HC Deb 17 April 1946 vol 421 cc2670-2
31. Squadron-Leader Donner

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the proposed establishment of a Malayan Union, he has made any approach to the Government of the Chinese Republic to obtain permission for all Chinese desiring to secure Malayan Union citizenship to divest themselves of allegiance to China; and, if so, at what date and with what result.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. George Hall)

Before His Majesty's Government's policy regarding Malayan Union citizenship was announced detailed consideration was given to the point raised in the hon. and gallant Member's Question. I understand that no divestment of Chinese nationality is possible under Chinese law and no approach was therefore made to the Government of the Chinese Republic. The possession of Chinese nationality by Malayan Union citizens would not, however, create a novel situation. Their position will be no more anomalous than that of Chinese born in the Straits Settlements or other parts of His Majesty's dominions who have in the past been, and will continue to be, British subjects and therefore of dual nationality.

Squadron-Leader Donner

In view of that very important statement, do not the present proposals constitute a very great potential menace to the whole Malay race unless the proposals in regard to citizenship are modified?

Mr. Hall

That is a matter to which the Governor is giving consideration at the present time.

75. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is intended under the Malayan Union Order in Council to transfer to the Malayan Union assets of the Malay States located outside Malaya.

Mr. Georģe Hall

The only Malay State which is outside the Malayan Union is Brunei. It is not intended to transfer Brunei's assets to the Union. All assets, whether located in Malaya or in any other country of the Malay States named in the Order in Council have been so transferred, with the exception of any assets which may fall within the terms of paragraph 12 (d) of the White Paper (Cmd. 6749).

76. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies which Malayan Sultans have denounced the agreements signed between them and Sir Harold MacMichael.

Mr. Georģe Hall

I have been informed by the Sultan of Perak that all the Malay Sultans have given notice that they cannot recognise as effective the agreements they signed with Sir Harold MacMichael. At my request the Governor of the Malayan Union has informed the Sultans in reply that I am aware of no circumstances attending the signing of the agreements which would justify the Sultans in refusing to recognise these agreements as effective, and that I cannot admit the right of one party to withdraw from engagements solemnly entered into.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In view of the unanimous reaction of one set of parties to the bargain, does the right hon. Gentleman really intend, like Shylock, to insist on the letter of his bond, and is he aware of the consequences that attended that attitude that adroit negotiator?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Has the right hon. Gentleman any comments to make on the very remarkable letter in yesterday's "Times," signed by a very large number of advisers to the various Malay States?

Mr. Hall

This is not the place to make a comment upon such a letter A comment was made in reply to the letter by the Public Relations Officer of the Colonial Office yesterday.

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