§ 37. Sir P. HURD
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether 1228 he has considered what will be the position of British subjects in the Irish Free State under the Irish Free State Citizenship Bill which has been adopted in principle in the Dail?
The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. J. H. Thomas)
The Irish Free State Citizenship Bill is concerned with Free State citizenship. As I explained in my reply to the hon. Member for South Kensington (Sir W. Davison) on the 27th November, I am advised that no one possessing the status of British subject is, under the Bill, deprived of that status.
§ Sir P. HURD
Will steps be taken to enable these loyalists to move to parts of the Empire where they can live in peace as British subjects?
I hope it will not be necessary for any steps to be taken. I have defined, on the best authoritative legal advice, the position of these people. By that I stand and that is the view of the Government.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Is it not proposed by the British Government to lodge a serious protest with the Free State Government against this direct breach of the irrevocable safeguards of the treaty?
We have already, long before any question arose in this House, explained to the Irish Free State our views on the subject.
§ Lieut.-Commander AGNEW
Are we to understand that these citizens, to whom Mr. de Valera believes his Bill will apply, are to be instructed by the Free State Government no longer to avail themselves of the services of British consular officers throughout the world?
I do not know what Mr. de Valera's idea on that matter may be. I have explained what the British Government's view is, and by that we stand.