War Office and Ministry of Defence: Sovereign Base Areas Administration, Cyprus: Registered Files (SBA Series)

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Details of WO 383
Reference:WO 383
War Office and Ministry of Defence: Sovereign Base Areas Administration, Cyprus: Registered Files (SBA Series)

The records in this series concern general administrative and policy matters reflecting the range of functions carried out by the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) at Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Cyprus.

Among the subjects covered in the files are police and judicial matters; HM Customs and related revenue affairs; agriculture; land registration; employment of locally-engaged personnel and general day-to-day administration.

Date: 1956-1973
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department SBA file series
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Creator: Ministry of Defence, 1947-
War Office, 1857-1964
Physical description: 19 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure
Immediate source of acquisition: War Office , from 1993
, from 1993
Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

Following the successful negotiation of Cypriot independence, and the creation of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, two Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) were retained by Great Britain at Akrotiri and Dhekelia following the military withdrawal from the rest of the island. It was considered that Britain could maintain the necessary military presence to cover its interests in the Middle East only by retaining full sovereignty in these two areas.

The SBAs include substantial military installations, but administratively are integrated closely with the rest of independent Cyprus whose government performs some functions on behalf of Her Majesty's Government. There are no frontiers or restrictions on movement, and many Cypriots work there.

The relationship between Britain and the government of the Republic of Cyprus, and the arrangements concerning the establishment and management of the SBAs, were set out in the 1960 'Treaty Concerning the Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus' (together with the integrated Exchange of Notes) (Treaty series No 4 (1961), Cmnd 1252, 1961), which provided for the security and effective operation of the British Defence facilities on the island.

The Chief Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas was appointed in August 1960. Initially, he was the senior Royal Air Force officer commanding in the Near East, and subsequently has always been a serving officer in Her Majesty's Armed Forces. In July 1962 the appointment was vested in a new joint-service command: Headquarters British Forces Cyprus (and its successors).

Administration of the SBAs is separate from (and the chief administrator has no responsibility for) the military forces on the island. He is accountable to the secretary of state through his own chain of command.

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