Oral Answers to Questions — Cyprus (Constitution).

– in the House of Commons on 21st January 1942.

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Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, as the Cypriot people are loyal supporters of the Allied cause, which they have proved by their sacrifices in the battles of Africa, Greece and on the Western front in 1940, where they have suffered 2,256 casualties, he is prepared to restore civil liberties to the people of Cyprus; and will he make a statement about the restoration of the Constitution which was revoked in 1931?

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

I am glad to have this opportunity of expressing on behalf of His Majesty's Government their sense of the very valuable contribution which Cyprus is making to His Majesty's Forces and to the Imperial war effort generally. In the present war situation, however, my Noble Friend does not consider it practicable to take up the questions to which the hon. Member refers.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Is not my hon. Friend aware that this imperialistic determination to keep other people as subjects plays beautifully into the hands of the Axis Powers and menaces the liberty not only of the Colonial people but of the people of this country? Will he urge his Noble Friend to reconsider the matter and institute a measure of liberty in Cyprus?

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

I am sure my hon. Friend appreciates the difficulty at the present time—

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

I do not appreciate any difficulty.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

The attention of the Colonial Office and the local Government is taken up with matters arising out of the war.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

As there is a war on, is it not more desirable to win people as Allies rather than to try and maintain them as subjects?