No. 230 NAI DFA 1/56A

Despatch from Eamon de Valera to J.H. Thomas (London)
(No. 109) (Copy)

Dublin, 23 August 1934


With reference to my despatch No. 15 of the 6th February,1 enclosing a copy of the preliminary draft of the Heads of a proposed Bill to regulate the acquisition and loss of Irish nationality, and to make provision for the subject of Irish nationality generally, I have the honour to state, for the information of the Government of Great Britain, that the Citizenship Bill, 1934, was introduced, on the 27th June, in Dáil Éireann in the form of the accompanying draft.2 Since its introduction, no alteration has been made to the Bill, but some further provisions relating to fees are in course of drafting.

2. As the Government of Great Britain will observe, the terms of the Bill as introduced do not follow exactly the terms of the preliminary draft Heads originally transmitted to them. For reasons of internal administration, it was thought best to exclude from Section 2 of the Bill any provision to correspond with Head A, paragraph (b), which would have permitted citizenship of Saorstát Éireann to pass, in certain cases, through a female parent, without regard to the non-Saorstát citizenship of the male parent. Moreover, by the omission of this Head, the external policy of co-operation by mutual grant of national rights and privileges contemplated by Section 21 of the Bill may be more easily effected.

3. Referring to the objections raised in your despatch No. 1223 of the 9th July on the assumption that the terms of the Bill would follow the preliminary draft Heads enclosed in my despatch under reference, it will be seen that these objections do not arise on the Bill as now drafted.

4. With regard to the particular objection of principle put forward in paragraph 4 of your despatch, my Government wish to point out that the view of the common status referred to in that paragraph is not one in which representatives of this State at any time concurred. Suitable and adequate provision is made in the Bill for the granting of privileges in Saorstát Éireann to the nationals of other States on the basis of reciprocity. The Bill is, therefore, in the opinion of my Government, consistent with the sense and intention of the paragraphs of the Reports of the Conferences of 1929 and 1930, which relate to the subject matter of nationality.

I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient,
humble servant,
[stamped] (Sgd.) Eamon de Valera
Minister for External Affairs

1 See above No. 217.

2 Not printed.

3 Not printed.

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