HC Deb 03 March 1948 vol 448 cc370-1
17. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what further action has been taken in the British zone of Germany and of Austria to deal with the problem of unmarried women nationals of those countries who have had children by British fathers; what attempt has been made to secure records of the application or needs of these women; and what proposals by German and Austrian authorities respectively have been considered in relationship to this matter.

Mr. Bevin

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to his Question of 2nd February, 1948. The legal position is being considered. The normal procedure for the registration of births in both Germany and Austria enables the mother of a child to record whom she claims the father to be. The Austrian authorities have been informed that we are hoping that the problem of unmarred mothers who have children by foreign fathers will be dealt with by the United Nations Economic and Social Organisation, since this is a matter of interest to a number of countries. In the absence of a central German authority, no representations have been received in respect of German women.

Mr. Sorensen

While that reply gives a certain amount of encouragement, can we take the initiative and indicate to the United Nations that we are prepared to act along lines which are highly desirable?

Mr. Bevin

The whole question pf nationality laws and of the transference of children is very complicated, and I cannot give an answer to a generalised question such as my hon. Friend has asked.