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Irish-Born Persons (British Nationality)

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 19 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedure he has prescribed for persons who are British subjects by birth having been born in the area which subsequently became Eire, and who have not been resident there since 1922, to establish their status as British subjects.

A person born in Eire but not resident there since 1922 may or may not have been an Eire citizen on 1st January, 1949. If he was not an Eire citizen on that date, he automatically became a British subject under Section 12 (4) of the British Nationality Act, 1948. If he was an Eire citizen on that date, he may claim to remain a British subject on the grounds specified in Section 2 (1) of the British Nationality Act, 1948. No special claim form has been prescribed.

Is the Home Secretary aware that these matters are rather difficult for ordinary people to understand and that many of us are receiving numerous inquiries on this subject; and would it be possible for the right hon. Gentleman's Department to publish in simple terms the situation in relation to the various classes of people—for example, those born of British parents in what is still United Kingdom territory, and so forth—so that everybody who is interested may be able to know and to understand the position, because at present many inquiries are still being received?