HC Deb 25 March 1948 vol 448 c3318
12. Mr. William Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the fact that a man can only be a British subject by birth, by nationalisation, or by annexation, he will institute legislation to make it possible to become a British subject by secession, and so make it legal for subjects of Sarawak to join the British Commonwealth.

Mr. Ede

I presume that the hon. Member means "naturalisation," not "nationalisation."

I would refer the hon. Member to Clause 11 of the British Nationality Bill, which has been introduced in another place and makes provision on this point. I understand that the inhabitants of Sarawak are already British subjects, and no further action with regard to their national status is therefore needed.

Mr. Teeling

How does that apply, even if they have had passports to show that they are British subjects by annexation? If there is no such thing as cession, presumably what has happened in the past has all been illegal?

Mr. Ede

If they are described on the passports as British subjects, no matter by what means they have become British subjects, those passports should apply as British passports.

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