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Question of Palestine Citizenship Raised in House of Commons


The British Government was asked whether it proposed before dissolution of Parliament to take steps to confer the rights of British citizens upon Palestinians and to entitle British subjects to participate in the vote while residing in Palestine, in a question raised in the House of Commons yesterday by Colonel Josiah Wedwood, Labor M. P.

Major Ormsby-Gore, Under-Secretary for the Colonies, replied to Colonel Wedgwood in the negative, stating that Palestine citizens are not British subjects. They can secure British nationality only by naturalization, provided they satisfy the conditions of the Aliens Act.

Colonel Wedgwood raised the question whether there was any prospect of British citizens getting the vote in Palestine and whether the Colonial Office had contemplated the possibility of dual citizenship, Britsh and Palestinan, for Palestine subjects.

In reply, the Under-Secretary for the Colonies stated that according to international agreement, the status of Palestine is that of a provisional separate State under the British Mandate. Therefore, Colonel Wedgwood’s question involves an international interpretation making the proposed reform extremely difficult.

Sir Robert Thomas suggested that Major Ormsby-Gore should see that all Palestinian citizens return to Palestine as soon as possible.

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