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Nationality Law

Volume 959: debated on Thursday 30 November 1978

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8.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the White Paper on the nationality law.

I cannot yet say when we will be ready to publish a White Paper, but we hope to do so as soon as our consideration of the many issues involved has been completed.

I am grateful for that reply, but, in view of the fears expressed following publication of the Green Paper, and since there is still some time before the publication of the White Paper, will my hon. Friend take this opportunity to make clear that the Government do not intend to tamper through this intended legislation with the civic rights either of Commonwealth citizens who are settled here or of their children who are born here?

Will the Minister understand that the House is getting a little tired of the dilatory manner in which the Home Office deals with most matters—whether involving local radio, taxicabs or nationality? How much longer must the House wait for the Government's views on nationality?

Representations about this important and complex matter are still coming in. However dilatory we have been, we have not been as dilatory as has the right hon. Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Whitelaw) in producing what he said was a draft Bill which was on the stocks when the Tory Government left office in 1974.