HC Deb 13 June 1921 vol 143 cc40-1
62. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware of the serious disability suffered by married British subjects of British blood resident in Portugal and other foreign countries by reason of the fact that under British law their children, if born in a foreign country, are not entitled to British citizenship; and whether he will take such steps as may be necessary to secure that the children of parents of British blood, wherever born, are entitled to British nationality unless the laws of the State in which their parents are temporarily domiciled require the child to assume the nationality of the State of its birth, pending naturalisation in another State?


My hon. Friend has asked me to take this question, which deals with a matter well known to both him and me. The disability arises only if the father as well as the child has been born abroad. This is one of the points of nationality law on which it is intended to take the earliest opportunity of agreeing legislation with the self-governing Dominions.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this matter is very keenly felt indeed by the large British colony in Portugal, that the Portuguese Government raise no objection whatever to the children of British-born parents being recognised as British subjects, and that the only difficulty is on the part of the British Government; and does he not think it is very hard lines on the children of these British-born parents that they should be prevented from obtaining British nationality, which the Portuguese Government do not object to?


That is the same question, only three times the length.