HC Deb 03 July 1932 vol 156 cc18-9

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that under Article 3 of the Draft Constitution of the Irish Free State it is possible for a German subject who has been domiciled in the area of the jurisdiction of the Irish Free State for not less than seven years to become a citizen of the Irish Free State; whether, if such German subject becomes a citizen of the Irish Free State in such circumstances, he will automatically be regarded as a British subject; whether there is any Overseas Dominion in which a German subject can become a subject of that Dominion, and ipso facto a British subject, without taking out naturalisation papers, implying, as these do, investigation of that person's suitability to become a British subject; and whether he will make representations to the Provisional Government to amend Article 3 of the Drart Constitution so as to bring it into conformity with the naturalisation conditions in the Overseas Dominions?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Churchill)

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative and to the second in the negative. The definition of Irish Free State citizenship in Article 3 of the Draft Constitution is not the definition of a national status. There is nothing in this Constitution, or in the Constitution of any other self-governing Dominion which enables an alien to become a British subject otherwise than by naturalisation. The last part of the question does not, therefore, arise.


Are we to understand that in this particular case no Ger- man subject who becomes an Irish citizen under Clause 3 of the Draft Constitution can become a British subject in this country without taking out naturalisation papers?


That is what I endeavoured to say in my answer. I consulted my legal advisers, in order to make the point plain beyond all doubt.

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