§ 2.39 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government: (1) Whether, after the Republic of Ireland Act passed by the Eire Legislature comes into force, citizens of Eire resident in Great Britain will be liable to National Service; (2) Whether they contemplate the introduction and passage of any legislation to deal with any aspect of the situation arising from the coming into force of the Republic of Ireland Act which has been passed by the Eire Legislature.]
§ VISCOUNT ADDISON
My Lords, in reply to the first part of the noble and learned Viscount's Question, by virtue of Section 3 (2) of the British Nationality Act. 1948, the National Service Acts will continue, as now, to apply to citizens of Eire who are of military age and are ordinarily resident in Great Britain. In reply to the second part of the Question, His Majesty's Government have under consideration the question of what legislation may be required to give effect to the policy enunciated in another place by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister, on November 25 last.
§ VISCOUNT SIMON
My Lords, arising out of that answer, may I ask whether 177 attention is being paid to the letter which was published in The Times on February 28 from Serjeant Sullivan, who is widely regarded as a considerable authority on such matters? In that letter Serjeant Sullivan points out that, in his view, when the Republic of Eire comes into being, it must be regarded as a foreign State. He further points out that the phrase "citizens of Eire" in the British Nationality Act, which was passed by Parliament last July, must be interpreted as referring to persons who are under the allegiance to the Crown and within the Commonwealth. I do not ask, of course, that these views should be discussed now, but I wish to inquire whether serious consideration is being given to these views which obviously, if they are correct, though special to the case of Ireland, are of large importance.
§ VISCOUNT ADDISON
I can assure the noble and learned Viscount that consideration is being given to that matter.