member of the Commonwealth or not.
754 In that connection, I welcome that portion of the Opposition Amendment which welcomes the idea of Cyprus becoming a member of the Commonwealth. This must be a matter not only for working out in London, which we are doing now, but for other members of the Commonwealth, and finally, a question for the Cypriot people themselves to decide. Upon this will largely depend, though not entirely, because we are prepared to give special consideration to the particular circumstances, the fate of the 60,000 Cypriots who are in London and in this country. Therefore, we shall work that out with the London Committee.
There are the many financial and economic problems, to which the hon. Member for Pembroke referred, and which affect the future of Cyprus. In this connection, I would say that if the Cypriot people wish Commonwealth preferences to be extended to the island, that will receive the most sympathetic consideration from Her Majesty's Government and, I believe, from other members of the Commonwealth.
I should like to make a passing reference to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), and to say that I thought his reading of the situation, constitutionally—namely, that a small island should be able to achieve sovereignty in these days and be independent and be a member of the Commonwealth—is an extremely healthy international development, and I cannot improve upon the terms of his speech in this sense.
The London Committee will hold its first meeting on the morning of 23rd March, and my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs will be the Government representative. He will have a full-time deputy in the person of Sir Knox Helm, a former Ambassador to Israel and Turkey, and formerly Governor-General of the Sudan. I am sure that the House will join me in wishing this Committee godspeed in its important work.
I have only a limited time, but I want to answer the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East by referring to the record of Her Majesty's Government over the past few years. In 1955, Sir Anthony Eden 755 invited the Greek and Turkish Governments to London to discuss the Cypriot problem. In the autumn of that year, tripartite talks took place and an advance constitution for the island was considered. This involved the association of Greece and Turkey in connection with Cyprus itself. This initiative was not accepted, but throughout the autumn and winter of that year Lord Harding had conversations with Archbishop Makarios, and I am glad to mention his name for the second time, and I hope that will give satisfaction. It was again abortive.
In 1956, Lord Radcliffe prepared constitutional proposals which were presented to Parliament, and special steps were taken to present them to Greece and Turkey, whose capitals were visited by my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary. Our representatives visited the Archbishop, but again the proposals were not accepted. At once, Her Majesty's Government took a further initiative. The United Nations, in February, 1957, passed a resolution calling for negotiations to be resumed on Cyprus, and Colonel Grivas announced his truce offer. At once, Her Majesty's Government announced their acceptance of the proffered good offices of the Secretary-General of N.A.T.O. The Archbishop was released from the Seychelles, and we announced our readiness to have talks with Greece and Turkey and with Cypriot representatives, including the Archbishop. Again, this initiative was not taken up.
In the summer of 1957, we undertook a series of informal exchanges with the Greek and Turkish Governments with the object of bringing about a conference. Following this up in January and February of this year, my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary visited Ankara and Athens, and in June the Prime Minister brought forward his proposals for partnership. In August he took with him to Athens and Ankara the so-called "Macmillan Plan", an imaginative appeal for partnership. I believe that this initiative started the constructive period of negotiation which led to final peace.
We followed up this initiative and we did our utmost in N.A.T.O. During the autumn we persevered with our efforts in the United Nations Assembly. Before 756 Christmas the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers explained to the Foreign Secretary in Paris the lines of the settlement which they were discussing, and directly the Foreign Minister agreed their agreement at Zurich Her Majesty's Government at once called the London Conference. [Interruption.] If the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East wants us to put things on the record, that is a good record of achievement.
§ Mr. Callaghan
An important question for the Government is whether at any time during that long record of initiative they ever said, before February of this year, that they were ready to relinquish control of internal security, defence and foreign affairs and were ready only to have a base on the island?
§ Mr. Butler
I think that point was answered by my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary, who made it perfectly plain that the conditions preliminary to a cession of sovereignty over parts of the island not wanted for the bases from which we could conduct our international obligations were not precedent to any particular situation which has arisen before now. [Interruption.] Without agreement with the Turkish and Greek Governments, it would have been impossible to achieve any success.
The main theme of the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale was that the difficulties over Cyprus, and particularly over Enosis, started as a result of the statement made by the then Minister of State in 1954. Really, this is a very simple view of history. It is surely known that for years before that the situation in Cyprus had been somewhat unsettled. I remember my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) describing an experience as much as 50 years before that. When he arrived at Cyprus he found a crowd ready to meet him on the beach. He thought they were coming to welcome him, but he found that they were shouting "Enosis". That was in 1906. He said to me that he had never realised that the fame of an Under-Secretary could spread so far.
