HC Deb 16 November 1955 vol 546 cc42-3W
99. Mr. Braine

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has any statement to make regarding the provision of financial assistance to Cyprus.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Yes. During the Governor's recent visit I took the opportunity of reviewing with him the financial needs of the Government of Cyprus in the light of the present situation. It is essential that the Government should prosecute with vigour and confidence a sound programme of economic and social development. In view of the cost of restoring law and order, this would not be practicable without some assistance from Her Majesty's Government.

It is therefore our intention, subject to the approval of Parliament in due course, to make a grant to the Government of Cyprus in 1956. The precise amount of the grant required will be determined when detailed estimates of cost have been prepared and the necessary provision will be sought in the Estimates which I shall present to Parliament for the next United Kingdom financial year. This arrangement, and any similar assistance that may later prove necessary, will enable the Government of Cyprus to devote a much greater part of its resources to plans of economic and social development.

I have approved proposals which the Governor submitted to me for a comprehensive programme of economic and social development estimated to cost in the region of £38 million. Certain of the projects in this programme are essentially long-term and will require much detailed planning and take several years to complete; but most can be brought to fruition much more rapidly. Most of the items for which external financial assistance will be required are projects for which loan capital will be needed. The Governor intends to publish the detailed plan as soon as possible. Meanwhile I have authorised him to proceed with the plan forthwith, in the assurance that the Government of Cyprus will have the complete support of Her Majesty's Government in securing the loan funds they will need in due course to supplement their own resources in carrying out this programme.