HC Deb 07 December 1920 vol 135 cc1907-8

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the bitter resentment felt by British subjects resident in foreign countries at the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1914, which prevents the grandchildren born abroad of British subjects from claiming British nationality; and, in view of the loss to the Empire, both in peace and war, caused by this casting off of British citizens, will he take steps to restore the position which always existed previous to December, 1914?


The Prime Minister has asked me to reply. Without accepting as accurate all the statements contained in this question, I am well aware of the difficult points of nationality law with which it deals. The matter has already been referred to a Special Conference appointed by the Imperial War Conference of 1918, with a view to the promotion at a suitable opportunity of remedial legislation in concert with the Governments of other parts of the British Empire.


Will that conference take into serious consideration the fact that every British Chamber of Commerce in South America has repeatedly presented urgent petitions to the Government, in this respect, and if this is not remedied, will the sons of those who came to fight for us be debarred from British nationality?


Those points are all realised. There is no means of dealing with them except in conjunction with the other Governments of the Empire. The points referred to by my hon. Friend will certainly not be lost sight of by the conference.