It was between 1929 and 1931, in the Labour Government of hon. Gentlemen opposite, that Government House was burned down. It is not exactly true, therefore, that the troubles began under the present Government. What the 757 Opposition have done is to wrench out of its context a single sentence from the speech of the Minister of State, ignoring altogether the lessons of history and ignoring also the explanation that Lord Colyton gave the House of Lords in 1956 of his own statement. What is forgotten by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen is that they were in power in 1950 which, according to the speech of the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East, was after the establishment of Archbishop Makarios, and that in 1951 two of their Ministers had made speeches. The right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) said, on 21st June:It has repeatedly been made clear that no change in the sovereignty of the Island is contemplated.The theme was later supported, on 14th February, 1951, by the then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, the right hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Younger). He confirmed it by saying that Enosis was a non-discussable subject.
That is the background, and it is rather valueless our wasting our time on these post-mortems. I am certain that if we are to face the future, as the party opposite is always asking us to do in its policy statement, we should look ahead and congratulate this country on having come to an agreement which, I believe, is based upon the only sound foundation—that is, an agreement between the Greeks and the Turks and between the Greek and Turkish communities in the island and an agreement that sovereignty shall be ceded on the parts of the island which we do not need for bases.
§ Mr. Butler
I know that pamphlet, and I also know the pamphlet quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West, which emanates from Labour Party headquarters and which was published in 1957.
What I was saying before the right hon. Gentleman interfered was that we are not interested in looking solely to the past. Our object is to look to the future. There has been criticism about suffering which could have been avoided. Of course, we could have simply thrown in our hand. By this we could have surrendered all sovereignty regardless of the fact that Greece and Turkey and the Cypriot people remained torn on the question of Enosis or partition. Such unilateral action would have achieved nothing. It would almost certainly have led to civil war, followed by war between Greece and Turkey. What, then, should we have done by that? We should have abandoned all responsibility to the Cypriot people, we should have jettisoned our security requirements, and we should have betrayed the cause of peace and undermined the strength of N.A.T.O.
By sticking to our policy over these years we have managed to fulfil our responsibility to the Cypriot people and to save our security arrangements in the interests of our international obligations, and we have saved the cause of peace in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is because this policy has had these results that I recommend the House to reject the Socialist Amendment. I ask the House to think, lastly, of the people of Cyprus and to wish them well in the future.
§ Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 299, Noes 246.761
|Division No. 67.]||AYES||[10.0 p.m.|
|Agnew Sir Peter||Barter, John||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Batsford, Brian||Braine, B. R.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Baxter, Sir Beverley||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Beamish, Col. Tufton||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Brooman-White, R. C.|
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William||Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Bryan, P.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Bennett, Dr. Reginald||Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Burden, F. F. A.|
|Ashton, H.||Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Butcher, Sir Herbert|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Bishop, F. P.||Carr, Robert|
|Baldwin, Sir Archer||Black, Sir Cyril||Cary, Sir Robert|
|Balniel, Lord||Body, R. F.||Channon H. P. G.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Bossom, Sir Alfred||Chichester-Clark R.|
|Cole, Norman||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.||Page, R. G.|
|Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||Hughes-Young, M. H. C.||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)|
|Cooke, Robert||Hulbert, Sir Norman||Partridge, E.|
|Cooper, A. E.||Hurd, Sir Anthony||Peel, W. J.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Hutchison, Michael Clark (E'b'gh, S.)||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth|
|Corfield, F. V.||Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hyde, Montgomery||Pilkington, Capt. R. A|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry||Pitman, I. J.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Iremonger, T. L.||Pitt, Miss E. M.|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruisllp—Northwood)||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pott, H. P.|
|Cunningham, Knox||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Dance, J. C. G.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)||Profumo, J. D.|
|D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Ramsden, J. E.|
|de Ferrantl, Basil||Joseph, Sir Keith||Rawlinson, Peter|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Kaberry D.||Redmayne, M.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Keegan, D.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Kerby, Capt. H. B.||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kimball, M.||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)||Kirk, P. M.||Robertson, Sir David|
|Duncan, Sir James||Lagden, G. W.||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Duthie, W. S.||Lambton, Viscount||Robson Brown, Sir William|
|Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Lancaster, Col, C. G.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Elliott, R. W. (Ne'castle upon Tyne, N.)||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Leather, E. H. C.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Leavey, J. A.||Russell, R. S.|
|Erroll, F. J.||Leburn, W. G.||Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Fell, A.||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.||Sharples, R. C.|
|Finlay, Graeme||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Shepherd, William|
|Fisher, Nigel||Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Forrest, G.||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Fort, R.||Llewellyn, D. T.||Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher|
|Foster, John||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (Sutton Coldffeld)||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Speir, R, M.|
|Freeth, Denzil||Longden, Gilbert||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Loveys, Walter H.||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)|
|Gammans, Lady||Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Garner-Evans, E. H. £||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|George, J. C. (Pollok)||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Gibson-Watt, D.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)|
|Glover, D.||McAdden, S. J.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malolm|
|Glyn, Col. Richard H.||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Storey, S.|
|Godber, J. B.||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Goodhart, Philip||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Lancaster)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Gough, C. F. H.||McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Gower, H. R.||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Tayler, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Grant, Rt. Hon. W. (Woodside)||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Teeling, W.|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||Maddan, Martin||Temple, John M.|
