HC Deb 27 November 1934 vol 295 cc645-6

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether his attention has been called to the Bill introduced by the Irish Free State Government to abolish British citizenship within the Irish Free State, contrary to the terms of the treaty between the two countries; and what action has been or is proposed to be taken by the British Government in the matter, in view of the assurances given to Irish loyalists at the time of the signing of the treaty?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the DOMINIONS (Mr. J. H. Thomas)

His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are in correspondence with the Irish Free State Government regarding the Irish Free State Citizenship Bill. They have informed the Irish Free State Government that the Bill cannot be regarded as making provision for the maintenance of what is known as "the common status" of subjects of His Majesty on the basis of common allegiance to the Crown as contemplated in the conclusions of the Imperial Conference of 1930 relating to nationality. At the same time I am advised that the Bill does not purport to, and could not in any case, deprive any person of his status as a British subject.


Will the Government in any public announcement they make, make it clear that that is so, as British citizenship was one of the safeguards which were said to be irrevocable and immutable when this Irish Constitution Act was passed?


The answer I have given is based upon the highest legal authority, and is deliberately intended to answer the point raised by the hon. Gentleman.