Clause 3. — (Power of Parliament of Dominion to legislate extra-territorially.)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 24th November 1931.

Alert me about debates like this

The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. J. H. Thomas):

If there were any prospect of the fears of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman being realised I should take my stand with him in refusing to agree to any Act of Parliament which might deprive me of my nationality. I hasten to assure him straight away, on the autho- rity of all the best legal advice, that that is the real answer to his suggestion. I would also point out that our fellow subjects in the Dominions of Australia, Canada and South Africa are very jealous of their British nationality, and I am sure it will occur to him that their representatives, who were responsible for these words, would feel equally jealous. Obviously, he was not aware that the Law Officers of Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the Irish Free State, who are as jealous on this point as any Member of this House, were themselves unanimously responsible for the drafting of this Clause. The only answer I can give to my right hon. Friend is that, as we are at present advised by all the competent legal authorities in the British Commonwealth, as well as our Law. Officers of the Crown, there is nothing whatever in this Clause as it stands that would deprive anyone of his British nationality.