HL Deb 08 July 1958 vol 210 cc692-768

3.17 p.m.

LORD WINSTER rose to call attention to the situation in Cyprus; and to move for Papers. The noble Lord said: My Lords, I rise to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. It has stood there for a very long time, but I hope that I have correctly interpreted the feelings of the House in not moving it until to-day. It occurred to me this morning that we shall be debating this afternoon the fate of the last remnant of Disraeli's Empire-building which consisted of India, a predominant position in Egypt, and Cyprus. To-day, after less than 100 years, only Cyprus remains; and although it is only a small island I think it has caused us quite as much trouble as the other two, India and Egypt.

I feel that Cyprus offers a perfect example of a modern phenomenon—an easy-going, happy, moderately prosperous people, living happily in the sun in neighbourly peace and friendliness. And what happens? They are freed one day from the curse of malaria, only to become infected by the modern bug of what is known as "political consciousness." Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Maronites, were living side by side in Cyprus without any racial animosities, under an efficient, tolerant and thoroughly well-disposed Administration. Then, like the demon king in the pantomime, up comes the demon of political unrest, encouraged by political agitators of what is, unfortunately, a well-known type. The people are told that they are oppressed and down-trodden and exploited, and that under another form of Administration, they would be free, richer and happier. Men and women under the agitator's manipulation, cease to be Cypriots living as one race: they become Greeks and Turks encouraged to hate each other. They become divided into Democrats and Communists and, again, are taught to hate each other. To divide the people and teach them to hate is the agitator's technique.

The next thing is that revolvers make an appearance, and later come bombs. There are shootings and knifings. Reprisals followed such incidents; and those reprisals, of course, bring further reprisals. The Administration try to preserve order and to suppress the gunmen, and become represented as a tyranny. Tales are spread about tortures and other malpractices when the gunmen are imprisoned. The result of all this is that fear stalks the land, distrust is everywhere and hate is rife;,and the agitator rubs his hands, well pleased. The people have become politically conscious. What an ugly business! Yet that is precisely what has been happening in Cyprus.

This matter was debated recently in another place and Mr. Lennox Boyd said [OFFICIAL, REPORT (Commons) Vol. 590 (No. 129) Col. 616]: One day the whole story can be told. I agree that that day is not to-day. By coincidence, this is the eighth day of the month and in the Psalms for today your Lordships will find these words: I will keep my tongue as it were with a bridle: … held my tongue … I kept silence … but it was pain and grief to me. I must say that I found an echo in those words. But whether the plan be good or faulty, hopeful or hopeless, at any rate Her Majesty's Government are at last making a solid, serious effort to get a solution; and to my mind it would be an act of supreme irresponsibility to say anything which might hinder or impede that effort. I may point out, however, that I thought Mr. Lennox-Boyd was on pretty safe ground in making that statement; for if this effort comes off—as I sincerely hope it may—the story will be of only academic interest, and Parliament probably will not want to hear very much about it. Should this effort, unhappily, fail, then I believe I am safe in saying that this Government will have disappeared and again the story will be something in the nature of A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Already I feel that people are rather tired of the Cyprus tale, and if we get a settlement it will be a long time before anyone wants to hear about the island again.

When the plan was announced in your Lordships' House I said that it should have a fair run and therefore it is not my intention to use this Motion as a vehicle for a critical attack upon Her Majesty's Government. I want rather to address myself elsewhere: to the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers, to the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, to Archbishop Makarios and to Colonel Grivas. They may be facing a last chance; let them face it as statesmen, and not in the capacity of agitators, as, to some extent, they have done heretofore. In the past they have all taken up attitudes; they have said "Never" or "Over my dead body" or have spoken of "The irreducible minimum demand"—all the dreary litany of unreasoning obstinacy.

"Brinkmanship" has become rather a discredited word, but the plan of Her Majesty's Government brings all the leaders I have mentioned to the brink. Let them look over into the abyss into which their obstinacy may plunge Cyprus, and then draw back, before it is too late. I have read their replies carefully. In the Levant the meaning often lies between the lines. All, in one form or another, have said "No"; but they have said it in such a way as to leave the door ajar. At any rate, they have not slammed the door. I beg them to remember that it is not their personal prestige which matters to-day but the simple happiness of the Cypriot people. Clearly some, in fact probably all of them, want to talk. Our Prime Minister has perceived this and has addressed letters to the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers, letters which are unmistakable evidence of his sincere desire to reach an impartial and fair solution. If he is not met in the same spirit it will be certain evidence that he has been addressing himself to lesser men than himself. Sir Hugh Foot, the Governor, has also addressed Archbishop Makarios and Colonel Grivas in similar terms of honest purpose and intent.

I have said that all these leaders have been brought to the brink, but I believe they are standing not only at the brink but also at the bar of history, for issues of peace and war are in the balance. It is a moment for all concerned to forget their "Nevers" and to make a new start. If, as I hope, as a result of the Prime Minister's efforts there are to be new negotiations, I trust that all who gather round the table will remember what I believe to be recognised as a sound principle in diplomacy: that it is a bad negotiation if one party gets all that he asks for; it is a good negotiation if all feel that their case has been fairly met and fairly dealt with. To have any hope of permanency a Cyprus solution must be a many-sided compromise, and if there are to be negotiations, as I trust there will be, we on our part must not say "The plan, the whole plan and nothing but the plan ". We must be flexible—but not so flexible as to create further difficulties by our flexibility. The position at which we had arrived in Cyprus was that without going far enough to satisfy the Greeks we had gone just far enough to alarm and alienate the Turks, and the result was deadlock.

Now we have this plan. Any plan will work given good will amongst those who have to work it. This plan is largely a mixture of old and new plans and proposals. It is extremely complicated. It will clearly be very difficult to work as it stands to-day; but, after all, that difficulty is inevitable with a "Captain Marryat triangular duel" of interests such as we have in Cyprus. The first question I ask myself is: Will the plan assuage the racial feelings which have been aroused? If it has certain unworkable features, as I believe it may have, at any rate it can be said of it that it certainly provides a basis upon which a workable plan could be hammered out.

It must be regarded as a plan for Cyprus and not as a plan for Britain or Greece or Turkey; it is a plan for the future of Cyprus. Greece and Turkey have been rivalling each other in efforts to impress Britain with the depth and violence of their emotions, but I feel that they are chasing after the shadow and ignoring the substance. Both countries have been, and really are to-day, our friends, in spite of these polemics. Each has the strongest possible reason for, preserving their friendship with us. If they have cause for disagreement with each other, they have in Britain the ideal arbitrator, with strong reasons for giving each friend a fair deal. Again, the two countries have the strongest reasons for bein good allies in N.A.T.O. and in the United Nations, since the Middle East is an exposed area where it is really impossible to-day to live except dangerously and where a country without reliable allies is likely to become lost and, in any case, lives only on sufferance. Greece and Turkey alike have the strongest interest in the strength of N.A.T.O., and M. Spaak is trying to act as a conciliator between them.

Turkey might well reflect that partition would involve the undying enmity of Greece and probably the drying up of American aid. I know that M. Zorlu is reported to have said that it was Government policy to achieve partition inside a year, but I have it on good authority that, on being told that partition is regarded as the worst possible solution, as indeed it is, M. Zorlu replied in these words: I quite agree with you; it is a bad solution, but it was the Greeks who invented it and now deny it, and, later on, Mr. Lennox-Boyd; we have simply adopted it. However, as we are losing confidence in British policy, and are afraid that Britain intends to disengage herself from Cyprus in favour of Greece; we prefer to take over our part.

If those are, indeed, M. Zorlu's words, I do not think it should be beyond the powers of diplomacy to disabuse him on such very mistaken ideas, because if this plan is adopted the idea of Cyprus going to and being governed by one single country would be gone for ever. This should minimise Turkish fears of Enosis, because, as I see it, in the plan Enosis and partition are both out for good. I have seen the various replies from the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers and from the Archbishop. As I have already said, I think there are grounds for hope in them. I think the atmosphere in Athens seems a little calmer. The Turkish attitude is to-day not quite so rigid, and the attitude of N.A.T.O. and the United Nations has had some effect. In fact, my Lords, if the spirit which is being shown to-day had been shown some four or five years ago we should most certainly have got a settlement.

To come to the plan itself for a few moments, Mr. Lennox-Boyd said that the policy is based on two main foundations (these were his wards), "partnership and communal autonomy". I feel that perhaps a slight contradiction in words is involved here. It is certainly a very small island for a communal autonomy. And if, as he said, communal autonomy "is already widely practised in Cyprus"—it came with a certain amount of surprise to me—it has been done in the past and done without the slightest trace of racial feeling arising. But that cannot be the case in the future. Racialism has reared its ugly head in Cyprus and will be a force to be reckoned with for a long time to come. It will have to be reckoned with even if this plan emerges in some form or another. In my time, racial animosities simply did not exist: the two races lived and worked side by side—worked side by side in every department of the administration, in the forests, in the health service; the children of the two races played together; racial animosity was unknown. A new and such an ugly development has been the rapid and shocking deterioration in racial relations.

In all that I did I aimed at integration. This plan seems to aim at segregation. Sometimes I think of Little Rock as I read the terms of the plan. The Times has said that it is "virtually a system of non-territorial partition." I hope that the ultimate idea is unity and not partition. But we have seen elsewhere how very difficult it is to achieve integration after a long period of segregation; and it is proposed to enforce this segregation after centuries of peaceful integration. I had always envisaged a Legislative Assembly, to lead up to self-determination, but a period of a Legislative Assembly with portfolios and seats distributed according to the population, and Greeks and Turks learning the arts of government side by side—very difficult arts, of which to-day the Cypriots have really no understanding at all. I always dreamt of the two races learning the arts side by side. I am sure that that should be the right objective; and that the Greeks should, if they wished, at an election be able to vote for Turks, and Turks vote for Greeks, and not along racial lines, as they will be compelled to do in the future. What is proposed may, I fear, bring Athens and Ankara into the affairs of Cyprus. I want a united Cyprus to run its own affairs.

My Lords, how far is this "communal autonomy" to run? To what lengths will it go? Are we to find two fire brigades in a town, one Turkish and one Greek, and the Greek fire brigade not going to a Turkish fire and the Turkish fire brigade staying at home when there is a Greek fire? Again, communal affairs are of comparatively secondary importance in the administration of the island. Education, religion, social services—I do not minimise the importance of those things for one moment, but I say that they are of secondary importance compared with other matters. The big things—irrigation, communications, economic plans, and the day-to-day administration—are all outside communal administration. And what are to be the functions of the two Houses of Representatives?

The Government's Executive Council will deal with finance, with the budget, with expenditure, with allocations of capital, with legislation affecting health, labour and insurance—all those things will be the function of the Executive Council, and the Greek and Turkish commissioners will have full voting rights on all of them. And will those commissioners look at such questions from the Cypriot point of view or from the point of view of Athens or Ankara? Is there to be an appeal to the tribunal? That will introduce more external influences and will certainly limit our authority. After the Executive Council have done their work in these matters, what will be left for the two Houses of Representatives to do? And after the Executive Council and the Houses of Representatives have finished with their tasks, what will be left for the communal authorities to do under the heading of "communal autonomy."

The plan of Greek and Turkish Commissioners on the Governor's Executive Council is a great experiment—a daring experiment. After all, they will be responsible to Athens and Ankara, not to Cyprus or London, for what they do. Then there are dual nationalities and dual passports. All these things mean that the Island will be administered not as a unit from within but by men who will be looking East and West across the sea for their instructions and guidance. May I ask if such an idea has been tried out anywhere else, this idea which is now put forward for the administration of Cyprus? And, if so, has it worked smoothly? Does this duality involve any rights under international law of interference or intervention? Does liability for military service enter into this dual nationality? Will it be compulsory to have dual passports, and will such passports not give Athens and Ankara power to exert pressure on their new nationals? The Greek and Turkish Commissioners may refer any legislation which they feel discriminatory to an impartial tribunal. Will racial discrimination be the only ground on which they can make such an appeal? And what will be the constitution of this tribunal?

Again, this is to run for seven years and nobody is asked to renounce his principles while the seven years elapse; but what procedure is envisaged after the seven years? We know that in the Bible a period of seven years ended in marriage and great joy, but what is to happen at the end of this period of seven years? From my own experience in Cyprus, I feel certain that the chances of the acceptance of this plan will be greatly enhanced if the future procedure is clearly laid down. I feel sure that those concerned will want to know what is to happen at the end of these seven years. I feel that in putting this plan before another place Mr. Lennox-Boyd left these matters far too vague.

Again, we have been told that the Government are prepared to go ahead with extensive administrative action to implement the plan in face of refusals, and will go ahead to the extent of setting up six separate Ministries. Who would man these Ministries, and in what form of Government are these Ministries to function? Because refusals, as things are, would leave the Governor with only his Executive Council? I realise that the Government cannot be expected to put forward a plan and at the same time a full alternative plan in case their first is rejected, but surely they must have contemplated the possibility of rejection in whole or in part and must have conceived of some ideas in that event.

I venture to put forward these considerations, as I have said, not in a spirit of completely hostile criticism but because I feel that they are points which genuinely require elucidation and upon which the Government may fairly be expected to put forward some of the ideas which must be passing through their minds. I come back to what I said earlier: that I most genuinely wish the Government success in the negotiations which will follow their putting forward of this plan. In everything that I have said, in all the considerations that enter into my mind, my main consideration is the people of Cyprus. That is what matters—the future, the happiness and the prosperity of Cyprus. Two old Cypriots, man and wife, whom I knew very well when I was in Cyprus, came here to see me the other day. They are two old people near the end of their days. Their son was murdered in the course of the troubles and they felt that they could not live in Cyprus any longer. In spite of their age, they have come to this country, where they have never been before, to try to make another start where these dreadful memories will not be so vividly with them. It is people like them who are constantly in my mind. I realise that at the back of this plan, which deals with such high matters and involves such high personages, are the people of Cyprus and, what I feel sure the Government is working for, a return of peace and security to that tormented Island. I beg to move for Papers.

3.48 p.m.


My Lords, I find that the noble Viscount who leads the Oppostition does not choose to move his Motion immediately but proposes to defer it for some time, but I take it that it will be in order to discuss these Motions together as they are closely related. Like the noble Lord, Lord Winster, I have felt some doubts whether this was a wise time for this matter to be debated in public, reported everywhere and broadcast throughout the world. I am still not sure that it is, for it involves a delicate situation, of difficulty and danger, and of daily change. Even since this debate started to-day further sad news has come from Cyprus, and I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Winster, when he says that we must all be careful not to put a word wrong, if I may put it in that way, to disturb the very delicate atmosphere, when an unwise remark may do a great deal of damage. I am not suggesting that the noble Lord should not have put this Motion on the Order Paper. In fact, he did so a long time ago, when conditions were different and in my opinion looked much more hopeful and steadier than unfortunately they do now. But there it is; and we can go ahead with our debate and talk about the three aspects of this Cyprus question—past, present and future—in the hope that some good may come of it, even if only of encouragement to Her Majesty's Government.

To talk about the past is mere recrimination, pointing out how well or how badly things were done. To talk of the present is dangerous, and to talk of the future is something we should do in a discreet way. The change that has come about seems to have been not so much in the attitude of the Cypriots as in the attitude of Her Majesty's Government. For after a very long time they seem to me to have come to the more broad and liberal approach to this problem which has been put forward by many noble Lords on the Benches on this side of the House for months, and even years.

