HC Deb 27 July 1964 vol 699 cc980-1
12. Mr. F. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations he has recently received from other Governments about the British bases in Cyprus.

Mr. R. A. Butler

None, Sir.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Would it nevertheless not be wise to recognise that sovereign bases in foreign countries have become an untenable anachronism? If it is the Government's view that some useful United Kingdom purpose is served by having those facilities in this area, would it not be wise to negotiate for them to be freely provided by our allies in the Eastern Mediterranean?

Mr. Butler

We have had no representations from the Government of Cyprus or the other Governments concerned or from the United Nations. This does not come within the purview of the United Nations mediator. As these bases are valuable to us, I suggest that we go on as before.

Mr. Emery

Would my right hon. Friend like to comment on whether he thinks that the American bases in the United Kingdom are an "untenable anachronism"?

Hon. Members

They are not sovereign bases.

Mr. Shinwell

Although in the passage of time it may be found desirable to remove the bases from Cyprus, may we have an assurance—at any rate may I have an assurance—that we shall not allow ourselves to be pushed out by Archbishop Makarios and that if we decide to go out we shall go out as a result of negotiations?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir, I can give that as an unqualified assurance.