HC Deb 14 June 1961 vol 642 c414
22. Mr. Paget

asked the Minister of Defence what alterations he has ordered in the United Kingdom's defence dispositions as a result of the declaration of the President of Cyprus that bases in Cyprus would not be available for the performance of the United Kingdom's obligations inter alia under the Tripartite Declaration.

Mr. Watkinson

None, Sir.

Mr. Paget

Has the right hon. Gentleman observed Archbishop Makarios' statement that the Cyprus bases would not be available for use in operations in which the United Arab Republic was involved? Do not our obligations under the Tripartite Declaration with regard to Israel involve our use of those bases? Have no alternative arrangements been made, or has not the matter been considered?

Mr. Watkinson

I have seen Press reports of what Archbishop Makarios said. I think it important not to say anything at this point beyond the statement I have made; it would not be helpful either to him or to Her Majesty's Government.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Will my right hon. Friend be absolutely specific and say that Archbishop Makarios, the President of Cyprus, has absolutely no jurisdiction in these matters and his words are therefore entirely meaningless?

Mr. Watkinson

That is why I said, "None, Sir." We do not propose to make any changes in the sovereign areas, because our sovereignty remains.

Mr. M. Foot

Since the British Government in 1956 were responsible for tearing up the Tripartite Declaration, may that be the reason why Archbishop Makarios has followed their example?

Mr. Watkinson

That is quite another question.

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