To follow me is the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Harding of Petherton. I am sure that we should all wish to say how much we admired his handling of difficult affairs in that troublous island. The noble Lord, as we all know, is one of our most able soldiers, and it was presumably in that capacity, or regarding him in that capacity, that he was appointed to this high office. From these Benches, while yielding to nobody in our regard and admiration for the noble Lord as a soldier, we still feel that it was perhaps a mistake to treat this whole matter for so long as a military affair, and, with no derogation to the noble Lord, Lord Harding of Petherton, we welcome the appointment of a Governor from another branch of Her Majesty's Service, Sir Hugh Foot, who already is showing tremendous courage, far-sightedness and broadmindedness.

I feel that in some quarters of this country too much point is made of this troublous, wicked, murderous warfare in Cyprus. The attitude of our side is that those whom we are fighting against are wicked, unprincipled and criminal. But we must realise that to the Cypriots who are fighting us in this guerrilla warfare, this is more or less a holy war, a crusade; and they see no other way of obtaining what they think are their just rights. We see other ways, and we hope that Her Majesty's Government will persevere with this long, slow process of reason and persuasion, and of trying to convince them, rather than resorting unduly to military measures.

The only aspect about the proposed plan about which I am not quite happy (and I will touch on it only briefly) is one that was mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Winster. I refer to point No. III in the plan, which introduces a completely foreign element into the Cypriot régime. This is a step which must be irrevocable. Once we put into the Cypriot régime a representative from Athens and another from Ankara they will always be there. Personally, I should have been inclined to hope that we might look more to the Cypriot Greeks and Cypriot Turks themselves. In the first place, they should be given more power and influence; and then, after a period of years, they should decide whether they want Enosis or partition, and whether they want to bring in the other outside people or not. I therefore hope that Her Majesty's Government will proceed on the lines of regarding Cyprus, as the noble Lord, Lord Winster said, as an entity working out her own destiny, with the sincere and willing help of this country, and not as a potential focal point of international intrigue. I should like to see Cyprus finding her balance through integral forces within the island, rather than continuing in precarious equilibrium by the competing pulls of outside sanctions from varying points of the compass.

3.54 p.m.


My Lords, it is with some diffidence that I venture to address your Lordships on this subject, because some of your Lordships may think that I am still too near the problem to be able to see the wood for the trees. If I may refer to a remark which has been made by the noble Lord, Lord Rea, I would say that I am by profession a man of arms, but I should like to emphasise strongly that before I went to Cyprus, and all the time I was in Cyprus, I was quite convinced that there was no possibility of producing a final answer to the Cyprus dispute by military means—and that, if I may say so, goes for all those who worked with me, whether they were in the Administration, in the police forces or in the armed forces. I do not think there is anyone who has served in Cyprus, as an administrator or as a member of the security forces, or anyone who has studied the problem seriously and objectively, who would deny that the answer to the problem of a permanent, lasting and peaceful solution to this dispute can be found only by a political settlement. That is a view to which I strongly subscribe.

As I read and understand them, the proposals which have been put forward by Her Majesty's Government for a solution of this problem are fundamentally based on the principle of partnership. Two principles, or two foundations, were mentioned by Mr. Lennox-Boyd, the Colonial Secretary in another place: the foundation of partnership and the foundation of communal autonomy. To my way of thinking, the foundation of partnership must be a permanency; the foundation of communal autonomy is a stepping stone to unity within the island. That is the way in which I think these two foundation stones referred to in another place by the Colonial Secretary ought to be regarded.

There are many points connected with the plan which, as the Prime Minister indicated in another place, are open to discussion and negotiation and (I think the word he used was) "development". That is certainly the case. There are points in the plan which must cause considerable concern in the minds of those people, like myself, who have been connected with the administration of Cyprus—the setting up of an impartial tribunal to which, in certain circumstances, reference can be made; the questions of dual nationality and passport; and the prolonged presence of representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments sitting in with the Administration. But I submit that, if the principle of partnership is sincerely accepted by all the parties concerned, inside and outside the Island, then these other questions, which are to my mind of comparative detail, will fall into place. They are important, and by referring to them as matters of comparative detail I do not mean to convey that they are not. They are of great importance, but I believe that the first thing is to get the principle of partnership accepted.

There are two immediate objectives to be fulfilled in this problem. The one is to restore peace and calm in the Island so that men and women there can go about their daily business in peace and speak their minds without fear. The other, in my opinion, is to heal the serious breach that has arisen between Greece and Turkey, who together constitute an extremely important flank of one of our main defensive organisations in the world to-day; that is, the right flank of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Those are the two primary and immediate objectives, and I suggest that if we can get this principle of partnership accepted by the Greek and the Turkish Governments, and by the leaders of the two main communities and others who are concerned in the future administration and well-being of Cyprus, then the rest of these problems, important as they are, will fall into place and will be solved by a process of give and take, by discussion and by true negotiation.

May I turn for a moment to the first of the immediate objectives that I have mentioned, the restoration of law and order and of peace and calm in the Island of Cyprus? It is my belief that, if they wished, there are three men in the world to-day who could, by using their influence, bring about that situation. Those men I believe to be the Prime Minister of Greece, Archbishop Makarios and the Prime Minister of Turkey. If those three men were to accept the principle of partnership and give the word that violence, terrorism, communal disturbance, disorder and incitement were to cease, I believe they would cease at the drop of a hat. That, I believe, is a serious thing to say. It places a serious and heavy responsibility on the three men whom I have named, but I say it with all sincerity and believe it to be true. I most sincerely and devoutly hope that these men, who have such tremendous influence on this very important problem, will say the word that violence, terrorism and communal disorder will cease in Cyprus, and that it will be possible to get down to genuine negotiations to deal with all these other points of detail which will remain to be resolved when the principle of partnership has been accepted.

I do not think it is going to be easy to get this vitally fundamental principle of partnership accepted. It is encouraging that so far no one who is primarily concerned with this problem has taken up a position from which he cannot withdraw. There is still room for manœuvre. No one as yet has entrenched himself in such a position that he cannot move. That is very good and very encouraging. But it will take time for this principle to be accepted, for statesmanship to get to work and for these details to be worked out. In the meantime, tempers in Cyprus are still running high, and unless the three men whom I have named are prepared to act, there will continue to be violence and disorder in Cyprus. In that case, I believe that there is only one course open to Her Majesty's Government, and that is to face this situation as a grim reality. I pray it will never arise, but if there is continued violence in Cyprus, and if those who can bring about the state of peace there fail to see their duty and take that responsibility to use their influence, then Her Majesty's Government will, I feel, be faced with much the same situation again as existed when I went to Cyprus first of all in October, 1955.

In that case, a very heavy responsibility will once again fall upon the security forces. In another place, the Prime Minister paid a handsome tribute to the Administration, to the police and to the Armed Forces in Cyprus, for the fortitude which they had shown in the face of grave difficulties and great provocation. In my view, that tribute is more than richly deserved, but there are certain points about the position of the security forces which I should like to mention. I do so again with some diffidence because, as I said—and I hope I have made my view and position absolutely clear—I most devoutly hope that peace will be restored to Cyprus by the action and influence of certain individuals whom I have mentioned. But if that fails, then, in my view, there is only one course for Her Majesty's Government to take—to face this grim alternative, to set aside for the time being the discussion of the political aspects of the problem, and to concentrate once more on restoring law and order and creating in Cyprus conditions such as I have indicated. If, tragically, that should happen, then the battle between the forces of law and order on one side, and those who seek to take the law into their own hands on the other, will have to be fought to a finish. In those unhappy and tragic circumstances, the security forces in Cyprus will require the full support of Her Majesty's Government, of Parliament and of the people of this country.

There is one event which happened in the past to which, if I may take up a little more of your Lordships' time, I should like to refer, because it directly affects the morale and discipline of the security forces. As your Lordships will know, this country is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. In May, 1956, the Greek Government lodged an application with the European Commission on Human Rights alleging breaches of the Convention in Cyprus. A second application was lodged in May, 1957. As a result of these two applications, there was a vast exchange of written information and a long series of discussions took place at Strasbourg. Finally, Her Majesty's Government agreed—and I accept the fact that they had no alternative in the circumstances—that the sub-commission which was investigating these allegations should be allowed to pursue their inquiries in Cyprus. The visit took place in January of this year, and the sub-commission that went to Cyprus included a representative of Greece. Members of the security forces in Cyprus were required to appear before the sub-commission. This, to me, is a long and sorry story, and I have confined myself to stating the bare facts of the case.

There are two points that seem to me to stand out very strongly. The first is that in this case the Greek Government deliberately used, or abused, the European Convention on Human Rights for its own political ends, and, secondly, that our men in Cyprus were called to account virtually, one might say, at the bidding of the Greek Government for actions that they had taken in good faith as servants of Her Majesty's Government. I submit that we have proper means of our own for dealing with indiscipline or breaches of the law by members of our Forces, whether they be policemen or members of the Armed Forces world wide, and, so far as I am aware, as a result of some forty-four years' service, those rules of our own and our own standards have always been upheld and maintained. I submit that it is intolerable that men should be subjected to an inquisition of this kind. I know that there are complicated and important legal and international problems connected with this particular issue, and I am not proposing to ask for any definite assurance in regard to the future now, but my purpose in raising the point was to draw your Lordships' attention to what has happened in the past and to what may happen again if, tragically, Her Majesty's Government find themselves compelled to give up for the time being attempts to seek political agreement in this dispute and have once again to concentrate on, and give, overriding priority to, the restoration of law and order and the defeat of terrorism.

There is one other point in connection with the work of the security forces in Cyprus. There have been insinuations in another place and in the Press that the security forces have shown favouritism. I most strongly deprecate those insinuations, and I think that their existence detracts from the confidence and is liable to damage the morale and the discipline of the security forces. I hope that as a result of this debate, or during the course of this debate, your Lordships would feel it possible not only to pay a tribute to the fortitude, the courage, the resolution, the patience and the restraint of the security forces in Cyprus, but also to express confidence in their firm will to carry out their duty in the future, whatever it may be, however unpleasant it may be, without fear or favour.

My Lords, I should like to conclude by saying that to me the fundamental principle involved in this plan is the principle of partnership. If it is shown throughout this country that we as a nation accept the principle of partnership as applied to Cyprus, and are determined to see it established for Cyprus, and to foot whatever bill may come our way in the process of seeing that principle established, then I think that in time it will be accepted, and peace, which we all so ardently desire for Cyprus, will come back to all the people whose homes are in that lovely island.

4.13 p.m.

VISCOUNT ALEXANDER OF HILLSBOROUGH had given Notice of a Motion to call attention to the Statement by Her Majesty's Government of Thursday, 19th June last, on Cyprus; and to move for Papers. The noble Viscount said: my Lords, I should like to say at the outset how much I welcome from many of its aspects (I would not say that I agree with him on every point), the speech of the noble and gallant Lord who has just spoken. We are glad to have added to our membership and our business an able extempore speaker, even though he may carry some notes in his hand. He has delivered his views to us with great clarity, which is of very great benefit to us and our understanding.

I would say to him that I had made a note to pay a tribute from this side of the House to the manner in which the security forces carry out their duties, their dangerous, their difficult, and their very wearying duties, in Cyprus. As to the matter which he raised with regard to what had happened in connection with the European Human Rights Commission, may I say that I feel very strongly, as an old Defence Minister, that the British Forces administration completely justified itself in its attitude to this question of disciplinary action by the court martial they did carry out—not with the result some people wanted—in a specific case in the island. I am quite sure that that kind of practice, which has been not something forced upon the Service administration but is within the inherited ideals of Service administration, can give us confidence and justification for our faith in their future action.

Let me turn now to the subject of the Motion that I put on the Paper, though there is really no need to have two Motions; it is a question of varying the first Motion to make it refer specifically to the White Paper. I turn now to the White Paper. I agree entirely with the noble Lord, the Leader of the Liberal Party, that this is not a debate when we need have any recriminations about the past, either in respect of policy or lack of policy. What we have to deal with, as the Governor of Cyprus said last night, if I understood the wireless report correctly, is the most serious situation in Cyprus to-day. It is exceedingly disappointing to those of all parties who have in the past few weeks, since the Government statement was made, appealed to the authorities of the different Cypriot movements and in Turkey and Greece to refrain from violence while we got down to a position of discussion and negotiation, that we should have had this series of fresh outbreaks in Cyprus, which I understand has ended with another message to-day of further tragedy and British loss of life. I have not seen the details; I am saying merely what I have heard.

I feel, therefore (and I had prepared a note to this effect), that to-day we ought to send out from this House of Parliament, because we are further away from the date of the statement than they were in another place, a renewed appeal to the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey, and to the head (as I expect he calls himself) of the Ethnarchy in relation to Cyprus, a new appeal. I myself am quite convinced that if these authorities really made their appeal effective to the Cypriots of both communities in Cyprus it would be possible to get the period of rest and quiet during which the negotiations could go forward. I should like to say on behalf of my noble friends how much we desire peace in the island, and how much we desire a period in which some measure of self-government which would be acceptable to both sides could be set up, on a Cypriot rather than a communal basis, and in the course of the life of which there would be proper opportunity for close association, maybe of debate, sometimes controversial, but of the kind of getting together that we have found a genius for in our own Parliaments, not only here but in the other Commonwealth countries. We might then perhaps approach whatever might be the result of this period of self-government on that basis—a Cypriot basis, not a communal basis—and meet the future with reasonable confidence on their part that we should be no more obstructive to the proper and legitimate aspirations of the people of Cyprus than we have proved to be in any other of the territories in other parts of the world which have been administered for so long by colonial administration of this country.

I do not want myself, especially after my noble friend Lord Winster has dealt adequately with the composition of the White Paper, to find fault with this, that or the other small part in the proposed Constitution. But I am bound to say that it seems to me, keeping in mind what is our Party general objective, rather a pity, to have a period of self-government before any final settlement which is a Cypriot period of self-government and not a divided communal self-government. Whilst it is all very well to say that the basis of the policy behind this plan is one of partnership, and whilst I have no doubt that my noble friend (if I may call him so on such matters) the Leader of the House, will bring up again the argument that it is partnership, if we are to get what we want to get—that is, co-operation between the peoples of the whole island for the happiness and prosperity of the peoples of the whole island—then I think we ought not to be unwilling, in the course of negotiations on the basis of this plan, to be quite flexible, and to see that it is much better for both sides concerned not to build in advance what might be regarded as a permanent foundational basis of partition in Cyprus.

I do not believe that the doctrine of partition within such a small geographical area, and with such a small population, is one that can ever live for lone. I do not believe that is really possible. My noble friend Lord Pethick-Lawrence and myself, and many other Members of the House, have had sufficient experience in dealing with other colonial territories, and especially in the case of India and Ceylon, to know that if there were to be an attempt to make a partition arrangement in so small an area and with such a small population, it would be bound to lead not only to a continuation of communal friction, with all the terrorism that goes with it, but to endless trouble for all the countries affected by it.

It is perfectly true to say, as the Prime Minister stressed in his speech downstairs—a speech I read again and again most carefully, and which, on the whole, I thought was a good speech—that the problem we are facing is not merely a colonial problem, the problem of making a change from the point of view of giving self-government to a Colony; it is also an international problem. Some aspects of the noble and gallant Lord's speech just delivered to us make that point quite clear. It is the fact that, with the modern development of military and political treaties of the kind of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Baghdad Pact, our interests in a particular part of the world often become involved not because we are the colonial administrators of the Colony, but because they are part of the wider international agreement.

