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Volume 229: debated on Thursday 22 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were granted British citizenship in (a) 1974, (b) 1979 and (c) 1992; and if he will make a statement.

In 1974 and 1979 respectively, 69,657 and 29,500 people were granted citizenship of the United Kingdom. In 1992, 42,241 people were granted British citizenship, excluding the number granted that status under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990.

Does my hon. Friend agree that those figures show that Conservative Governments operate firm and fair controls on immigration? Is it not the case that Opposition parties would abolish some of those controls, which at present reduce the flow of people coming into this country and ensure better race relations?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Opposition Members have consistently opposed our legislative proposals and the Asylum Bill, which is now the Asylum Act. The Government will maintain their firm but fair immigration controls on non-EC nationals, and in so doing underpin good race relations in this country.