HC Deb 06 March 1946 vol 420 cc323-4
33. Mr. Thomas Reid

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if it is proposed that in the future, residents in Malaya who acquire a Malayan Union citizenship, will not be British subjects; and what is to be the nationality of those residents in parts of Malaya who before the war were British subjects.

Mr. Creech Jones

Those acquiring Malayan Union citizenship in the future will not thereby become British subjects, though they will be British protected persons. Nobody in Malaya, however, who was previously a British subject will lose that status, and persons born in the Settlements of Penang and Malacca in the future will, as in the past, be British subjects.

Mr. Reid

Can the Minister give an assurance that it is his intention to throw open Malayan citizenship to all bona fide residents in Malaya irrespective of race?

Mr. Creech Jones

There must be certain qualifications. The House will have the opportunity on Friday of expressing its views on this matter.

Mr. Gammans

Does this mean that people who are not British subjects and who continue to pay allegiance to a foreign Power can, in fact, acquire Malayan citizenship and enjoy equal rights with British subjects?

Mr. Creech Jones

That is one of the points which will be dealt with in the Order in Council and on which the House will have the opportunity of expressing its views on Friday.