Nevertheless, I must say that, following the general task that we, as a nation, have given ourselves in past decades—the task of bringing self-government, when they are ready for it, to a particular territory, and freedom to the places which have been in colonial possession and which are now growing more and more towards being individual nations within the Commonwealth and Empire—we ought to be exceedingly careful how we proceed with the negotiations which we all hope to see started, lest we affect harmfully the kind of feelings and impressions we want to leave in the Colonies within the Commonwealth which we still desire to bring to a state of achievement and desire and education which will enable them also to have self-government. It is from that angle, in particular, that it seems to me that there are some aspects of this plan—I will not particularise, because I do not want to go into a lot of detailed criticism of the plan—on which I think it most essential that we should be flexible in our negotiations.

If, under this idea of self-government within the British Administration, the matters referred to in the plan are to be left in the hands of the Governor and his immediate Council, rather than to a representative Assembly, you must have in mind all the problems that will arise in other Colonies. That is why I am stressing the matter. I beg the Government to have another look at some of the details (as I say, I am not going to particularise) which have been put into the plan in that respect. After that, I would say, let every one of us do our best, if we have Greek or Turkish business contacts, if we have friends from any of those places with whom we can get into touch, to talk not for the greatness of Britain, not even for the greatness of N.A.T.O., but for the greatness of developing the largest amount of unity and freedom in the world, and to see whether we cannot get the people in Cyprus to recognise that our ultimate aim is the freedom and unity of which I have been speaking.

There is only one other small matter that I want to mention before I conclude on that point. Are we satisfied, in view of the difficulties which have occurred in the last few days, that our propaganda in Cyprus, including the leaflets which I understand have been distributed, with regard to what are the objectives of the Government, and what are the specific purposes for having a truce while negotiations are proceeding, is all right and not in need of further editing? I am not going to quote anything, but I have had something drawn to my attention in regard to one of the latest documents called Violence Begets Violence. It would be of great value if the Government could get national unity behind the efforts to get negotiations in progress. It would help us in that direction if we could have a look at the actual English interpretation of some of the leaflets that have been issued. Let us have them put in the Libraries of the Houses of Parliament, and let us see exactly what these leaflets have said. In the meantime, while they are doing that, the Government might wish to see that the Colonial Administration or the military authorities, whoever might be responsible, would re-edit them and see that they are not likely to bring frustration instead of co-operation.

Do not let any of us forget that we occupy a position in the Middle East which is exceedingly difficult. I hope very much that the Archbishop, of whom more than one speaker has spoken to-day, will respond to an appeal for peace. But I am not at all happy about the conference which is going on in Brioni between President Tito, Mr. Nasser and the Greek Foreign Minister. From time to time I have noticed that conferences of this kind have resulted in the most strange evolutions. I hope that we are not going to see anything of that kind from this particular conference. But in these days, when peculiar and sometimes exasperating difficulties arise, it behoves every one of us to see that we do our best to get unity and peace.

My last word is this. I am quite sure that the whole of my Party here are with me when I ask for all these efforts to be made for speeding up negotiations and, in the meantime, to get a truce. But I am quite sure also that none of us can be associated with anything that could be said to interfere with the proper maintenance of law and order. Without the maintenance of law and order, either by the abstention of violence on the part of those who hitherto have been participating in it or by the proper ministration of discipline upon those who do engage in violence, we cannot hope to get negotiations successfully concluded.

4.30 p.m.


My Lords, this debate follows one in another place a week or two ago which revealed, on this question of the future of Cyprus, greater unanimity between the political Parties in this country than has prevailed for a number of years; and I am sure that this House will have welcomed the responsible and constructive speeches by the noble Lord, Lord Winster, who has governed Cyprus and who opened the debate, and by the noble Viscount, the Leader of the Opposition, who rightly refused the luxury of post mortems but looked forward in a constructive way to the future solution of this grave and vexing problem.

These two debates, in this House and in another place, encourage me in the hope that perhaps the political division at home need no longer weaken our authority within Cyprus or diminish our influence with the Greek and Turkish Governments; for I have long felt that there could be no greater contribution to peace in Cyprus than the knowledge that Her Majesty's Government and the Opposition in the United Kingdom are broadly agreed on a continuing policy for the future. The story of the evolution of our colonial Empire has many times presented us with baffling constitutional and political problems, and perhaps the most testing have been those where, as in Cyprus, the rights of minorities are concerned. But I hope that we have always regarded ourselves as trustees for the wellbeing of all the people in a particular territory.

In Cyprus, Britain is the sovereign Power and, as the noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, has himself indicated, no one can relieve us of the task of maintaining law and order in a territory for which we are responsible. Whatever the provocation and whatever the fate of this particular plan which Her Majesty's Government are now putting forward, we must discharge that duty. Here I should like to echo what was said by the noble and gallant Field-Marshal, Lord Harding of Petherton, about the role of our Forces in Cyprus. They can be sure that they have the confidence of Parliament that they will be fair and loyal and will carry out their necessary, if distasteful, duties, in the way we expect of a British soldier. But as the noble and gallant Field-Marshal has said, although as a British Government and a British people we must maintain law and order in Cyprus whatever the situation, nothing can excuse us from our duty, if it is humanly possible, to lead Cyprus out of deadlock and conflict into peaceful constitutional progress and to find a political settlement—because I would agree that it must be a political settlement or none at all.

It is for that purpose, before positions become irrevocably entrenched, that Her Majesty's Government have sought to clarify to the world the aims and motives of British policy. They will be found by your Lordships at the very beginning of the published plan where Her Majesty's Government invite recognition of certain realities on which a political solution must be founded. The first is that Cyprus is a recognisable unit in its own right, that the Cypriots are people with interests of their own and that therefore the first concern of any plan must be with the welfare of the Cypriots in the Island.

The second is that Turks and Greeks alike have a stake in the future of Cyprus which it would be quite unrealistic to ignore. For Turkey this is an off-shore island, visible from the mainland, and in this modern and dangerous world national security is a preoccupation—and a legitimate preoccupation—of all of us. The possibility of a situation in which British sovereignty might be entirely removed and Cyprus used by a hostile Power to the damage of Turkey is a risk which the Turks are not prepared to take. On the other hand, Cyprus is an island where the great majority of the people are of Greek origin, and any plan must recognise that sentiment and patriotic attachment—although we do well to remind ourselves, as the noble Lord, Lord Winster, said this afternoon, that patriotism in its broadest sense is a noble sentiment but may very easily degenerate into narrow and dangerous nationalism.

Thirdly, this is an international problem, involving the security and interest of countries allied in defence of the Free World in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East; and so long as Cyprus is a key strategic position and so long as it is necessary in our political pacts with others to have Cyprus as a base, any plan must make provision for that. I believe it is worth reminding ourselves that this is necessary and of benefit not only to our friends and allies in the pacts but also to Greece and Turkey, who for many years now have been in the front line of the Free World. So the plan faces these realities and sets out how to build upon legitimate desires and common interests what the noble and gallant Field-Marshal, Lord Harding of Petherton, has called a "programme of partnership". That is the principle which runs all the way through the plan.

For seven years the plan is designed to lay the foundations and to test the possibilities of partnership, and in the meanwhile no one is asked to surrender their ultimate aims which they have proclaimed to the world. But the hope of the United Kingdom is that once the practice of partnership starts, it will be seen to be so much more fruitful than any theoretical alternative that confidence can be re-born between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and between the Greeks and Turks and Britain. It is in that faith that here and now we have said that, if that is the desire of our allies, the United Kingdom will be willing, at the appropriate time, to share sovereignty in the island with Greece and Turkey. I feel that no clearer proof could have been given in any plan of our willingness to take partnership seriously and make it work.

Partnership, then, is the theme which runs right through the plan. It is to be found in the proposal for a Governor's Council—that the Governor should have on his right and left hand in his Council Greek and Turkish resident representatives. The noble Lord, Lord Winster, has said that this emphasises separation rather than promises unity, but I can assure him that quite the contrary was the intention when this plan was designed. It was designed to give confidence and to prove to the Greeks and the Turks that their interests would be safeguarded on the spot, at all times, in practical co-operation with the British Government. It is to be found in the proposal that a Cypriot, if he wishes, shall not only enjoy British and Commonwealth citizenship, and the advantages which go with that, but also be able to be a Greek or a Turkish citizen as well. It is to be found in the Governor's Council, which, as your Lordships know, is both executive and legislative, where the Greek majority is recognised but where the Turks are given a fair share in the conduct of the Island's affairs; and it is to be found in the promise that when violence is called off then the exiles can return and take a full part in the life of the Island.

It has been said that because a communal structure is introduced on the ground floor of the plan, this represents a defect and again is more likely to lead to the separation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in perpetuity than it is to promote identity of interest between them. If the slate were clean, my Lords, I should think that that objection might be sustained; but (and I believe that the noble and gallant Field-Marshal probably would not dissent from this) all those who have had first-hand experience of affairs in the Island in the last few years agree that, unless, for instance, subjects such as religion and education are made communal subjects, the processes of constitutional advance will be indefinitely delayed. We have to recognise the facts as we find them to-day.

A good deal has been said in another place—and I hope your Lordships will be able to make suggestions to-day out of the wealth of your experience in international and colonial affairs—as to how the edges of division in the plan might be softened. For instance, two suggestions were made. One was that there might be inserted between the communal Houses and the Governor's Council a joint assembly where Greek and Turk could come together; the other was that the Governor's advisers might be replaced, after a time, by Greek and Turkish Cypriots, or, alternatively, that they should be Greek and Turkish Cypriots from the start.

The noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, with great restraint, for which I am grateful, asked how flexible is the Government's plan, and Lord Winster asked how far it could be modified. I do not think it could be otherwise than flexible, nor possibly be specific; nor do I think I can advance on the Prime Minister's indications on flexibility. The test, my Lords, can really be in the next stage, and that stage must be discussion—constructive discussion—by those concerned both outside and inside the Island. When Lord Winster asks me a series of questions about what might happen and how this or that aspect of the plan might be modified, he will understand and, I hope, be content with the answer that these matters should be settled in discussion with the parties concerned.

But on the question of flexibility I would say, with the Prime Minister, We have of course no special pride of authorship which will make us stick obstinately to this or that detail of the plan. Our purpose is to reach agreement and bring peace. Many of the matters which have been raised are capable of discussion, adaptation and development, and we shall certainly be flexible … The House may like to know that the Prime Minister is now in communication with the Turkish and Greek Prime Ministers on the question how discussions with each might best and most profitably proceed. The Prime Minister, in dealing in another place with this question of flexibility, said that, while we must be flexible, We must not be so pliant as to add to the rigidity of the other contending parties. The noble Lord, Lord Winster, used almost the same words. We must be flexible, but not so flexible as to increase the difficulties.


Hear, hear!


My Lords, that we intend to be. We must, of course, beware, because if we were too flexible we might go right back to the entrenched positions of "immediate self-determination" on the one hand and "immediate partition" on the other. It is from these dangerous and, indeed, barren extremes that this plan gives all parties a chance to recoil; and the great thing, Her Majesty's Government feel, is that we should make a start in discussion.

The House is familiar with the initial reactions to the plan. So far as the outside world is concerned, the plan has had a sympathetic reception, and particularly the Council of N.A.T.O. have found a good deal of virtue and promise in it. In Greece and Turkey there has been disappointment and criticism, but the reaction there, as we see it, has not amounted as yet to complete rejection or to the closing of all doors. Therefore, I should hope with the noble Viscount that this House this afternoon will feel able to urge the Greeks and the Turks to accept this plan as a basis for constructive discussion; and in that way we can make the most of the small but definite openings for progress which we seek.

My Lords, there are, I would suggest, certain minimum obligations on civilised nations which they should accept in their dealings with each other, and among allies these obligations are paramount. They are, first of all, that we should preserve law and order wherever our writ and our influence runs. That duty falls unmistakably on Britain; but if, as the noble and gallant Field Marshal so wisely said, to our authority the Greek and Turkish leaders would add their voice that violence should cease, then fear could be lifted from the Island to-morrow. If they would do that there might even be no hard core of murderers left. Even if there were, they could then be isolated, outlawed and destroyed, because they would be the enemy of all Greek and Turkish Cypriots and everyone in the Island. So I should hope that his appeal, backed with his great authority and well-known sympathy for the Island's future, will have an effect far outside the walls of this House.

The second obligation which it seems to me civilised nations accept in their dealings with each other is to settle their differences by the process of peaceful discussion Therefore, I should hope that the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers will give an encouraging response to the new initiative that our Prime Minister has taken in seeking the best ways and means to meet and to discuss. That example, if they set it, would do much to remove distrust and suspicion and to create a climate in which we can begin to build constitutional advance.

The Turks, the Greeks and the British have in the first half of this century fought in wars, and we have all seen something of the havoc and the misery which hatred, let loose, leaves in its trail. People in all countries have had enough of it and are impatient and eager that statesmanship should pursue constructive and civilised ways. We put forward this plan in the hope that your Lordships' House will give it your backing, as the first stage to rebuild confidence and trust between partners in the free world. Let constructive discussion start. I invite your Lordships to endorse the Government's belief that this plan can be adapted and fashioned into foundations on which a Cyprus at peace with itself may rise again.

4.50 p.m.


My Lords, I am sure that we are all extremely grateful both to the noble Lord, Lord Winster, and to the noble Earl the Leader of the House for giving us so early an opportunity of discussing the latest developments in Cyprus, and I am sure, too, that it is right that we should discuss them as soon as possible: for in a situation so delicate as that which exists at present, it is clearly, I think, very important that the Government should know what general measure of support they are likely to get in pursuing energetically the policy on which they have embarked.

In the speeches which were made in another place last week, there were, I saw, a number of references to the past, suggestions that the problem could easily have been solved if it had been tackled earlier, and so on. I do not personally want to go into the past at all, though this does not mean that I have changed my view on the particular issue on which I felt obliged to resign from the Government. But, like the noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, I do not see much advantage at the present juncture in trying to apportion the blame for the present situation. No doubt the Conservative Party have made mistakes. But they are not the only ones, and it is surely better, both from the point of view of Cyprus and from the point of view of this country too, that we should cease trying to backbite each other and try to get together on a common policy, a real national policy, on an issue which probably every Party in turn will have to handle before a final settlement is reached. There is nothing, as the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Harding of Petherton, said, that would do more to help a settlement than that.

And this brings me immediately to the Government plan. Does it contain the germ of a settlement? If I may say so, it is a very easy plan to criticise and it has been criticised, especially last week, with considerable force, on one point or another. The noble Lord, Lord Winster, this afternoon mentioned in particular the proposal for communal Houses of Representatives. There are those, I know, who do not much like these communal Houses, as tending to perpetuate divisions rather than to promote unity in the Island. I must confess that this particular proposal in itself does not worry me. We all remember that continuous efforts have been made over recent years to combine the Greek and the Turkish communities in a single Chamber and that all have failed, through the opposition of one or other party. May not this new plan be regarded as an attempt, if I may borrow a simple metaphor from carpentry, to find a solution, on a basis of what I may describe as "dovetailed federalism", of local com- munal Legislatures dovetailed into each other within a larger unity?

I agree that that is federation of a very novel character, but it is not necessarily for that reason separatist in its results. On the contrary, as I think my noble and gallant friend said, it may prove to be a gateway to unity, since it may prove both to Greek Cypriots and to Turkish Cypriots how much more convenient unitary government would be.

