HC Deb 26 June 1958 vol 590 cc43-4W
Sir J. Barlow

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he has any information with regard to the effect of the recent disturbances in Ceylon upon the lives and property of United Kingdom citizens in that country.

Mr. Alport

The United Kingdom High Commissioner has reported fully on the present situation in Ceylon. So far there has been no indication of any serious threat to United Kingdom lives and property, and the United Kingdom Government are confident that the Ceylon authorities will take all necessary steps to ensure that no such threat develops. It is our hope that the measures now being taken by the Ceylon Government will be effective in restoring tranquillity on the island. Recent actions show that a determined effort is being made to that end.

At the beginning of this month a number of United Kingdom ships were requisitioned by the Ceylon Government under emergency powers to move refugees to and from the north of the island. It is understood that the ships have now been returned to their owners.

Certain pamphlets of a threatening nature were circulated during a recent strike. I understand that they have not given rise to serious concern among the majority of the United Kingdom community. One United Kingdom citizen is believed to have been killed during curfew hours in Colombo, but a report from the Ceylon authorities on the circumstances is still awaited.

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