HL Deb 02 February 1972 vol 327 cc805-6

2.55 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what payment is made to the Government of Cyprus for the facilities of a military base and how such payment compares with that offered to Malta.]


My Lords, there is no true comparison between the terms on which Britain enjoys the use of military facilities in Cyprus and Malta. Our major military installations in Cyprus are situated on United Kingdom sovereign territory and not on the territory of the Cyprus Republic; and no direct payment is made in respect of them. In the case of Malta, payments have hitherto been in accordance with the 1964 Agreements. As your Lordships will know, the British Government have, on behalf of NATO, made an offer of substantially increased payments; in return, Britain and NATO will require a satisfactory defence agreement. The Maltese Government is considering this offer.


My Lords, in thanking the noble Lord may I just ask him what is the comparison in size between the base in Cyprus and the base in Malta, and not wishing to go beyond the terms of my Question, which the noble Lord was kind enough to do in his reply, is it possible to make any remark regarding the negotiations with Malta?


My Lords, the sovereign base areas in Cyprus total 99 square miles. I am afraid I do not know what they are in Malta, but the facilities of Malta would be substantially less.