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Town Council, Limassol

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if the elected mayor and councillors of Limassol, Cyprus, are still in prison; how soon they are to be released; and if he will consider amending the provisions of the law regarding the naming of streets which the town council did not comply with.

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. Since, as I informed my hon. Friend last week, the persons concerned have been committed for contempt. Their release is a matter for the Supreme Court of Cyprus and I can make no statement on it. The possibility raised in the last part of the Question is already being examined and I have sought the Governor's views, but it will be recognised that consideration of such a matter must be related to the general situation in Cyprus.

Can my right hon. Friend say if it is not the case that the street name to which objection is now taken was actually in force for four years from the end of the war, from 1945 to 1949; and why has it suddenly become so desperately important to change the name that the mayor and councillors can actually be sent to prison for not wanting to do so?

There was a considerable period during which the streets had no names at all which caused a great deal of inconvenience to everyone, including the postmen.

Can my right hon. Friend answer my question? Is it not a fact that the street was named "28th October Street" for four years after the end of the war?

Does not my right hon. Friend think that to keep elected representatives of the people in prison on the grandiose charge of contempt of court and to base all that on so trivial a question as is involved here is against the whole spirit of our Colonial policy?

That is a criticism of the courts, and I am not prepared to comment on it.