Skip to main content

Turkey (Computer Sale)

Volume 885: debated on Wednesday 29 January 1975

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the sending out of a British team of computer specialists in support of the supply of a United States manufactured computer to the Turkish Government when this may be utilised to aid the disposition of Turkish troops in Cyprus.

As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Trade told the House on 13th January, Her Majesty's Government were not involved in the sale of an American computer to Turkey, nor have we been involved in the despatch of computer specialists to Turkey or to the Turkish-held part of Cyprus.

I am grateful to the Minister for clarification of the facts, but does he agree that the reports which are of such a nature as to show an apparent partiality towards the Turkish Government support the view expressed earlier in the House today that there is a feeling of betrayal of the people of Cyprus, and of the Greek Cypriots in particular? Does he accept that we need early action on behalf of the Greek Cypriots rather than fine words?

On the need for early action, I have expressed the view of the Government and I gladly reiterate it. On the matter of reports which imply partiality, since the reports about a computer were entirely false and were described as such six weeks ago it is unnecessary for me to deny them any further, and it is not helpful for hon. Members to raise the question.

Is not United Nations Resolution No. 353 the most significant resolution yet to be tabled about the Cypriot struggle? Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the Foreign Secretary, who is to meet Mr. Ivor Richard tomorrow to discuss initiatives to be taken by the United Nations in furtherance of the resolution, will meet Dr. Kissinger to discuss this matter? Does not my right hon. Friend believe in open government and, therefore, in saying so?

I agree with all the facts my hon. Friend has described. The Government have obligations as a member of the United Nations to the resolutions of that body. We have obligations as a member of the Commonwealth to a Commonwealth country. We have obligations as guarantor of the Cyprus constitution to Cyprus itself. My right hon. Friend will do his best to observe those obligations. Consultations will take place in New York and eventually in Washington which will provide an opportunity to consider what should be our attitude in the United Nations and the co-operation we might receive from the United States. My right hon. Friend will explain to Dr. Kissinger what our policies on these matters are. I think he will expect, and I think his expectations will be fulfilled, that the Secretary of State will go on co-operating with us in the helpful way in which he has done so since the Cyprus crisis began.