HC Deb 19 May 1981 vol 5 cc147-8
13. Mr. Thomas Cox

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has had any recent discussions on the continuance of the British bases in Cyprus.

Mr. Pattie

My right hon. Friend has had no such discussions.

Mr. Cox

Is the Minister aware of the growing pressure in Cyprus for discussions on the future of the bases and for a contribution to be paid to the Greek Cypriot Government for their use? As the matter is urgent and will not go away, will he discuss it with the Secretary of State and the Lord Privy Seal?

Mr. Pattie

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is right when he says that the matter will not go away, but this is a matter primarily for the Lord Privy Seal, who I am sure will read the reports of this exchange.

Mr. Jim Spicer

Does my hon. Friend accept that the Turkish Minister of Defence is fully aware of the importance of the sovereign base area, not only to the United Kingdom but also to the NATO Alliance as a whole?

Mr. Pattie

Yes, I agree with my hon. Friend.