HC Deb 05 June 1946 vol 423 cc1983-4
26. Squadron-Leader Donner

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether provision has been made and, if so, upon what grounds, for a Chinese born in China who, whilst still retaining his allegiance to the Chinese Republic, be comes a Malayan Union citizen by reason of his residence in the Colony of Singapore, to be entitled to a British passport or to any other passport issued by any British authority; and has the consent of the Chinese Government been sought.

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

No such provision has yet been made. The whole question of the qualifications for Malayan Union citizenship, including that of residence in Singapore, has been deferred, as was stated in this House on 18th March, pending local consultations which are now in progress.

27. Squadron-Leader Donner

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in which Crown Colonies a Chinese resident, whose birthplace is outside the colony, is permitted to acquire citizenship rights without renouncing his Chinese nationality; and under what legal provision in each case.

Mr. George Hall

Chinese residents in any British Colony who apply for naturalization as British subjects are re- quired to submit a signed declaration renouncing their allegiance to the Chinese Government, but I understand that under Chinese law the grant of British naturalization does not entail the loss of Chinese nationality.

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not the case that the British are allowed citizenship rights and maintain their British nationality?

28. Squadron-Leader Donner

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that an official estimate of the population of Singapore Island on 31st December, 1940, showed the following percentages: Chinese 78, Malays 10, Indians 8, others 4; whether, in respect of the Chinese population, he is in a position to supply any estimate of the ratio between the persons who are Chinese subjects but not British subjects, and the persons who have the dual nationality of Chinese subjects and British subjects; and what the balance of power of the Singapore electorate will be when the Colony has the self-government promised to it between the persons born in the Colony and the persons born in China.

Mr. George Hall

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, it is estimated that there are now 690,000 Chinese in Singapore, of whom 414,000 or 60 per cent, are Chinese nationals, while 276,000 or 40 per cent, are of dual nationality. As regards the third part of the Question, exact figures of the present population of Singapore are not available, but it is probable that some 50 per cent, are locally born. The answer to this part of the Question would, however, depend on a number of matters, including the qualifications laid down for the franchise and the composition of the population of Singapore at the time.

Squadron-Leader Donner

Are we to understand from that reply that the Chinese who, according to Chinese law, owe a single allegiance to China, are now to be given Malayan Union citizenship without their numbers having been previously accurately assessed?

Mr. Hall

That is a matter which is forming the basis of discussions which are taking place at the present time concerning Malayan Union citizenship.

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