What I find a more doubtful proposition, if I may say so, is the introduction of a definitely international element in the Constitution, first, by the proposal to give Greek and Turkish Cypriots Greek and Turkish nationality as well as British, and, secondly, by the appointment of representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments as full members of the Governor's Council. I cannot help feeling that that will be very difficult to work in practice. What would happen, for instance, if a violent difference of view arose on the Council on some important point on which the Greek or Turkish representative took, one view and the Governor took another? As I understand it, under the Government's scheme, in such an event the Governor's view would prevail; but in spite of that, I should have thought that it would still be perfectly possible for a situation to arise in which, say, the Greek representative, acting under instructions from his Government, felt obliged to order the Greek community, as good Greek citizens, to adopt one line of action, while the Governor was ordering exactly the same people, as good British citizens, to do exactly the opposite. I entirely appreciate why these provisions have been included. They are intended to allay the fears of either community with regard to possible legislation which might discriminate against their particular body of opinion. But I cannot help thinking that it is going to be very difficult to operate in practice a system which gives practically every Cypriot a dual loyalty; and for that reason I must confess that I should have preferred that that particular provision had been omitted.

However, the question of whether or not such devices as this will work successfully in practice no doubt must depend on the good will of the three Governments concerned, and I certainly am not going to suggest that this provision should be cut out now unless both Greek and Turkish Governments demanded its excision; because for Her Majesty's Government themselves to attempt anything of that kind would no doubt increase suspicions of our intentions. Indeed, if I may say so with great deference, I personally hope that as few changes as possible will be made in the plan at the present stage. The real truth is, and we all know it, that the Greeks and Turks do not want the same thing, and if once Her Majesty's Government begin making concessions to one side and then the other, there is, I believe, a real danger that they will satisfy no one and only find themselves gradually drifting back into the bog in which we have all been wallowing for the last two years. Indeed, for that reason there are no doubt strong arguments against the seven years' experimental period, as only prolonging the time of uncertainty; and if the other Governments wanted to scrap that, I cannot think that it would be a great disaster.

In conclusion—I do not want to keep the House too long—may I revert for a moment to the Government's proposals as a whole? I read that in the debate in another place last week, the epithet "desperate" was applied to this plan. I do not think it is necessarily the worse for that. It is often when a situation is most desperate and the dangers are most obvious that the contending parties are brought to agree to a compromise. Moreover, there are certain new elements in the situation which might well help, I should have thought, towards a realistic outlook on the part of all concerned.

First of all—and this certainly represents a considerable change—it seems that it is now generally recognised that this is no mere colonial problem. It is essentially, as both the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Harding of Petherton, and the noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, said, an international problem, with the widest implications for the peace of the world: and, what is more, it is, in some of its features, I believe, quite unique. Cyprus is too often regarded as just an ordinary Colony, susceptible of exactly the same treatment as any other Colony which is climbing the ladder of self-government. Even as late as last week, I saw it was said in another place that the rest of the Colonial Empire were watching to see what precedent the settlement of Cyprus created; and I think that there was just a hint of the same attitude of mind in the speech of the noble Viscount the Leader of the Opposition to-day. But I really do not think that these other Colonies need disturb themselves too much. The case of Cyprus, I believe, can create no precedent for any other Colony; for there is no other Colony which contains exactly the same brand of international combustible material as Cyprus. No other Colony, so far as I am aware, or certainly no other Colony of a similar size, contains two widely different communities, each bound by close cultural and historical ties to a neighbouring foreign country. That is a feature which is surely quite unique to Cyprus.

Indeed, Cyprus is altogether a unique case and it needs unique treatment. This plan is, at any rate as I see it, an attempt to give it that treatment; and, for that reason, I personally hope that it will receive a sympathetic reception from all Parties concerned in this country—and from the Greek and Turkish Governments, as well—as a (I use the words of the noble Earl the Leader of the House) "basis for constructive discussion". For that reason, I warmly welcome the news which the Leader of the House gave us in his speech: that the Prime Minister is at present in touch with the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers in regard to further exchanges of views.

In the meantime, I, like the noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, hope that nothing will be done or said in the Press or elsewhere to make the present dangerous situation more explosive. I was rather shocked to read in a newspaper yesterday a dispatch from Nicosia, the gist of which was that the Governor of Cyprus and the commanders of the British Forces in Cyprus are pursuing different policies. I should like to read a few words from it to your Lordships. It says: Cyprus is teetering on anarchy, sliding remorselessly towards total degeneration. And to those of us who have watched this slide the answer is quite clear: the Governor is not governing. It is his generals who run the island. And his generals and his advisers are too clearly too deeply imbued with the policy of the last Governor, Field-Marshal Harding, to put over the liberal policy of fairness and justice which Foot is so desperate to implement in Cyprus. That is, surely, a most irresponsible statement at a moment so inflammable as the present. It is not only unfair and insulting to the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Harding of Petherton, who has won the respect and admiration of us all for his courage, patience and toleration, but, if it were repeated in Cyprus, nothing could be more calculated to exacerbate an already dangerous situation. I should therefore like to ask the Leader of the House if he has heard any suggestion from any authoritative quarter that there have been differences of policy between the Governor and the military authorities.


If the noble Marquess would be so good as to give way, it might be timely for me to answer that at once. He has described this article as "unfair"; it is also completely untrue, and the Governor and military authorities are working together in complete harmony.


I am glad to have that assurance from the noble Earl. That being so, I hope that whoever is to wind up for the Opposition will deprecate, on behalf of their Party, further suggestions of the same kind, because I am certain that they can only tend further to inflame the feelings of Greek and Turkish Cypriots and make a settlement more difficult.

Finally, my Lords, while there is no reason why the Opposition should shoulder joint responsibility for this policy, which is not of their making, I hope that they will give it as fair a wind as they can; and, therefore, I warmly welcome, as I am sure the whole House has, the statesmanlike speeches of the noble Lord, Lord Winster, and the noble Viscount the Leader of the Opposition this afternoon. For, as I think the Leader of the House rightly said, continuity of policy as between political Parties in this country is probably more important on this issue than on any international issue, certainly in my lifetime, and I firmly believe it is on our ability to act as a united nation in tackling it that we shall as a nation be judged, when the history of our times comes to be written.

5.5 p.m.


My Lords, my noble friend who has just addressed the House has made a speech that seemed to me to be full of wisdom and knowledge, and, not for the first time, I should suppose, he has represented the general feeling of the House to a great degree. Certainly I find myself in complete agreement with nearly everything that he said. I must admit that I have had some doubt whether it would be a profitable thing to debate this question at this time, but I also reached the conclusion of my noble friend that, on balance, it was right for Parliament to examine it and record its judgment upon it, partly for the reasons he gave and especially for the reason that Cyprus, as he said, is no longer a small island of which the doings concern only itself, but it has now assumed dimensions that make it a menace to the well-being of bodies much larger than its own.

It is not, therefore, merely in the sense that the British Parliament has a responsibility which it cannot demit that Cyprus is a national problem, but also because it now acts and reacts upon several elements in our relations with nations and with organisations that closely affect the security of these Islands and the Commonwealth. There is, therefore, as I see it, for none of us either temptation or occasion to approach consideration of these matters from any but the widest national standpoint. Nor, indeed, if we are to be just to ourselves, has it ever been in any spirit of Party difference that we have watched the work of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Radcliffe, whom we are glad to see here to-day, and of the noble and gallant Field Marshal, Lord Harding of Petherton. However at various times or in different parts of the House we may have judged the chances of their success, it was with nothing but gratitude and admiration for the self-sacrificing efforts that they were making that we followed their attempts to build the new order. And we are all at one in our appreciation of the courage and faith displayed by Sir Hugh Foot in the latest chapter of Cyprus history that is being written as we watch to-day.

The British Parliament has been no stranger to different expressions of nationalist feeling in the past and, on the whole, though we have often been reproached for "giving too little and too late", I do not think, with the one large exception from which we learnt the lesson in this wide constitutional field, we have in fact done badly. On the whole, it may be said that we have generally been able to effect the transfer from governors to governed, to which our philosophy leads us, smoothly and with a large measure of good will on both sides. I imagine that a foreign and perhaps superficial observer might be moved to ask: "Why have things gone so differently in Cyprus? Has the British hand lost its cunning?" We are all only too well aware of the answer and of the degree of complication introduced into a situation already difficult enough by the presence, anxieties and claims of a third party. That last element, the third party, added to other international considerations already arising, makes it, in my judgment, more than ever impossible—and I was delighted to-day to find myself in compete agreement, as I think the whole House was, with what the noble Lord, Lord Harding of Petherton, said on this point—in the circumstances the noble Lord foreshadowed, for this country to pull out and leave in Cyprus a vacuum which all nature, and not least political nature, abhors.

It is always difficult to believe that something that is painfully clear to one-self is not equally clear to other people. Though I appreciate what the noble Lord who leads the Liberal Party said (and I was glad he said it) about the necessity of remembering that this kind of movement, to the people engaged in it, represents a holy war, it does none the less outrage all our sense of moral values, his not less than mine, that people in high places there should think their cause can be advanced by what, to British eyes, is nothing else than plain murder. We can feel that, while perfectly understanding that it is not the way they themselves look at it. Therefore, on every ground we must clearly do our best to control terrorism, and no one of your Lordships would have any doubt, as the noble Viscount who leads the Opposition said this afternoon, that the British soldier and Serviceman can be relied upon to play his part in this unenviable task with perseverance and good temper.

I was pleased that the noble and gallant Field Marshal found space in his speech to pay tribute to the forces. But, of course, as he said, control of terrorism will never, by itself, produce a settlement. Nor, if I may add it—though it is absent from this day's debate—will denunciation of Archbishop Makarios. My noble friend Lord Salisbury thought it a mistake to let Archbishop Makarios out. I thought it was a mistake to put him in. But it does not greatly matter which of us was more right or more wrong, because that is the past, though I think it would always be clearly profitable and well to remember how closely through history the Greek Orthodox Church has been identified with nationalist movements in all the countries that it serves.

If I may digress for a moment, I remember the first Easter that I spent at Athens I was taken by Ambassador Sir Charles Peake to watch the Easter ceremonies at midnight on Easter Eve, when the Archbishop comes out of the Cathedral: there is a great ringing of bells, and he announces to the King, the Prime Minister and all the Cabinet, who are in full uniform. "Christ is risen." I remember saying to the King of Greece, whom I had the honour to meet at luncheon the next day, Are you Greeks very much more Christian people than we are? "I found it difficult to imagine a situation in which the Archbishop of Canterbury would come out of St. Paul's Cathedral and tell Sir Winston Churchill that Christ was risen that all the bells would ring, and that all the members of the Cabinet would be there. He gave me the explanation that it was because of this identification through the centuries of the Greek Orthodox Church with the anti-Turkish movement, and so on. I mention that only because in some quarters it may be useful to offer this explanation of why comparison between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop Makarios would tend to be misleading.

The importance of Archbishop Makarios at this moment, as I see it—and the noble and gallant Field Marshal will correct me if I am wrong—is that he appears to be a yardstick of national feeling. For that reason, I do not suppose that in the circumstances and tempers of to-day there is any likelihood of finding any final solution. Your Lordships who have had earlier experience in earlier days in India will know how bitter can be the division in any people caused by race, religion and the like, and how essential therefore it is, as the noble Viscount reminded us this afternoon, to have a period of time in which tempers can cool and all Parties in the island can be brought to a greater willingness to face facts. If only that could be achieved—it is a big "if "—conditions might gradually emerge in which the settlement that now eludes our grasp might be won.

That is the value, as I read it, of the Government's proposals. With imaginative boldness, showing scrupulous justice to gall concerned, accepting large delegations of authority, they point the way through which the life of Cyprus may be extricated from the distress in which it is now held. No demand is made for any surrender of principles. No limits are set to what may be the fruits of a willingness to try the way of co-operation.

The Greek and Turkish nations have made notable contributions, widely different though they be, to the history and the life of Europe. It is still, I suppose in their power to earn the gratitude of Europe by the course they may choose to follow on this issue. I cannot think that we are asking too hard a thing when we invite them to use their influence against the pressing of one-sided claims to the exclusion of all other, 'and ask them to join hands with Her Majesty's Government in a common attempt to exorcise the evil spirit by which the life of Cyprus is tormented. I hope that a unanimous message from this House, supporting the appeal that the noble and gallant Field Marshal made earlier, might go out to that place tonight.

5.17 p.m.


My Lords, in rising to follow such experienced and distinguished speakers as the noble Lords who have already addressed you, including two ex-Governors of Cyprus, I start by assuring your Lordships that I shall take up very little of your time. In fact, I address you at all only because I have some personal knowledge of Cyprus.

There has been a tendency during this debate so far to deplore any inclination to go back at all over what has happened over recent years, and to say, "These are the conditions to-day. What should we do about them?" That seems reasonable and logical enough, but I doubt whether it is possible to make up one's mind as to how one feels on a subject unless one has some sound background of facts on which to base one's views. Admittedly we all read the newspapers, but most of us have not time to do so at great length. Even then, some of what we read is not always, for one reason and another, 100 per cent. reliable. If, therefore, I may disagree with other noble Lords and go back briefly to the situation which occurred a few years ago, when the decision was made to evacuate the Middle East base and Canal area, I would say that this was the turning point for affairs in the Middle East.

At that point Cyprus was a happy prosperous island, where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots lived side by side, perfectly happily, and enjoyed a standard of life higher than they would have enjoyed on the mainland of either of those countries. Enosis, or union with Greece, is not a new idea: it has been advocated for years, sometimes more loudly and sometimes less loudly. It is a point of view, an attitude, which has been held by Greeks and by Greek Cypriots over a number of years. During the war, I remember well in 1943–44 an organisation called A.K.E.L. which was active in Cyprus at the time and which published a news sheet advocating union with Greece. The then Governor (it was not the noble Lord, Lord Winster, but his predecessor) suppressed this publication, but the Greeks, with their customary agility, got hold of stocks of bright blue newsprint and produced it on that, which was not illegal—a very Greek solution, I thought. Not only did they continue with their news sheet, but, owing to its colour, it gained far more publicity than before. I mention that point to show that this Enosis movement is not by any means new.

When we were abandoning the Canal Zone, and the headquarters in the Middle East at Ismailia and the base at Tel-el-kebir were closed up, obviously we had to go somewhere; and the decision was for Cyprus. At that point, in a debate in your Lordships' House, I said that, in my opinion, El Adam and Tobruk, and that area, would have been better; and I believe that, had the Middle East base been moved there, not only would it have been as well placed strategically but none of this would have happened. I know that there were difficulties, which I am sure were considered by the Government Departments concerned. At all events, no more was heard of this proposal, and the Middle East base was duly formed in Cyprus.

The Cypriots themselves, or the great majority, probably viewed this move with some pleasure, It meant money coming in; a great deal of money was going to be spent there which had not been spent before. But it immediately alerted those elements who did not want Cyprus to become a strategic key point. Eoka possibly under the leadership then of Grivas, or possibly under some other leader (I do not know), immediately became exceedingly active. The members of Eoka are numerically negligible, but they are exceedingly ruthless, and we have seen in other countries what happens when a ruthless gang of people starts to intimidate the population. Unfortunately, although the Greek Cypriot population is four-fifths of the whole, neither then nor in the last few years have they done anything to discredit or try to prevent the atrocities perpetrated from time to time by Eoka. Even their own prosperity was threatened by the activities of these terrorists, but they have done nothing to help themselves in the matter. Those are the facts.

