HC Deb 14 January 1964 vol 687 cc32-5
Q7. Mr. Driberg

asked the Prime Minister if he has studied the proposals by the President of Cyprus for amending the Cyprus Constitution, a copy of which has been forwarded to Her Majesty's Government; and if he will state the Government's policy on these proposals.

The Prime Minister

A copy of President Makarios's proposals was given to the British Government.

Since there is to be a conference on the problems of Cyprus in London opening tomorrow it would not be right for me to comment on the proposals.

Mr. Driberg

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider, for the information of hon. Members, putting a copy of the proposals in the Library or indeed circulating them in HANSARD?

The Prime Minister

I will consider that.

Q8. Mr. Driberg

asked the Prime Minister what steps have been taken by Her Majesty's Government, as a guarantor of the Cyprus Constitution, to ensure urgent consideration by the Security Council of the threat to international peace involved in the inter-communal disturbances in Cyprus and the movements of Turkish warships and military aircraft; if he will make a statement on the assistance given by British troops in the task of restoring order in Cyprus; and if he will endeavour to arrange, through the United Nations, that any further such external assistance that may be required by the Government of Cyprus is provided by an international force supplied by nations not directly concerned with events in Cyprus in the years before its independence.

The Prime Minister

The situation in Cyprus was discussed in the Security Council on 27th December at the request of the permanent representative of Cyprus. On 8th January the United Kingdom representative submitted a report to the President of the Security Council on the measures taken by Her Majesty's Government and the Greek and Turkish Governments as guarantors of the 1960 Agreement, with the cooperation of the Cyprus Government and representatives of the Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus, to reduce tension in the island and prevent a further outbreak of fighting. I am arranging to circulate a copy in the Official Report.

I am glad to say that the joint peacekeeping machinery has succeeded to a considerable degree in reducing tension. As the House will be aware. Archbishop Makarios and Dr. Kutchuk have accepted the offer of good offices of the British, Greek and Turkish Governments to help in the solution of the problem of Cyprus and a conference for this purpose is due to meet in London this week. This is in accordance with Articles 33 and 52 of the United Nations Charter which call for regional attempts to solve problems before their submis- sion to the Security Council. Pending the outcome of this conference, it would be inappropriate either to refer the problem again to the Security Council or to attempt to arrange through the United Nations for the presence of a different type of international force.

Mr. Driberg

Would the Prime Minister agree that ill of us would wish to congratulate the British troops on the spot for their patience and efficiency? But does he also realise that we were very glad to not; from a recent speech of his that Her Majesty's Government have moved somewhat from the original position taken up in the direction of the proposal made by my right hon. and hon. Friends, to the effect that British troops alone cannot be expected to carry this can indefinitely? Would he consider through the United Nations the possibility of using some of the Gaza Strip force, who are only an hour's flight away?

The Prime Minister

I would not accept the proposition that Her Majesty's Government have moved from their original position, because it was always our original position that we could not, as the hon. Gentleman says, carry this can indefinitely. That, I think, is apparent. However, I should like to see how the conference develops before I answer any more supplementary questions.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Should not the most careful consideration be given to any idea of introducing an international force into a Commonwealth Territory?

The Prime Minister

I think that hon. Members know that very strong views were held by the different parties in the conference about the possibility of using a United Nations force, and I would rather not say any more on this subject.

Mr. Warbey

As the Prime Minister referred to Article 53 of the Charter, will he say what regional machinery under Article 53 exists for this area? Will he bear in mind that N.A.T.O. was formed under Article 51 and not Article 53?

The Prime Minister

Will the hon. Member boar in mind that I mentioned Articles 33 and 52?

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