§ Mr. MANDER
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what arrangements are in force in regard to the publication of newspapers in Cyprus; and what are the reasons which justify the special provisions with regard to licences, bonds and sureties?
§ Dr. SHIELS
Under a law recently enacted by the Legislative Council of Cyprus to amend and consolidate the local legislation relating to the publication of newspapers, it is provided,inter alia, that every newspaper proprietor must:
- (1) Obtain a permit to publish from the Government;
- (2) execute a bond in the sum of £200 with one or more sureties for the payment of any penalty imposed upon him by the Courts for seditious or other libel.
The law also contains a provision to the effect that no permit shall be granted unless the applicant can satisfy the Government that he is a responsible person of good character. The reasons which justify legislation of this character are to be found in the peculiar nature of newspaper publication in Cyprus and the abuses to which it has been subjected. The practice has been for the real proprietor of a newspaper to obtain the services, as publisher, of a person of no responsible standing, who, under the law, was free to indulge in publication of libellous articles for which he could not effectively be made answerable. The object of the new law is to put an end to this practice, and to make it necessary for the proprietors to give definite security for compliance with any penalties inflicted on them by the Courts.