HC Deb 23 July 1935 vol 304 c1633

I beg to present a petition signed by 136 women representing 100 women's societies in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Bermuda, and Ceylon. The petition is based, first, on the fact that at Geneva in 1931 the British Government declared through its delegate, Dame Edith Lyttleton, that the British Government considered it right that all disabilities of married women in matters of nationality should be removed, and that in so far as nationality is concerned a married woman should be in the same position as a man, married or unmarried, or any single woman. Secondly, that the above declared policy is a just and right reform, and, thirdly, that four of the Dominions, by statement or action, have shown that they are not opposed to such reform. But the absence of any statement by the British Government that it is willing to give legal effect to the above declaration of policy is a difficulty in the way of the general adoption of this reform throughout the Dominions. Therefore, your petitioners pray the House of Commons to ask the British Government immediately to declare that it is willing to have legal effect given immediately to the above quoted declaration of policy, and to take all possible steps to secure the early passage of such legislation so that a woman, married or unmarried, shall have the same right as a man to enjoy independent nationality in her own person, and the same right to retain or change her nationality. And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.

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