My Lords, there is a certain amount of confused thinking about the subject of Cyprus. There are those who imagine that all Greek Cypriots are opposed to British rule in Cyprus. That simply is not true. The people who are opposed to it are those who are armed and subsidised from outside; and they have imposed their views by terror on the remainder. At this point, the Turkish Cypriots had kept out of it all, living their own lives. Moreover, of course, owing to the fact that they are very different in their characters, a substantial proportion of the police force was Turkish, as opposed to Greek. There is nothing to stop any Greek from joining the police force, but the fact remains that they did not join, and the Turks did; and that gave a certain advantage to the Turkish Cypriot community, though numerically they are only about one-fifth or one-sixth of the whole. Lately, however, the Turkish Cypriots, who never for a moment believed that we should abandon British sovereignty, have begun to believe that perhaps we do intend to do so. That has scared them, and they immediately raised the issue of partition, which probably would not have been raised otherwise.

Now we have arrived at the present situation, the Turks standing out for partition—as they describe it, "partition or death" (and those of us who know the Turks suspect that they would fight to very nearly the last Turk if it came to that), and the Greeks, intimidated by Eoka, wanting Cyprus for Greece. The position of Makarios in all this is debatable. Some feel that his influence has not been as disruptive and as disadvantageous to the British as other people think. Nevertheless, if he had not existed, certainly another leader of the Greek Orthodox Church would have been there saying the same thing and acting in the same way. It is for consideration what the real position of the Greek Orthodox Church is, in the long run, in all this.

My Lords, I have kept you longer than I intended, and I should like to end my remarks, first, by supporting the Government's plan which in the circumstances, I feel, is more than a good effort to keep people at least negotiating, and to prevent the outburst getting worse. Secondly, may I support the point of view of the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Harding of Petherton, who spoke up for that much-maligned man, the British Serviceman? He does his best; he is a patient animal; he is popular all over the world. He does not want to go to these places with a temperature of 100 degrees in the shade and have broken bottles thrown at him. When there is an incident, and there have been one or two lately—there must be in these conditions—let us stand behind him. I have been at the losing end of this sort of thing before, and one takes conditions as they come; but to be criticised from home by people quite ignorant of the facts can be extraordinarily irksome. I can assure your Lordships of that. Let us be restrained; let us hope that our Press will restrain themselves in their comments and their reporting. May I give a welcome to the Government's effort to get this difficult problem solved?

5.27 p.m.


My Lords, my intervention in this debate will be very brief, because I find myself in such complete agreement with nearly everything which has been said by other speakers to-day that I should not wish to take up the time of your Lordships in repeating it. But, you may ask: why speak at all? I think perhaps the answer which may justify my speaking is that, as has been said, Cyprus is not a colonial question. The affairs of Cyprus have been so be-devilled by international considerations that this solution is being imposed on a colonial background, and I think perhaps it might be useful if I offered a few comments on the effect of doing that, and the difficulties of carrying it out in that situation and with that background.

The circumstances, it is true, are desperate, and I am a complete and wholehearted supporter of the Government's plan. Yet I see certain difficulties. This plan would succeed very easily if there were good will and good faith; but the task of creating good will and good faith is still to be done, and that duty will fall largely upon the present Governor, Sir Hugh Foot. There is nobody known to me who is better qualified to fulfil that extremely difficult task which circumstances have imposed upon him, and which he has accepted with such courage and such tactful skill up to date. I take it that this plan is largely justified by being an attempt to buy time, to give time for passions to cool a little—the passions which have made it almost impossible to talk sense at times or to see sense in such an atmosphere. Looking at the plan, however, I feel justified in offering a few comments on the difficulties of carrying it out, although they are in no wise offered in a hostile way; and in no wise should I like, as the noble Marquess said, immediate changes to be made. But I am pointing out difficulties which in the course of forthcoming discussions must, I think, be faced by those who take part in them.

I am not greatly bothered about the matter of different bodies to deal with communal affairs, because the basis of all that is already there in Cyprus. But I am considerably bothered about the difficulties which might well arise from the presence on the Council which will deal with internal administration, other than communal affairs and internal security, of these representatives of other sovereign Powers. One notices that the Governor, in using his reserve powers, has to have prior consultation with these two representatives of the Greek and the Turkish Governments. The same applies in the case of external affairs, defence and internal security. In my personal experience, however, it is almost impossible to deal with emergencies or difficult situations or security matters by means of a committee. I should have thought that, from time to time, that set-up would present the Governor with great difficulties. I do not say they are insuperable—nothing is insuperable to a man who possesses the right tact and approach—but it must make his position very difficult, I imagine, to have a situation in which men will wield power without responsibility. The representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments on these committees or councils will have no responsibility, but they will have great undefined powers.

Another limitation of the Governor's powers which will make his difficult position even more difficult is the right of the Greek and the Turkish representatives, without any question about it, to have any matter which they consider to be discriminatory referred for consideration by an impartial tribunal. In a normal Colony, if it were really a colonial setting, the impartial tribunal would be the representative of the sovereign Power—in other words, the Governor himself. But I realise that in the present case circumstances may dictate a different solution although I do not think it will be so effective.

I have in my hand the Paper which sets out some of the benefits of the proposed plan, and I would draw particular attention to the fact that the policy recognises the wish of Greeks and of Turks. But the difficulty I foresee, especially once more in the colonial setting of this country, is apparently that the future will see Cyprus populated by a large number of Greeks who have elected to live there and a large number of Turks. But where will the Cypriots be? Who will be the Cypriots?—a small body, perhaps, of stout-hearted men who have declined to have anything better than British nationality, which they desire to retain untinctured by another nationality. I am not trying to foresee unnecessary difficulties, but there may easily arise great pressures which would make it difficult for any Greek or Turk who is really a Cypriot to avoid joining those who wish to be of Greek or Turkish nationality, as the case may be, in addition to what they will obtain by right of living there—that is, British nationality. Again, I do not say that that is an insuperable difficulty, but my sympathy goes out to the Governor who will have to deal with all these circumstances.

I turn to the question that at the end of seven years, if the other parties, the Greek and the Turkish Governments, wish it, the British Government will be prepared to share the sovereignty. We have the prospect of what has been called a tri-dominium. I do not know whether there is one extant to-day. But at one time it was part of my duty, as High Commissioner for the Western Pacific, to be responsible for the Condominium of the New Hebrides. I was one High Commissioner, and there was a French High Commissioner in Noumea. That was a Condominium of friendly allies, with all the good will one could wish, with everything favourable. The administration of that country was not a credit to either of us; it ended in a paralysis of all that is known as good administration. I personally should hope that, whatever may be the final solution for Cyprus, it will not be a sharing of sovereignty, because I think that in that event, in so far as administration is concerned, the future is likely to be an unhappy one.

I should like finally to pay a compliment to the courage, the high principles and the confident faith of Sir Hugh Foot, to whom I think we are greatly indebted that this plan has become possible, because we should not blind ourselves to the fact that his task is one of immense difficulty, and I am sure that none of us would like to embarrass him by any criticism at all. Unquestionably he will need all the support that the British Government and Parliament can possibly give him. I never use the word "impossible" in relation to what any man can do, because I know how much his character and persuasive skill may be able to effect. All I can say is that if this plan is carried to a successful conclusion, then it will be a further proof that the age of miracles has not yet passed.

5.38 p.m.


My Lords, I venture to address your Lordships for a short while in this debate because I have been interested in this problem of Cyprus for some time. For two years now I have sat on the all-Party Cyprus Conciliation Committee, and last spring I spent a fairly lengthy stay in the Island. I should like, if I may, to couple my appreciation of the Governor, Sir Hugh Foot, with the words that Lord Milverton has just spoken. During my time in Cyprus the Governor was good enough to allow me to see him on several occasions and I got some idea of how his mind was working. I think we are greatly indebted to him as one of the architects of this plan, of this outline of a policy. He is sincerely trying to bring about a solution to this most intractable problem.

I welcome the Government's outline of policy, with certain reservations. They have changed much of their policy since a few years ago, and I think I may speak for my noble friends on this side of the House in saying that we welcome their sincere attempt to find a solution. It is, of course, only an outline. It is not a firm and rigid Constitution like the proposal of the noble Lord, Lord Radcliffe, but I believe it provides a talking point on which all parties concerned can get together; for it is very important that they should get together and start talking as early as possible. No doubt as a result of these discussions between the British, Greek and Turkish Governments and also—and this is most important, for they are the people most affected—certain representatives of the people of Cyprus the plan would be revised and improved. That is why I welcome the statement of the noble Earl, Lord Home, that the Prime Minister is in touch with the Governments of Greece and Turkey.

This plan has been rejected for the moment, but I believe it is hopeful that neither the Greek nor the Turkish Government have completely slammed the door, though if both Governments stick to their ultimate aims, those will prove quite incompatible. The Greek Government, however, have for the moment put aside the idea of self determination, on condition that a more liberal Constitution is negotiated; but a liberal Constitution would not satisfy the Turks, who would always be in a minority. These Turkish feelings are very real. I believe they are not always sufficiently appreciated in this country. While I appreciate the very strong, Greek aspirations, aspirations which are now, at last, recognised by Her Majesty's Government, nevertheless during my time in Cyprus it was brought home to me very clearly that the Turks feel equally strongly. It is a tragedy that the two communities are on such desperately bad terms, for, as the noble Lord, Lord Winster, has said, in the past they lived together quite amicably. I hope that my many Greek and Turkish Cypriot friends will allow me to express the hope that the way in which at the moment one race talks of the other is only temporary, and that once again they will be able to live and work together in co-operation, though that is not possible at the moment.

The situation is deteriorating rapidly. There is communal strife in Cyprus and even tension on the Greco-Turkish frontier. There is, therefore, the most urgent need for talks, and I hope that when these take place representatives of the Cyprus people will be included. I suppose these representatives will include, on the Turkish side, Dr. Kuchuk and Mr. Denktash, and on the Greek Cypriot side, of course, Archbishop Makarios. I think it is certain that Archbishop Makarios has the complete backing of the Greek people in Cyprus, and I hope that Her Majesty's Government will allow him to return at a very early date. He is quite definitely the acknowledged leader. No other person has come forward during his time in exile and I believe no other person is likely to come forward. He has the backing of the Left Wing. The head of the very powerful Pan-Cyprian Federation of Labour, said he supported him and looked upon him as their chief spokesman in any talks with the British Government. The same thing was said to me by the leaders of the proscribed Communist Party—A.K.E.L.—mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Windlesham, in his interesting speech. He also has the backing of the Communist Mayors of Larnaca and Limassol.

I met the Archbishop in Athens last spring, and found him in a very conciliatory frame of mind. At that time he was thinking of a long period of self-government provided that a firm date for self-determination was agreed. Now I understand that he is prepared to forgo a guaranteed date for self-determination if a more liberal Constitution is agreed. He is also willing for Turkish Cypriot representatives to be included in the talks. I hope, therefore, that Her Majesty's Government will negotiate with him.

When I talked with the Archbishop I asked him whether he would condemn terrorism, either by public pronouncement or by a private message, if he were able to get one through. His answer was that he was not prepared to condemn terrorism while he remained in exile; but he felt sure that, in any case, so far as Greek Cypriots were concerned, terrorism would cease when he returned. I hope Her Majesty's Government will consider and reflect upon that. I believe it would do a tremendous amount to pacify the feelings of the Greek Cypriot population if the man who is their leader and Ethnarch were allowed to return to the Island.

It must be agreed, however, that at the present time a great deal of violence is coming from the Turks. I understand that in some towns of mixed population the Turks have been occupying Greek houses and evicting the inhabitants. It has been said, whether rightly or wrongly I do not know, that Her Majesty's Government have not always been impartial. That may be an unjust accusation, but Greek Cypriots feel that the Government have not always been impartial, and I believe it is very important that the Greek Cypriots should not be given any reason at all for thinking that. Arising out of that matter, I should like to ask the noble Earl, Lord Perth, who I believe is to reply at the end of this debate, why it is that Ankara Radio is not jammed. I have always been opposed to the jamming of any radios. I was very much opposed to the jamming of Athens Radio—


My Lords, may I suggest that the reason is that Ankara Radio does not incite the Cypriots to terrorism?


My Lords, on the contrary, I believe it has done so; and, furthermore, it has broadcast very offensive references to the British Royal Family. That is one the reasons why the Greek Cypriots think Her Majesty's Government are not being sufficiently impartial. I also wonder why T.M.T. the Turkish terrorist nationalist Party has not been proscribed, when E.O.K.A. has. Another point that I should like to mention is this: so far as the security regulations are concerned, it is very important that the security forces should not be given orders that can often lead to incidents. I do not blame the security forces in any way, for they are merely carrying out their orders. I have in mind the removal of slogans.

I will try to approach this matter as moderately and I hope as constructively as possible for there is a suggestion I wish to make. I refer to an incident which took place in Avgorou last Saturday, where, as far as I know from reports, a military patrol driving through a village happened to see what they took to be a provocative slogan on a wall. They did what they are ordered by regulations to do—took hold of the first villager they saw and instructed him to wipe it off. Picture the feelings of the Greek Cypriot. He says to himself:" If I obey the security forces, Eoka, the masked men, will probably come and visit me to-night and shoot me; if I do not obey them I shall probably be arrested myself." Perhaps it was not a wise thing, but it was an understandable thing, in the circumstances of having to choose between these two difficult decisions, that he ran away. There was a chase; the village was cordoned off, and in the end the whole thing, of course, ended up in a riot, with the troops firing. Two people were killed; thirteen Cypriots were injured; and twenty-two British soldiers, I regret to say, were injured. That all arose out of a slogan which, I believe, was condemning partition— something which we all condemn.

I do not blame the troops in any way for this: they are merely doing their duty, and carrying out instructions. But I wonder whether we are not making too much of this question of posters and slogans. The position may have been different a year or two ago, but now, when we are trying to pacify the whole situation, I wonder whether these slogans really mean anything. I went through many remote villages where I often saw Eoka leaflets and saw the word "Eoka" painted on walls, but it did not seem to be doing any harm.

I remember that at the time of the Greek Independence Day celebrations, the present Governor decided to confine all security forces to barracks, and the only persons on patrol were a few British policemen. The Turkish policemen also were kept in barracks. National songs were sung; some called "Eoka!", some called "Enosis!", and in the end there was a police car festooned with flags, and many had the forbidden words printed on them. The police were very patient, in the finest traditions of the force, and it gave a wonderful chance for everybody to "let of steam" and a "good time was had by all ". I think we might" let up "on this matter, where a poster is not provocative in an inflammatory way. I should be very glad if the Government would let me have their views on this.

Arising out of that point, I should like to suggest that perhaps during the transitory period the Government should aim at a reduction of the military garrison—that, of course, when a plan is agreed—and to increase the police to take the place of the British military force, because I think we should aim at a gradual reduction of military power and a gradual transfer to civil authority. I should like to ask the Government whether they will consider disbanding the Turkish auxiliary police, who I believe are causing a good deal of friction. I say the "Turkish auxiliary police"; it would be more correct to call them the "auxiliary police", but because there are so few Greek members I believe the force consists almost entirely of Turks. They have sometimes caused a good deal of friction, and I am afraid there have been cases where they have sometimes joined in riots.


My Lords, the noble Lord might not have been in the Chamber when I was addressing your Lordships, but I referred to that particular point. There is nothing to stop any Greek Cypriots from joining the police force if they so wish. I think it is a little hard to pretend that it is a Turkish organisation. Any Greeks can join the police force. The fact that they do not is, in itself, rather significant.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for making that point. On the other hand, I think we have to face the facts as they are. I appreciate that the Greeks have not joined the auxiliary police, but we have to face the fact that the force consists almost entirely of Turks.


