Dr Thomas Shiels: The report of the Commission has not yet reached the Secretary of State, but it is expected in a few weeks, and my Noble Friend will then consider the suggestion in my hon. Friend's question.
Dr Thomas Shiels: I presume that my hon. Friend refers to the committee which has been appointed to consider economies in the Cyprus Estimates. My Noble Friend is not in a position to say when the report of that committee will be received.
Dr Thomas Shiels: I shall be glad to consider that question.
Dr Thomas Shiels: My Noble Friend is asking the Governor of Kenya to report upon the matter. I will communicate with the hon. Member when the report has been received.
Dr Thomas Shiels: The Commission commenced its sittings on or about the 11th May. No report of its proceedings has yet been received in the Colonial Office.
Dr Thomas Shiels: I presume that the right hon. Gentleman refers to the fact that no nomination papers were handed in for the four constituencies in the Jaffna peninsula, where the population consists predominantly of Ceylon Tamils, who are not regarded as Indians. I understand that the reason given by the persons responsible for this step was that the new constitution marks no advance towards self-government....
Dr Thomas Shiels: No, Sir. I do not think that that is an accurate statement. As a matter of fact, there are other Tamil candidates standing at the present time, and there are over 46 constituencies which are open to representatives of all races.
Dr Thomas Shiels: There is a distinction between the Indians and Ceylon Tamils, and the boycott has been confined to the four constituencies in the Jaffna district.
Dr Thomas Shiels: My Noble Friend has requested the Governor to inform the petitioners that he is unable in the meantime to revert to the former method of payment, but that he will review the position in the light of the Currency Commissioners' recent report, when the representations made by the petitioners will be carefully borne in mind, although no promise can be made that the decision will be varied.
Dr Thomas Shiels: I will convey that request to my Noble Friend.
Dr Thomas Shiels: No official negotiations with the Dutch Government are in progress, and no proposal for an embargo on extension of plantings by native producers is being discussed with them.
Dr Thomas Shiels: If and when the occasion arises, the Secretary of State will take the point mentioned by the hon. Member into consideration.
Dr Thomas Shiels: No such steps are at present in contemplation.
Dr Thomas Shiels: No, Sir, I have nothing to add to the reply.
Dr Thomas Shiels: No, Sir.
Dr Thomas Shiels: This matter has been under consideration and amending legislation has been enacted by the Cyprus Government to put an end to the system under which compulsory labour could be exacted for village road construction. The text of the amending law has just been received and is being examined.
Dr Thomas Shiels: Yes; I will ask the Governor to obtain a report on the subject from the Director of the Medical and Health Department of the Colony. I understand that when this question of the existence of under-nutrition was first brought to notice an investigation was ordered by the Acting oGvernor. The report is not yet to hand but I am taking steps to secure it.
Dr Thomas Shiels: It may be in a month's time.
Dr Thomas Shiels: The reply to the first part of the question is in the negative.
Dr Thomas Shiels: We called the attention of the Colonies to the Easter Act, but we have had no comment from them. We promised that if there was any prospect of an Order-in-Council being made to communicate with them further.