HC Deb 29 June 1955 vol 543 cc394-5
41. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that a Treaty between China and Indonesia was signed in April last dealing with the question of dual nationality; if he has considered the official pronouncements of Mr. Chou En-lai respecting this Treaty; and if Her Majesty's Government will now propose a similar treaty between this country and China.

Mr. Turton

My right hon. Friend has seen the text of the Treaty and of the subsequent exchange of Notes between the Chinese and Indonesian Prime Ministers which was published on 15th June. He has also considered the statements made by Mr. Chou En-lai respecting this Treaty. This Treaty has not yet come into force. Before considering whether similar provisions would be appropriate to the complex and quite different circumstances of this country and those of its dependent territories most likely to be affected, it would be wise to observe how the Treaty works out in practice.

Mr. Sorensen

Meanwhile, is the Minister not aware that this problem of dual nationality is already exercising the minds of a number of people in the Colonies, causing considerable embarrassment, and, if there is a solution of this problem arrived at between China and Indonesia, cannot we at least investigate the possibility of the same kind of solution being applied at least to our Colonies?

Mr. Turton

I am aware of the problem, but it is important not only to recognise the principle but to see that the practice agreed upon is the correct one. The hon. Gentleman probably knows the history of this matter, that after the Treaty was published there were certain doubts about the imprecise nature of some of its provisions; hence the Notes between the Indonesian Prime Minister and Mr. Chou En-lai. Let us wait to see how this works out in practice.