My Lords, would the noble Lord forgive my intervening? I understand that the noble Lord wishes to get rid of all the people who will join the police force in Cyprus, and he also wishes to increase the police force and to remove the military force. Would he mind telling your Lordships how he proposes that that should be done?


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, because that is exactly what I intended to do. What I suggest to the Government is this. They should disband She auxiliary police force and replace them with British policemen, and I should be glad to know how the recruitment of British policemen into the force is progressing.


My Lords, I think I may be able to throw light on this particular problem. The auxiliary police were, of course, enlisted at a time when the emergency was at its height, and it was impossible to get Greek Cypriots to join the police force, either as auxiliaries or mobile reserves, or as regular policemen. That situation changed very markedly during the middle of 1957, when there was, for a time at any rate, peace in Cyprus. My information is now out of date, but about six or eight months ago, of the members of the auxiliary police and mobile reserve who, as the noble Lord said, were almost entirely Turks, some were taken back and trained as regular police; and at the time I left Cyprus, recruits for the regular police force were coming from both communities, rather more Greeks than Turks.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and gallant Field Marshal and to hear that the force is not entirely Turkish but that the Greeks are coming in. If the auxiliary police are to remain in being, it is very important that the force should be mixed (that is the point I am trying to make), and not a wholly Turkish force. How the position has come about is, if I may say so, quite beside the point. The point at the moment is: what is the position now? That is why I am glad that the noble and gallant Field-Marshal, Lord Harding of Petherton, has assured us the Greeks are now beginning to join the force.

I should like briefly to make a few points about the plan. As I say, I welcome it as an outline, but there are a few criticisms to be made. The first is that it makes for further division between the two communities. This is a point that has been made in the debates in the other place. I wonder, though, whether at this stage this is necessarily a disadvantage. After all, the two communities are divided in national customs, in language, in religion, and also in education. They have two quite separate educational systems and they are educated separately, except for the few who go to the excellent English school at Nicosia. I agree with the Prime Minister when he said in the debate in the other place: It is a paradox but it is true that we have to get a start with separate responsibility in order to lead on step by step to a larger unity. What is required is mutual respect between the two communities, leading to closer co-operation. I think that eventually it should be quite possible to have this co-operation between the two communities. When I was in Cyprus, I found it was working very well in the agricultural co-operative credit societies in the mixed villages, which were excellent examples of inter-communal co-operation; and perhaps in the end this can spread to larger spheres. But I think there is a strong need for a common Legislative Assembly, as was suggested by my Party in the other place—there is a need for this, even if it cannot be brought in at once—and I think that this should be on an elected basis, the Assembly answerable to the people. There is a very important reason why I think we should strive for such an Assembly. There has been no representative system of Government in Cyprus for more than a quarter of a century. We hear a lot about the dangers of Communism in Cyprus. Of course, the Communist Party is very strong; it is proscribed, but it has a large secret membership. In countries where there is no strong Socialist Party we find that Left Wing feeling goes into the Communist Party, and I think it is important that we should have a representative system that allows democratic Left Wing parties to arise.

There is also the question of membership of the Governor's Council. There are four Greeks to two Turks, which does not seem the correct proportion to the ratio of the two populations, which is four to one. I also wonder whether the presence of representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments is altogether desirable. The Greek Government do not want it, and I wonder whether it has been put into the outline of policy merely to please the Turkish Government. I should like to draw the Government's attention to a valuable suggestion made by a Conservative colleague of mine on the Cyprus Conciliation Committee, Mr. William Yates, the Member for The Wrekin, in a letter to The Times of July 2, suggesting that, instead of sitting on the Governor's Council, these representatives should be invited to become members of the Governor's Privy Council. There is also the question of separatism. As was said by the noble Lord, Lord Milverton, we might get the position where there are no longer any Cypriots, but only Greeks and Turks. I think that these are points which can be ironed out. The great thing is to discuss these matters and try to find some solution to this intractable problem, so that we can again bring peace and, I hope, prosperity to this lovely island and to its patient, lone-suffering and delightful people.

6.2 p.m.


My Lords, I find this whole question poignant in two separate respects. Not long ago—seven years, though it seems less—I knew both the Greeks and Turkish expeditionary forces in Korea; and I knew them, as everyone knew them, as some of the most valiant fighting men serving under the United Nations Flag. My other personal memory goes back further, to the aftermath of the Battle of El Alamein when my regiment, battered and sadly reduced by the war in the desert, was withdrawn to re-form in Cyprus. After the blood and dust of the desert it seemed a kind of Paradise to us and its people, I may say, the not unsuitable occupants of that Paradise. I knew the sort of conditions which the noble Lord, Lord Winster, described earlier to-day, and therefore I am the more easily convinced that peace will return to Cyprus through wise and, above all unhurried policies.

I knew a happier period in Cyprus than that which fell to the lot of the noble and gallant Field Marshal, and I should like to take this opportunity of saying how fortunate the people of Cyprus and the people of Britain were to have such a man available at that time, a time when so much could have been lost, irrecoverably lost, without a Governor of his rare qualities: a man of strength, intelligence, and wide human understanding, and of great personal courage. I believe it is no exaggeration to say that had those qualities not been there, or had they even been less in evidence at that time, Dighenis, the terrorist, might have become and even still be the virtual master of Cyprus. I find it impossible, I confess, to follow the optimism of the noble Lord, Lord Winster, in thinking that Colonel Grivas might be wooed into statesmanship. I think that it would be most unwise, and dangerous to the climate of any conference, to invite him at all.

To-day, as much as before, a peaceful settlement of this problem will be reached only when Eoka is no longer, and is seen not to be, an effective instrument of terrorism in the island. I hope that may come through the appeal to the three influential men whom the noble and gallant Field Marshal mentioned this afternoon. But however it comes, as I am sure it will, every subsequent Governor of Cyprus, from whatever nationality he may be, will owe a great debt of gratitude to the noble and gallant Field Marshal. As he said, the situation is still intolerable. Men and women are being killed weekly by allies and compatriots of their own. The island's economy is burdened by the cost of huge security forces and weakened by prejudice against Cyprus goods. The wine sales have dropped drastically. It is no longer commercially wise to stamp "Cyprus" on oranges sent to this country. I believe, as we must all believe, that Cyprus has a peaceful, prosperous future ahead. But I also believe that we can ensure that future only by taking the past closely into account. I mean that not in any spirit of recrimination or post-mortem but of illumination.

In 1878 Turkey ceded Cyprus for administration to her ally Britain, in order that both might better oppose their common enemy, which was—not by pure coincidence—Russia. Though ceded for administration, the island remained the property of the Sultan. I could not quite follow how that fitted into Lord Winster's picture of 19th century Tory imperialism. I read through that Treaty in the Library the other day, and saw how abundantly plain it was made that this was a strategic arrangement freely agreed because Turkey wanted a British base at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean. Turkey still does. And I find that fact in itself encouraging. In 1914 the island was annexed by Great Britain after the outbreak of war, with Turkey among our enemies. That annexation was ratified in Article 20 of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. It is worth noting, with all detachment, that when the Greeks invoke the Treaty of Lausanne against the Turks, they are equally invoking it against themselves, because Greece was also a signatory to the Treaty of Lausanne.

Still, the Greek argument is that this Article 20 should be reviewed or revoked, as Treaties are from time to time reviewed or revoked. The Turkish argument—and I am bound to say that I find it reasonable—is that in that case the whole Treaty Should be reviewed, because in that Treaty the permanent renunciation of Turkish rule in Cyprus was balanced by other considerations written into the Treaty. The most important of those was the advantage of a British base off the Turkish coast—precisely what Turkey wanted in 1878 and still wants to-day. I am quite certain that the Turkish Government of twenty-five years ago would not have acquiesced in any proposal to hand over the island to Greece. And if we ignore that, it seems to me that we are ignoring the whole value, the whole weight and importance, of good faith.

In this connection, there is another instance of more recent date. At the end of the last war Turkey did not object to the handing over of the Dodecanese to Greece. There was no objection, because it was not foreseen that Britain would leave Cyprus. The Democratic Party, now in power in Turkey, is making considerable capital out of the fact that the Republican Party in power at that time was too trusting of Britain. It seems to me a sad day when one party in a friendly country can jeer at its opponents on that account. Apart from our national amour propre, it tends Ito weaken the whole N.A.T.O alliance.

Noble Lords will remember that for many years the Turks, in their loyalty to the treaty and to Britain, refused to recognise Cyprus as an international issue. They treated it as a domestic problem of Great Britain, as in fact, under the Treaty, properly it was. It was at the conference in Lancaster House three years ago, I think, that they became convinced that it did not pay to be more British than the British. Since then, more recently, they have adopted the theory of partition, as a compromise. I am not one who believes that partition would be wise or workable. But one grave misconception does, I think, often arise when it is discussed. It should not be seen, as it often is, as the opposite extreme to Enosis. The opposite to Enosis would be a resumption of Turkish rule. Partition would be a compromise, a considerable sacrifice by the Turks, but one which they have declared themselves ready to accept. I would say that emotionally it has been an intensely difficult sacrifice for them to accept, and it required, I think, a courageous Turkish Government to offer it on behalf of the Turkish people. But unless some spirit of sacrifice is introduced by every side, no solution can or will be found to this problem. Whether some form of partition comes into existence or not, the Turks have made their contribution to the climate of settlement, by its acceptance in theory; and if the noble Lord, Lord Winster, included them in his strictures on unreasoning obstinacy, I feel he was doing them less than justice. I think it would be helpful if the Greeks would make some sort of sacrifice in response to that.


Would not the noble Lord agree that the Greek Government, by saying that they do not require a firm date for self-determination, have made a considerable sacrifice?—and with the Greek Government I also couple the name of Archbishop Makarios.


I do not think he is a member of the Greek Government. But, in any event, I do not regard that as being in any way a parallel sacrifice. The noble Lord is entitled to his opinion, but, as I say, I cannot regard a mere matter of dates as an equal sacrifice.

I have never set foot in Turkey and I know very few Turks, and what I am about to say may seem presumptuous, in which case I apologise to the House. I think that we in this country and in the West as a whole have made a great error in mistaking the patience and loyalty of the Turks over many years for weakness and indifference. The Turks have been neither weak nor indifferent. They made up their minds to trust us over Cyprus, and they have been slow to distrust us. But once that change should take place, as I think it was in danger of taking place until quite recently, it would take many generations to win their trust again.

My Lords, there is the cry of self-determination. And who can cry out against it? But, equally, who can find a description of self-determination upon which everyone will agree? Does it mean the right of the Greeks to rule over Cyprus because they are in number the strongest on the Island? Does it mean the right of the Turks to re-absorb Cyprus because historically and geographically their claim is far stronger? Or does it mean the right of all to govern themselves in partnership, as they will begin to do under this new plan? The question can, it seems to me, be brought nearer to home. Is Scotland governed from the English capital simply because there are more Englishmen? If the Scottish nationalists became overwhelmingly strong in their country and demanded self-government, should we say: "No; because there are more of us, we shall govern the whole Island, whatever you want." Should we then, in the face of further intransigence, find ourselves fighting another Killiecrankie or another Bannockburn? The idea is fantastic. But that is the very situation we should force on Cyprus if we retired too early from our task, if we left hastily, pell-mell, as we are sometimes urged to do.

I was shown this morning a letter from a young British soldier serving in Cyprus. He says: Each village has a permanent guard, taken on by the able-bodied men of the village. Like neurotic children they must be constantly visited and reassured that the next village is not about to attack them, and that our patrols are operating, The most welcome sight is a patrolling armoured car, for it means that they are safe for another hour, while it remains. The Turks are convinced that were Cyprus to be annexed, for the first time in history, to Greece, they would be fighting for their lives. They have plenty of reason for believing that, so long as E.O.K.A. remains in being. Here is one pronouncement, addressed to a number of Greeks by Dighenis: When water and fire become friends, when hell and paradise unite, then and only then shall we be sincere friends of the Turks. Within three hours of receiving this letter you must stop co-operating with the Turks, otherwise I will order your immediate execution. The co-operation in this case consisted of using a Turkish bus. I must ask whether that message carries any sort of promise or desire for a peaceful settlement in Cyprus. Does it indicate that British Forces can leave the Island, or even relax their vigil there, so long as E.O.K.A. is in existence?

I confess that it depresses me to find how many people in this country, even some in Parliament, persist in regarding E.O.K.A. as a patriotic organisation. Here are some quite simple figures: out of the 169 Greeks assassinated by E.O.K.A. up to last Sunday, 12 were police, 150 were male civilians, 6 were women and there was I child. Does that bear the stamp of a patriotic movement? I think those facts show that any hasty or premature withdrawal, any shrugging off of our responsibility in this question, would soon bring a civil war in Cyprus of most terrible dimensions, and perhaps leading to an international war within N.A.T.O. itself. If any British Government should attempt to over-simplify and to resolve the whole future of Cyprus by a simple plebiscite under the specious banner of self-determination, we should make the simple and disastrous discovery that "All men are self-determined, but some are more self-determined than others."


Would the noble Lord say who has advocated that policy: that there should be an immediate plebiscite for self-determination? Nobody has that I know.


I am certain that I did not mention immediate plebiscite, but frequently the possibility of an eventual plebiscite has been seriously discussed, as I think the noble Lord will agree.

As Sir Hugh Foot said, in announcing the plan to the Cypriots themselves: The cause in which we are engaged is no less than the cause of saving Cyprus. It is a cause that we can be proud of. It is a cause in which we must not fail. I cannot do better to sum up the convictions that have brought me into this debate than to paraphrase the question asked three months ago in another place by my honourable friend Major Patrick Wall. Let us hope the Government realise that what is wanted by the people of Britain and the people of Cyprus is a true and final solution, no matter how long it may take to reach it. On those simple grounds I support the plan which the Government offers. I hope it will be carried forward with the courage, determination and tact which are all essential to its success.

6.20 p.m.


My Lords, like other Members of your Lordships' House I am deeply conscious of the gravity of the issues we have been debating this afternoon, and I am acutely aware of the responsibility that lies before us to ensure that nothing we may say here should in any way impair the prospects of arriving at a settlement of the tragic problem of Cyprus. As in the case of the many valuable contributions which your Lordships have made to this debate this afternoon, I hope that what I say may in some small measure help the Government to arrive at a solution that will lead to an ending of the shedding of blood and violence in the Island, and enable it to return to normal life.

For those reasons, I think we must all, as the noble Lord who opened the debate said, avoid seeking to look at the past, except in so far as past experience may help to teach us something which we may apply in the future, in seeking to devise arrangements for the future Constitution of the island. I can tell your Lordships frankly that, when I read the account of the recent debate in another place, I felt tempted to use this occasion to reply to some of the criticisms which were levelled at Her Majesty's Government over the initial approach which was made to this question of a return to constitutional life in the island in 1954, and in particular my own statement on that occasion. Answers there certainly are, which are effective and to my mind conclusive, as alas! subsequent events have only too clearly shown. But I do not think that this is the time or the occasion to go into those matters. I would say only this; that all the ingredients which combine to-day to make this problem of Cyprus appear almost insoluble, and which, indeed, have prevented any agreement over the past four years, were present in 1954 when the Government launched their first plan for a return to constitutional life.

I also do not propose this evening to embark upon an analysis of the doctrine of self-determination within the Commonwealth. All I would say is that the issue is by no means as clear-cut as some people would have us believe. Certainly in our colonial policy we regard self-determination as the logical, desirable and, in most cases, the inevitable sequel to self-government. I should be the first to subscribe to that view. But there are cases where the usual processes which we wish to apply in leading our colonial territories to self-government cannot be automatically or fully applied. As my noble friend Lord Salisbury has pointed out this afternoon, Cyprus is sui generis. It is a case on its own, where we are obliged to look for other and less orthodox solutions.

