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Volume 932: debated on Wednesday 25 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has happened to the goods, vehicles and agricultural equipment left by the Turkish Cypriots on British based soil in 1974–75; whether these goods, vehicles and agricultural equipment are being serviced; and when these goods, vehicles and agricultural equipment will be returned to their owners.

The goods, vehicles and agricultural equipment left in the Western Sovereign Base Area in Cyprus by their Turkish Cypriot owners are at present stored in a fenced and protected compound, at Episkopi. Regular surveys of the goods and other equipment are made by the Sovereign Base Area authorities and the heavier vehicles are kept as roadworthy as practicable. Some of the soft goods are, from time to time, condemned on grounds of hygiene and destroyed.

The British Government would be pleased to see these possessions returned to their owners, in circumstances mutually acceptable to all concerned, and hope that this question can be resolved in inter-communal discussions under United Nations auspices. The Government have made it clear that they can accept no responsibility for these goods, although considerable efforts have been made by the British authorities to prevent loss or damage despite there being no obligation to do so.