Nationality Law.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 16th February 1922.

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Photo of Mr John Hopkins Mr John Hopkins , St Pancras South East

33.

asked the Prime Minister if the interchange of views with the Dominions is now completed on the subject of British nationality; and whether he can promise that legislation will be proposed this Session to amend the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1914?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

No, Sir; as stated by the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on Monday last, replies have not yet been received from all the Dominions. Every effort, however, is being made to obtain the concurrence of all the self-governing Dominions, so that the Bill may be ready for the first suitable opportunity for introduction.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

In view of the long delay in dealing with this matter and its uncontentious nature, will the right hon. Gentleman ask those Dominions which have not yet communicated their views to indicate their views by telegraph, especially as the Prime Ministers of the various Dominions have expressed their assent?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I have stated that every effort is being made to secure the concurrence of the self-governing Dominions as rapidly as possible, but I think we must treat them with becoming courtesy. It is not proper for us to hurry them unduly.

Photo of Mr John Hopkins Mr John Hopkins , St Pancras South East

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that this agreement has been going on for seven years, and there is increasing bitterness in every British community?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

Yes, Sir; but the self-governing Dominions are self-governing, and we cannot dictate to them. They must be allowed to answer in their own time.

Photo of Mr John Hopkins Mr John Hopkins , St Pancras South East

May I further ask the right hon. Gentleman, was not the Act that we wish to amend passed by this House without any consultation with the Dominions?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I am not sure that that is true, one way or the other, but I am sure that it is desirable that there should be uniformity in this matter within the Empire; it is very important to attain that if we can.