17 DECEMBER 1943, Page 14


SIR,—The writer of the article "Greece's Expectations" in The Spectator of December 3rd states that it would be just, on ethnological grounds, for Cyprus to "return to Greek sovereignty."

Cyprus cannot "return" to a political cOndition which she has never known. In the course of her chequered history she has been held by Assyria, Egypt (twice), Persia, Phoenicia, Macedonia, Rome, Byzantium, England (twice), the Knights Templars, the French Lusignans, Venice and Turkey, but never by Greece.

This verbal inaccuracy, however, in no way weakens your corre- spondent's argument. The Cypriotes have been predominantly Greek from the dawn of history, and except for the small Turkish minority a plebiscite today would be too per cent, in favour of union with Greece. We leased the island from the Turks, without any regard for the wishes of the inhabitants, for purely strategic reasons. Present-day opinion would not countenance similar transactions. If considerations of inter- national security require an air base in that part of the Mediterranean in the post-war world, the precedent of the American bases in the West Indies could be applied in the case of a Cyprus under Greek sovereignty.—

Tallboys, Abinger Hammer, Surrey.