|Green, A.||Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Thompson, R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.|
|Gurden, Harold||Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E.||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Marshall, Douglas||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)|
|Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.||Mathew, R,||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Maudling, Rt. Hon. R.||Turton, Rt. Hon, R. H.|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Mawby, R. L.||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr, S. L. C.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||Medilcott, Sir Frank||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Hay, John||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.||Moore, Sir Thomas||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Derek|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Wall, Patrick|
|Henderson-Stewart, Sir James||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)|
|Hesketh, R. F.||Nairn, D. L. S.||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Neave, Airey||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Nicholls, Harmar||Webster, David|
|Hill Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey (Farnham)||Whitelaw, W. S. I.|
|Hill, John (S. Norfolk)||Nicholson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Noble, Comdr. Rt. Hon. Allan||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Hobson, john(Warwick & Leam'gt'n)||Noble, Michael (Argyll)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Holland-Martin, C. J.||Nugent, G. R. H.||Wolrige-Gordon Patrick|
|Hope, Lord John||Oakshott, H. D.||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Hornby, R. P.||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Woollam, John Victor|
|Hornsby-Smith, Mist M. P.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D.||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Horobin, Sir Ian||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Orr-Ewing, C. Ian (Hendon, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Osborne, C.||Mr. Heath and Mr. Legh.|
|Abse, Leo||Hastings, S.||Peart, T. F.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Hayman, F. H,||Pentland, N.|
|Albu, A. H.||Healey, Denis||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Popplewell, E.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Prentice, R. E.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Hobson, C. R. (Keighley)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Holman, P.||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)|
|Baird, J.||Holmes, Horace||Probert, A. R.|
|Balfour, A.||Houghton, Douglas||Proctor, W. T.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Howell, Denis (All Saints)||Randall, H. E.|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.)||Hoy, J. H.||Rankin, John|
|Benson, Sir George||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Redhead, E. C.|
|Beswick, Frank||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Reeves, J.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Reid, William|
|Blackburn, F.||Hunter, A. E.||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Boardman, H.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Bonham Carter, Mark||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Bowles, F. G.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Ross, William|
|Boyd, T. C.||Janner, B.||Royle, C.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Jeger, George (Goole)||Short, E. W.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St.Pncs, S.)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Silverman, Sydney (Neison)|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield)||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Jones, David (The Hartlepools)||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Chapman, W. D.||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Snow, J. W.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Cliffe, Michael||Kenyon, C.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Clunie, J.||Key, Rt Hon. C. W.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Coldrick, W.||King, Dr. H. M.||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Lawson, G. M.||Steele, T.|
|Craddock, Ceorge (Bradford, S.)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Cronin, J. D.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Stonehouse, John|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)||Lewis, Arthur||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Lindgren, G. S.||Swingler, S. T.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Logan, D. G.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Deer, G.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||McCann, J.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Delargy, H. J.||MacColl, J. E.||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Diamond, John||MacDermot, Niall||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Dodds, N. N.||Mcinnes, J.||Thornton, E.|
|Donnelly, D. L.||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Timmons, J.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwich)||McLeavy, Frank||Tomney, F.|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Edelman, M.||Mahon, Simon||Usborne, H. C.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Viant, S. P.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Wade, D. W.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Mason, Roy||Warbey, W. N.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Mayhew, C. P.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Mellish, R. J.||Weitzman, D.|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Messer, Sir F.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mitohlson, G. R.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Finch, H. J. (Bedwellty)||Monslow, W.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Fitch, A. E. (Wigan)||Moody, A. S.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Fletcher, Eric||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Foot, D. M.||Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm, S.)||Wigg, George|
|Foreman, J. C.||Mort, D. L.||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Moss, R.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Moyle, A.||Willey, Frederick|
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Car'then)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)|
|Gooch, E. G.||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Oliver, G. H.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Oram, A. E.||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Oswald, T.||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Grey, C. F.||Owen, W. J.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Lianelly)||Padley, W. E.||Winterbottom, Richard|
|Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Paget, R. T.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Grimond, J.||Palmer, A. M. F.||Woof, R. E.|
|Hale, Leslie||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvll (Colne Valley)||Pargiter, G. A.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Hamilton, W. W.||Parker, J.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Hannan, W.||Parkin, B. T.|
|Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Paton, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mr. Bowden and Mr. Pearson.|
§ Main Question put and agreed to.763
That this House welcomes the Cyprus Agreement as serving the best interests of all the people of Cyprus, achieving a permanent settlement acceptable to the two Cypriot communities and to the Greek and Turkish Governments, safeguarding essential British defence requirements, strengthening cooperation between the United Kingdom and her allies in a vital area thus satisfying Her Majesty's Government's aims of policy: records its tribute to the statesmanship shown at the Zurich and London Conferences without which the rapid completion of agreement would not have been possible; recognises the major rôle of the security forces and the public services in Cyprus during the last four years; and expresses its deep sympathy with the injured and the families of those who lost their lives during the emergency.