§ 38 and 39. Mr. Gallacher
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether any steps are being contemplated with a view to restoring constitutional rights to Cyprus and holding elections to that end?
(2) The reason for the continued censorship of the Cyprus newspapers "Embros" and "Proia"; and why the former is not allowed to state that it is under the censorship?
48. Mr. Creech Jones
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make a statement on the restrictions of Press criticism and news in Cyprus; and what steps are being taken to give the people of this colony a greater responsibilty in the government of the island?
Mr. M. MacDonald
Under the Cyprus Press Law the Government of the colony possesses powers of control which can be exercised in the public interest against individual newspapers. The "Proia," after twice being placed under censorship, was suppressed in November last for the repeated publication of matter which, in the opinion, of the competent authorities in Cyprus was calculated to promote disaffection. The censorship over the "Embros" has been removed and out of some twelve newspapers published in Cyprus only one now remains under censorship. As regards the government of the island, the people of Cyprus are already associated with the management of their local affairs through the District and Municipal Councils, and it is the policy of the Cyprus Government gradually to develop this association and to extend the powers of the Councils. I do not consider, however, that the time has yet arrived for any change in the constitution of the Central Government.
§ Mr. Gallacher
Is it not the case that the most ruthless kind of dictatorship is being carried out in Cyprus, and that these papers are not allowed to publish any statement encouraging any idea of independence for the people of Cyprus?
§ Mr. Gallacher
On a point of Order. I am sorry that I did not hear the Minister's answer to my question, and perhaps it would be permissible for me to give to hon. Members opposite the advice that was given by Polonius?
Mr. Creech Jones
Will the Minister say what conditions are necessary or what conditions have to be fulfilled in the island before there is a return to a more responsible form of self-government?
§ Mr. Mathers
Will the Minister say when the censorship on "Embros" was removed; and is he aware that a reply was promised to me in December on this very subject and that it has not yet been given to me?
I have just received information that the censorship has been removed in that case. I think a reply is in course of being drafted in the Department, and that it will be sent to the hon. Member within a few hours.
§ Mr. H. G. Williams
In this matter will the right hon. Gentleman consult the Labour party executive who appear to know all about censorship?