For me, the great merit of the present plan which the Government have put forward is that it has taken into account, in a new and imaginative form, all the varied features of this problem. Apart from the invaluable benefits which it would bring of putting an end to violence and terrorism, it offers the great advantage of enabling the two sections of the population of Cyprus and the three Governments concerned—the Governments of Great Britain, Greece and Turkey—to work together side by side for a period of years to see how their mutual and joint interests can be harmonised and, one would hope, in the process to devise plans on which a full and final settlement can be secured. It is there, I feel, that even if limited to this seven-year period, this somewhat unorthodox domestic arrangement may in due course lead to the happy marriage to which the noble Lord who opened the debate referred in his speech. For all these reasons, while I have certain reservations regarding the plan itself, it has my full and warm support.

It has been said, and has been repeated again this afternoon I think by my noble and gallant friend the Field Marshal, that this plan offers the last chance of finding a settlement to the Cyprus problem. Certainly it is the best chance of reaching a settlement. Every previous proposal has foundered on difficulties raised from one quarter or another, from the initial modest proposals for a limited Constitution, the Tripartite Conference of 1955, with its plan for self-government, coupled with an agreement to disagree, the Radcliffe Constitution, and the Harding plan. All these were rejected. But I must say that I have a feeling that, looking back, many of the parties to these negotiations and discussions must now feel some regret that some of these earlier plans and proposals were rejected as they were.

Now it is clear to all what are the issues involved and the dangers which lie ahead—the real risk of civil war, leading possibly, as my noble friend has said, to a general war between two allies in the Eastern Mediterranean. We must therefore hope and pray that this great opportunity will not be thrown away. Of course, it involves concessions and compromises from everyone. Let us admit that there have been compromises already, notably by Her Majesty's Government, by the Greek Government and, I would say also, by the Turkish Government. Some of these, it is true, were tactical. I would refer, for example, to the sudden abandonment of the demand for Enosis which occurred during the session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, and the substitution of self-determination. But others are more real—and here I should like to refer to the reported willingness of Archbishop Makarios to accept internal self-government as a transitory stage for an undefined period. I regard that as a real concession and an advance. Is it too much to hope that, below the bitterness, the hatred and distrust which are to be found on all sides in Cyprus to-day, there lies at last a real desire to bring this tragic situation to an end, to afford us at least a breathing space, so that sensible men may be able to sit down together and try to work out something among themselves?

So far as the plan is concerned, I would venture to remind your Lordships, with all modesty, that on July 25, 1956, I put forward in this House proposals on which I believed a settlement could be reached. Those proposals were based on the conception of a Condominium which appears in the present plan as a possible solution for the future of the island once the seven-year period is at an end. It is true that my proposal was for an immediate Anglo-Greek Condominium, but with Britain representing the interests of the Turkish minority and Turkish strategic interests for as long as the Turks thought this to be necessary. But other features of my proposals, such as dual nationality and the presence of a Turkish Commissioner, also appear in this plan.

I myself should not be too afraid of these new and unorthodox proposals about which some anxiety has been expressed in this House this afternoon. As I said before, I believe that we have to adopt unorthodox methods to deal with a unique situation. I should not even be afraid of the offer of dual nationality. I do not believe that we shall see Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the island opting for Greek or Turkish nationality alone. I believe that they will be only too glad to take advantage of dual nationality, with the British passport which in the case of many thousands of Greeks a year in the island enables them to come to this country freely as immigrants. These proposals all form part of the partnership which, as was said by the Colonial Secretary in another place, forms the essence of this new plan.

The most important innovation in the present plan is the proposal for communal autonomy. In present circumstances that may be inevitable, however much we may regret it. But even there I would suggest to the Government, as has been done from other quarters, that there is a case for seeking to insert some form of provision for joint Greek and Turkish co-operation below the level of the Governor's Council which is to deal with internal administration, other than communal affairs. I should have liked to see something in the nature of the Legislative Assembly provided for in the Radcliffe Constitution. But if that is considered too cumbersome, too difficult to fit into the new system which the Government now have in mind, would it not be possible to provide for joint sessions of members of the two Houses of Representatives on suitable occasions, or for elected delegates from those Houses to meet together for the purpose of debating issues lying outside the communal field and outside the matters reserved to the Government? I should indeed favour giving them power of decision, notably in the matter of the Budget. If the expression "representative institutions" is to have any real meaning, it cannot be restricted, it seems to me, solely to a Council comprised in the way provided for in the new plan. The same thing would apply to matters of health, labour, communications and agriculture, which, to a great extent at any rate, must fall outside the communal field.

Apart from that, I should like to urge that in working out details of the plan, whether at the preliminary discussion with the Greek and the Turkish Governments or at a later stage among the Cypriot representatives, as much as possible of the invaluable recommendations of Lord Radcliffe's Report should be preserved. I have in mind such matters as the conception of referring disputed legislation to the Supreme Court, which, indeed, does seem to be possible under Section VIII (e) of the White Paper, and also the Tribunal of Guarantees, which has to deal with disputes arising out of Governmental administrative action. Indeed, it seems to me that many of Lord Radcliffe's other recommendations, possibly in an amended form, could find their place in the new scheme.

With those reservations, I should like wholeheartedly to welcome the new plan, at least as a basis for discussion among all the parties concerned. I hope the responses so far received from the Greek and Turkish Governments, as well as from Archbishop Makarios and the head of the Turkish Cypriot community, mean that, whatever doubts and hesitations they may have, they will be willing to meet and discuss. That must be the first step. So far, one can at least say that the reaction has not been wholly negative. But if immediate and complete acceptance is ruled out, is there not one positive step which could be taken at once and which would lead to a general easing of the situation and would render it possible for those concerned to sit down together and discuss at least, without the pressure of bombs and riots, assassinations and reprisals?

My noble friend the Leader of the House said that the Prime Minister was in communication with the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers. I should like to ask my noble friend to urge upon the Prime Minister that he should address an appeal to the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers, and, through the Governor, to Archbishop Makarios and to Dr. Kuchuk, to make on their own side an appeal to their respective supporters and compatriots in the island to cease from all forms of violence and provocation, at least until it is possible to see whether any agreement can be worked out on the basis of the present plan. Surely that is an essential factor and one on which all concerned could agree without violating any principles or doing any damage to their case.

The general cessation of violence now, which would, I imagine, almost automatically be followed by an alleviation of the security measures, would be a positive step towards finding a solution, as well as a sure indication that all concerned were sincere in wishing to find a solution. It would also, I submit, be an indication to our fellow members of N.A.T.O., and to the whole outside world, that we three old friends and Allies, Greece, Turkey and Britain, are determined, in our own interests and in those of world peace, to make a final effort to settle this strife and show our determination that on this occasion, at all costs, we will not fail.

6.37 p.m.


My Lords, as the thirteenth speaker in this debate, I do not think there is a great deal left to say, especially as the first and second speakers both said that, on an occasion like this, the less said the better—and, of course, thirteen is an unlucky number. I know your Lordships will be relieved to hear that I do not intend to detain you for long. I felt, nevertheless, as one who has always taken an interest in Cyprus and her affairs, that I must just say one word in your Lordships' House in support of the new plan which has been announced by Her Majesty's Government.

The noble Lord, Lord Winster, said that at last the Government had a plan. The noble Lord, Lord Rea, said that at last the Government had been influenced by Liberal thought. To hear those statements anybody would think that nothing had been going on on the part of the Government for the last four years. I feel that we should remember, when we consider this plan, that the reason the plan is the sort of plan it is is that all the other plans we have tried before have failed. Noble Lords who criticise this plan—and it is easy to criticise this plan in some administrative details—must remember that we have tried many plans in the past. I myself have no doubt that, if I had the choice, I should have preferred something on the lines produced by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Radcliffe, a Constitution which did not divide people into two nations. I think that in many ways that was an excellent document.

But, my Lords, the fact is that we have reached a situation where that sort of plan, for the time being at any rate, cannot be considered. That being the case, I warmly support the proposals put forward by Her Majesty's Government. I think they are very ingenious; they are very fair; they are very generous. I believe that we have given a magnificent lead. That is particularly important from an aspect which has not been mentioned much this afternoon—that is, the question of international opinion. Because international opinion may eventually have some effect on the minds of those men to whom the noble Lord referred, who are going to have such a vital influence at this particular moment. I do not believe that anybody examining this plan can say that it will be: the fault of Her Majesty's Government if it does not succeed. It seems to me that they have done everything anybody could. Therefore, for all those reasons I think it is a good plan.

There is one other reason why I think it is a good plan, and that is that it is a realistic plan. I believe that if ever there was a moment when a little realism on all sides was necessary, this is that moment. I think there have been in the past too many illusions, too many desires, in the whole of this business. It is not always good for us to have our desires gratified. Indeed, the Almighty sometimes punishes people more cunningly by gratifying their desires than by any other way. I suggest to both gentlemen (to whom the noble Lord, Lord Harding of Petherton, referred—the gentlemen that the noble Earl called the third party on whom at this moment this heavy responsibility weighs—that they should ponder carefully and weigh up the real dangers that exist for them and for the people they wish to help if they persist in their desires at the present moment. Do the Greeks really believe that if they were to get Enosis now they would really have got anything very satisfactory? It would be a mere continuation of the communal strife. Do the Turkish people really believe that if you partition an island of that size—they would have to depend entirely on what economic support they can get from Turkey, which I imagine might lead to a drastic lowering in their standard of life—the gratification of that desire is, in the end, going to bring them a great deal? Therefore, I say, let them examine the realities. Let them look the facts in the face for the first time, and then let them pause and think most carefully before they reject what so many people have already said may be the last chance.

I think that that is really all that needs to be said or should be said at this late hour in the debate. I would add only one other thing, namely, that I think we must ourselves be prepared to discharge, and to make it clear that we will, if this plan does not succeed, continue to discharge, our responsibilities, not for our own sakes—because, heaven knows! of recent years Cyprus has been of little advantage to us—but because it is of vital importance to the whole of the Western world, and because we are the only people who can do the job.

6.43 p.m.


My Lords, I entirely agree with the noble Lord who has just sat down that at this hour a long speech is not required. The points have also been made from all sides of the House, and my noble friends on this side have stated our position. For myself, I do not think it is wise at this juncture to go into details about this plan. We have a plan; let us hope that it will be successful. I would say only this one word of warning: it is rather a dangerous precedent to have Governments from outside brought in because of their co-religionist or maybe their nationalist influences. There are many places in the world which are inhabited by natives of different countries, and if they were all to ponder about it they might ask for a finger in the pie, and it would be extremely awkward. I should rather commend to the world the wisdom of Mr. Nehru, who has advised his Indians overseas to be good citizens of the countries in which they are. I say that only because I think it is a dangerous precedent.

We often look at this matter rather broadly, I think. It is probably difficult for the Cypriots or the Turks or the Greeks to realise that this problem of two communities in one area is only one of many problems of the kind. To take an island, there are the difficulties in Ceylon. Then there is the whole of the Middle East. Indeed, it is perhaps unwise for people to press very strongly about their own nationals elsewhere, because they may find that there are bodies of alien nationals in their own area and they would be supporting a very dangerous precedent. It is tragic at this time, when we need the unity of the Western world—I will go further and say the unity of the whole world—that we should have running through the world this continuance of nationalism, and almost imperialism, which is really completely out of date.

I think that in the same way there are out-of-date considerations here on the subject of defence. I understand that the Turks are most apprehensive of what might happen should an island off their coast be in other hands. But there are dozens of islands in other hands—there is Rhodes, and all the rest of those islands, but they have not made a fuss about them. In the same way, I think we have, certainly in the past, if not perhaps now, been making far too much fuss about Cyprus having strategic importance, which I do not believe it has in the age of the hydrogen bomb. In this matter we want a bit of realism. A big responsibility rests on all of us, and not least on the Turks and the Greeks. There is nothing easier, nothing cheaper, for a politician than to harp on the nationalist string. It does not require any thought whatever, just a bit of prejudice, and it leads on to extremism of one kind and another.

The most dangerous thing to-day in the Island is terrorism. The history of terrorism is always the same; it always gets worse and worse. I thought myself that it was a mistake to send the Archbishop away for the same reason as Parnell gave when he was put in prison. He was asked who was to succeed him, and he said, "Captain Moonlight". That is exactly what has happened here. The Turks and the Greeks should remember that it is most difficult to got rid of terrorism once you have got it. You can look at Ireland for that. There was terrorism there and, thirty years or more afterwards, De Valera is still plagued by that terrorism. You get a cult of terrorism which is not a cult of patriotism. I think we have a right to demand that the authorities in Turkey and Greece, and in Cyprus, should make the strongest possible protest against terrorism and should utterly repudiate it, not least from the point of view of those who hope some day to rule in Cyprus, whether from Athens or in Cyprus itself, because they will find that this terrorism will come back on them inevitably all the time.

I do not want to detain the House at this late hour. I wish success to this plan. I do not think it is useful to examine it too closely, but I think it is right emphatically to warn excitable people, whether in Turkey or in Greece—and journalists in particular—of the danger of fermenting these troubles; and to remember that this is not the only sore spot in the world and that in the long run none of these troubles can be cured by terrorism or extremism but only by the resolve of people to learn to live together. Some countries have set a good example on how to live together. Of course, Switzerland is the outstanding example, but there are others. In my view we do not want to try to settle this by pandering to the idea that everywhere, all the world must be divided up into nice little compartments all of the same people, and that if they find themselves in the wrong compartment they should move out. The Greeks themselves have had enough of this, I should have thought, with the interchange of populations, and I think that they have to set themselves against the danger of this kind of nationalistic extremism.

6.49 p.m.


My Lords, first I should like to thank the two movers of the Motions which started the debate for having in fact moved them at this time. We have found the debate extremely valuable; it has been constructive. I know that there has been a discussion whether the timing is right, but I think all your Lordships will agree from what we have heard this evening that the timing was right, and we shall go forward having in our minds the speeches of the two noble Lords who put down the Motions, and the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Rea. While some noble Lords may have argued, so to speak, a bit on the Greek side or a bit on the Turkish side, broadly all have encouraged us to go on on the basis of the plan; and this we will do. Many have paid tribute to Sir Hugh Foot and to those who played such an important part in the past on the question of Cyprus: the noble and gallant Field Marshal Lord Harding of Petherton; the noble and learned Lord, Lord Radcliffe; the police, of course; and, above all, the British soldier. They have done, and are doing, a splendid and valuable job.

The noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, referred to an item which appeared in a newspaper, and I was glad to hear the noble Earl, Lord Attlee, reiterate his point that newspapers have a real responsibility and an obligation not to exacerbate feeling, nor to suggest happenings which have no basis in fact. My noble Leader has already said that there is no basis of fact there, but I believe your Lordships might like to know that recently, since the tragic incident at the village of Avgorou, we have heard from the island that great numbers of Greek and Turkish Cypriots are very friendly to the security forces who, as the noble Lord, Lord St. Oswald, brought out, are, in fact, welcomed. Although there are tragic incidents such as that which has been mentioned, they are isolated; and I would point out that in the last analysis this particular incident was caused by an attack by the villagers on the troops. We all know what great forbearance troops will always show in such circumstances.

