§ Mr. Wilkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his estimate of the number of United Kingdom and Colonies passport holders resident overseas; and 336W if he will give a territorial breakdown of their country of settlement.
§ Mr. Anthony Royle
I regret that the amount of information available about the number of United Kingdom and Colonies passport holders, both patrial and non-patrial, resident abroad is insufficient for a worthwhile estimate to be made.
In certain countries British consular posts maintain registers of citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, but registration is purely on a voluntary basis; many people do not take advantage of this facility; and any information taken from the registers would give a far from accurate picture of the true numbers. In other countries, notably Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, South Africa and the EEC countries no registers are maintained, and it would be impossible to estimate the numbers of United Kingdom and Colonies passport holders resident in these countries.