HC Deb 08 March 1966 vol 725 cc1887-8
7. Mr. Kilfedder

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether it remains Government policy to guarantee the independence of Cyprus.

Mr. Bottomley

As a signatory of the 1960 Cyprus Treaties our policy remains to uphold their validity until such time as they are altered by mutual agreement of the parties concerned.

Mr. Kilfedder

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask him to give an assurance that this Government would disapprove of the Greek Government and the President of Cyprus doing anything which would harm the rights of the Turkish minority?

Mr. Bottomley

This is a matter which is handled by the United Nations. I have no reason to doubt that the proper treatment which should be meted out to nationals is accorded to them in Cyprus.

Mr. Shinwell

In view of the allegations made about the present Government's intentions to modify or break the Aden Agreement, can we understand from his answer that it is quite customary and constitutional to modify and even break a treaty by mutual consent?

Mr. Bottomley

No. I have already said that the United Nations is handling this matter. If all of the signatories to the Agreement were to agree that it should end, then this could be done, but only by uninimous consent.

Mr. J. Amery

If the right hon. Gentleman holds to that Agreement, why did our representative at the United Nations abstain when the matter came before it last year, even though the Americans were not signatories of the Treaty of Guarantee upholding it?

Mr. Bottomley

That is a different question.

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