The task that I have set myself in winding up for Her Majesty's Government will be to try to answer, though not in great detail, various questions raised by noble Lords and to note, with thanks, various suggestions put forward for partial change or solution of some of the Cyprus problems; and to reiterate one or two of the themes. I do not intend to touch on past history or to judge whether we, the Greeks or the Turks might have done something better or acted differently. As the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd, has pointed out, the only value of all that in this instance is that we have had the past in our minds in building up this present plan.

The noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, and the noble Lord, Lord Milverton, were worried over the question of having representatives of both the Turks and the Greeks on the Governor's Council. Naturally we take serious note of their fears in this connection, but I would point out that those representatives will have real power only when, in their opinion, there is discrimination against one or other of the communities. In all other cases the Governor, though he will consult, will govern. If, in fact, the things feared by the noble Marquess should arise—if a Commissioner appealed to the people, as it were, over the head of the Governor—then it would have to be admitted that the partnership had failed. But we have to face the fact that that might happen now. In such an event, the partnership having failed, it would always be open to the Greek or Turkish Governments to make their appeal to Turkish or Greek Cypriots.

The noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, who kindly gave me notice of the various questions he was going to raise, put forward particular questions which I am glad to answer, for if they were to remain unanswered we should appear to be favouring the Turks at the expense of the Greeks; and that of course is not the case. The noble Lord asked, in particular, why we "jammed" Athens Radio and not Ankara Radio. Here I must go back a little in history. We "jammed" Athens Radio only after repeated and unavailing representations to the Greek Government in which we asked them to desist from appeals to terrorism and other such things which were occurring. Now, as has been reported in another place, Her Majesty's Government on June 17 made the strongest representations in the same sense to the Turkish Government. There, I think, we must leave that point.

As regards the outlawing of T.M.T., in the same way that Eoka has been outlawed, the Governor has made it clear that he will not hesitate to act against any terrorist movement when he thinks action is necessary. But here again we must trust the judgment of the Governor, as I am sure all your Lordships do, as to if and when the time is appropriate. There was some discussion on the police force, and various noble Lords pointed out that the auxiliary police force is largely Turkish, for the simple reason that the Greeks do not choose to join the force. Nevertheless, I am sure it would be a mistake to disband the auxiliary police force, and we have no intention of doing so. Rather, we hope that the Greeks will follow the example of the Turks—in fact, it is a great satisfaction that they have recently shown signs of recognising (perhaps that is the right word) their responsibilities for the regular police force, for they have joined that force in greater numbers so that to-day in the regular police force there are more Greek Cypriots than Turkish Cypriots. We have no intention of trying to replace these police by large numbers of English police, although at this moment we are endeavouring to recruit further numbers because of the strain and because of the problems of terrorism which at present are so great.

The plan we have set out in the White Paper is not something we thought up in despair. It is not even, as the noble Lord, Lord Milverton, suggested, a plan put forward to buy time; nor is it a makeshift for want of something better. Rather it is the best possible mixture of realism and idealism, and I believe that the more it is studied and worked out the more likely it will be seen broadly to have been rightly drawn. It is a plan in which we can all believe, which we can support and which in the end will, I hope, succeed. Let me elaborate.

On realism, there is the fact that to-day there are, as there have been for many centuries, two entirely different communities on the island, each with their own language, customs and religion and a mainland to which instinctively they turn. There I must disagree with the noble Lord, Lord Winster. During the last eighty years these facts may have been obscured, but the reason for that, and the reason the two communities appeared perhaps to be living in greater harmony, was because of the direct rule of the sovereign power of ourselves. Now that the time has come when they talk, and when the intention is to try to encourage them to self-government, we find that those latent facts appear and the differences become more obvious. What is the practical way of dealing with them? It is not, I believe, to act as if they were not there, for they are there; it is to recognise them and to build on these two pillars of the Greek Cypriot people and the Turkish Cypriot people a sound and solid structure. We do not seek partition but the very opposite; we do not seek to uproot people from their homes, but rather to leave them living side by side as now; and to this end we propose these communal Assemblies, where the two peoples will remain concerned with what are properly communal matters—education, religion and social affairs.

It has been asked whether this communal approach is not a unique approach. I think that the answer may well be, Yes; but of that we are in no way ashamed. Indeed, I wonder whether, if we had tried to build on the reality in Palestine, recognising more certainly the fact that there are two communities there—or, indeed, in such a place as Ceylon, which is to-day riven by disunity between the races—things might not have been more happy in those lands. Perhaps it is rather far-fetched, but there is some analogy with the situation at home, in England, Wales and Scotland, where each has a particular concern in its communal affairs, though there is a common Chamber for wider issues.

When it comes to these wider issues, which are the concern of all the islanders, the plan proposes, as your Lordships know, that the Governor's Council, on which the members of the two communal Assemblies will sit, should take the responsibility under his guidance. It has been argued that this Council is inadequate and that from the start there should be some other instrument, some other superstructure, to be formed. Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, Lord Colyton and others have made valuable suggestions in this connection, and I can only assure them that all the suggestions will be most carefully studied and borne in mind in the talks we are to have. I would make this point in regard to the Governor's Council. The Prime Minister in another place, when taken up on very much the same point, said this: [OFFICIAL REPORT, Commons, Vol. 590 (No. 129), col. 733]: Honourable Members, who are well acquainted with our colonial history, will remember that organisations of this kind"— that is the Governor's Council— are often enlarged and adapted to wider responsibilities. We cannot say—who can say—how they will develop. But if only we can make a start by general agreement, I do not think we need look too meticulously to what the end will be. Again, my Lords, it is realism to recognise the fact of the deep interest which the Greeks have, and the Turks have, in the Cypriot question; to recognise that, while one of the communities has a great majority of the people which looks to the Greeks, the other is also an important minority which looks to the Turks; and for Turkey there is the inescapable geographical fait that Cyprus is forty miles from its shore, and a key to its ports. While the noble Earl, Lord Attlee, may say that in this day and age these things are not, perhaps, of the importance they were in the past, nevertheless I think it is not possible, or even reasonable, to try to persuade the Turks to ignore the fact that Cyprus is a key to their ports. It is in face of these realities that we have proposed the rôle of Turkey and of Greece in the affairs of the island.

So much for the realism. Now let me turn to the other feature of the plan, which is idealism. That is to be found in the theme of "Adventure in partnership ", as it is quoted in the White Paper. The noble and gallant Field Marshal, Lord Harding of Petherton, made much of this point, and I can only say that his appeal was one which we should all support. Our first aim, as appears in the White Paper, is to serve the best interests of all the people of the island. To this purpose it is proposed that Cyprus should have the advantage of association not only with the United Kingdom, and therefore with the British Commonwealth, but also with Greece and Turkey. Her Majesty's Government will welcome the co-operation and participation of these two States in working to achieve peace, progress and prosperity for the island.

In the conditions of to-day, such idealism may appear foolhardy and hopeless; and yet, my Lords, I will go further. If, as Lord Colyton expressed the earnest hope would happen (and I echo his hope) at the end of seven years the partnership is succeeding, then we are ready to share Sovereignty, subject to our military needs, with our allies. That may be the marriage which was mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Winster. It may raise great administrative diffi- culties, as foreseen by Lord Milverton. But if there is true partnership, and if the other two want it, then I think those difficulties will vanish and the future might be very great for the whole island. Perhaps it is appropriate at this point to stress that under the plan nobody, neither. Greek Cypriot nor Turkish Cypriot, neither Greece nor Turkey, has been asked to give up any principles, whatever these may be and whatever we may think of them.

How do we start on this great adventure? Your Lordships will have to-day heard the latest move made by the Prime Minister to the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey. At the same time, the Governor yesterday saw the Greek Mayors and explained to them certain features of the plan, and to-day he is seeing the Turkish leaders with the same purpose. The noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, raised an important point, which we will certainly look into, of whether the propaganda is adequate for telling the people of the Island what the plan is about, and I will look in particular into the point of the leaflets, which he raised.

In the meantime, as so many of your Lordships have said—indeed, I think all speakers have echoed it—the important thing is to end violence on the Island. There is little that I can add to the powerful and moving appeals that have been made by so many of your Lordships—by Lord Halifax, Lord Harding of Petherton and many others. There are, however, two points that I would make. The first is that the violence of Eoka has, in the main, been directed not against the British but against its own people. Over half those who have been killed have been Greek Cypriots—that was brought out by Lord Windlesham and Lord St. Oswald. It is indeed a depressing fact which shows that, far from wishing for self-government, Eoka denies freedom of speech and denies freedom of thought.

My second point is this. I believe that Grivas and the Eoka terrorists, by their continuing campaign of terrorism, far from being the friends of Makarios, are indeed his enemies. It will be remembered that in his last letter to Makarios, the Governor said: Provided violence ceases, progressive steps will be taken to end the emergency and as part of this process your return"— that is, Makarios's return— and that of others excluded from Cyprus will follow. This would open the way for your taking part in discussions on the basis of the constitutional plan. I think that we could not be expected to go further than that. And what prevents its happening? It is the terrorism of Eoka, the friend—I wonder—of Makarios. What more is there to say?

Politically, the cold reception of the plan by Greece and by Turkey is, paradoxically, I think, a happy thing, in that it shows that the plan is well balanced and fair. If we had found one country or the other jumping in and saying, "This is what we want," then I think we should have been worried, because something would have been badly judged. So, paradoxically, the cold reception is something which, while in a sense one cannot welcome, none the less one must not take too despairingly. As your Lordships know, no doors have been closed to further talks.

I would repeat that the constructive suggestions made in this debate are welcome. Indeed, any suggestions of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and of Turkey and Greece, are welcome within the broad framework of the plan, though I must repeat the warning made by my noble Leader, that if we are too flexible, things will become rigid and impossible. We do not seek to build proudly and alone, but humbly and with the help of our partners, and with the help also of our friends in N.A.T.O., and of our other friends. We seek to build well and soundly, and that will take time and patience. But we must go ahead now as we are going, with the move of the Prime Minister and the talks of the Governor. We cannot, dare not, wait for impossible perfection. The alternative is ruin, great sorrow on the Island and the breaking of friendships.

7.13 p.m.


My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Rea, was quite right when he suggested that I might have demurred somewhat in my own mind about bringing forward this debate this afternoon, but I felt convinced that the broad result of the debate would be general endorsement for the Government as they go forward with their plan. I think it is clear that the debate has served that purpose, and I hope it may also have served the purpose of bringing to the notice of the Government one or two important points about details of their plan.

The noble and gallant Field Marshal, Lord Harding of Petherton, to whom we listened with the greatest possible attention, which his speech thoroughly deserved, looks to partnership as the end of this plan. Well, so do I; but the road to partnership begins by dividing. It may be that the longest way round may prove the shortest way home; still, it is aiming at partnership by dividing the two partners at the beginning. It is obvious that to all intents and purposes the Greek and the Turkish Prime Ministers have it in their hands to bring about a settlement, but I venture to point out that certainly the Greek Prime Minister has a difficult domestic political situation to cope with in this matter, and I imagine that the position of the Turkish Prime Minister is almost, if not quite, as difficult.

I would add my tribute to what has been said about our Forces and police in Cyprus. I will not listen to one word which is said in criticism of their conduct, or to any imputations of brutality and torture. I will not listen to a word of it until it is authenticated absolutely beyond doubt in a court of law or in some similar tribunal. Nor will I listen to insinuations that the Government are not holding the balance evenly between Greeks and Turks in Cyprus. I do not believe that. I believe that to the best of their ability they are trying to hold the balance completely even between the two races. To the tributes which have been paid to the security forces, I should like to add my tribute to the Governor. Goodness knows, what a load he has on his back at the present moment, and how gallantly he is carrying it! I am sure that all noble Lords will join in paying that tribute to him.

May I say a word in reply to the noble Earl the Leader of the House? I was glad to hear what he said about the futility of attempting a military settlement. It is as true to-day as it ever was that one can do everything with bayonets except sit on them. We have to get a political settlement in Cyprus. I could not follow the noble Earl's view that the appointment of these alien Commissioners on the Governor's Council and the arrangement about dual nationality would give confidence. I do not know that I can share that view. I hope that it works out that way, but I must confess that I am doubtful. I entirely agree, of course, that the Government cannot be expected to answer such questions as have been put this afternoon, but I hope that it will be of service to the Government to have had the questions put to them.

As regards what the noble Earl said about world reaction, on the whole I agree that it has been favourable. In particular, I noticed an editorial in the New York Herald Tribune which is most fair, and if it comes to the notice of the Government I am sure that they will feel gratified. What the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, said, was not only of great interest but of importance. He and I have debated this matter before to some extent. It is an interesting point that unitary government might be achieved by proving the horrors of segregation. It may be so. Again, it reminds me that the longest way round may be the shortest way home, but it is an interesting point which I confess I had not met with previously. As regards what the noble Marquess said about dual loyalty, as I said in my speech, given good will this plan or any plan can be made to succeed; but at the present time the prospect of good will is a little dim, as I think the noble Marquess will agree. But one thing about this plan is that it is a beginning from which a solution may grow. The great thing is to get a solution about something.

I was shocked and horrified to hear of that quotation from the newspaper. It is really dreadful to think that a newspaper could print anything like that. It has been exceeded in wickedness, in my opinion, only by a speech made by an Australian Member of Parliament in the constituency of North St. Pancras where a great many Cypriots live. That I have no hesitation in characterising as a disgraceful speech, and I should have liked to see our Member for North St. Pancras repudiating it.

Again, we always listen with great respect and attention to the noble Earl, Lord Halifax. I was interested when he spoke about the importance and interest of this debate, because I remember that the first time when we debated Cyprus in your Lordships' House there was a very thin attendance indeed, and only four Members, including the Government spokesman, spoke in the debate. That was when Cyprus was just a cloud on the horizon no bigger than a man's hand, and I was attempting to ring the bell. How things have gone on when we find such a debate as this this afternoon, with some of the most distinguished speakers in your Lordships' House taking part!

The comments of the noble Lord, Lord Milverton, as a Governor of great distinction and proved ability, are also most valuable. It is reassuring to find that the noble Lord, with his great authority, regards the plan as workable—I think that was a most important contribution to the debate—though he demurred at this idea of the two foreign Commissioners on the Governor's Council. I would ask the noble Earl the Leader of the House to reflect upon the fact that nearly every speaker, if not every speaker, this afternoon has fixed on that matter of the two foreign Commissioners as a weak point in the plan. Feeling about that has been so unanimous that I believe it would be worth while for the Government to have another look at it.

The noble Lord, Lord Colyton, regretted that earlier plans for Cyprus were rejected. Who could regret that more than I, who put forward one of those plans and have had so often to think since that if that plan had been accepted and had led on to what it was intended to lead on to, Cyprus might now be looking back upon years of advance, peace and happiness, instead of having to look back upon the miserable years of murder, violence and fear that have gone?

I should like to thank the noble Earl, Lord Perth, for what he said in winding up the debate. If I may say so, I consider he made a most thoughtful speech, a speech calculated to give one great confidence as to the future actions of the Government on this matter. I should like to look up what he said about the past animosities or lack of animosities, but I was impressed by the spirit of good will on the part of the Government which was reflected in his speech. I would just make this comment: if Turkey has these strategical fears about Cyprus, I wish she would reflect that her greatest strategic security lies in being a good and faithful partner inside N.A.T.O. with Greece. That is where strategic security lies, and not in partition, which may only provoke angry animosities there. It only remains for me to thank the many distinguished speakers who have felt it worth while to take part in this debate, and I do thank them most sincerely. My noble friend Lord Alexander of Hillsborough has asked me to apologise to the noble Earl for the fact that he has had to leave. I ask leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motions for Papers, by leave, withdrawn.