Opinion No. 1880
NATIONALITY OF PERSONS BORN IN TERRITORY OF NEW GUINEA TO CHINESE NATIONALS: MEANING OF ‘PROTECTED PERSON’
NATIONALITY AND CITIZENSHIP ACT 1948
14 April 1950
The Executive Committee, New Guinea Chinese Union
I refer to my letter dated 6th March, 1950, in reply to yours dated 3rd February, 1950, in which you make enquiries regarding the nationality of persons born to Chinese parents in the Territory of New Guinea. I assume that your enquiry is concerned with the children of parents of Chinese nationality.
The position under Australian law is that persons born in the Territory of New Guinea of fathers who are not Australian citizens or British subjects do not acquire Australian citizenship or British nationality at birth. Whether the persons to whom your letter refers acquire Chinese nationality is a question to be answered in accordance with the law of China, on which it is not within my province to advise.
When regulations are made defining ‘protected persons’ for the purposes of the Nationality and Citizenship Act of the Commonwealth it is probable that the children referred to will become ‘protected persons’ for the purposes of that Act, and, thus, while not becoming Australian citizens or British subjects, will cease to be aliens within the meaning of that Act, and will occupy an intermediate position. I understand that this question is receiving the consideration of the Department of Immigration.
Children born in the circumstances referred to by you are subject to certain disabilities by reason of the fact that they are aliens. Particulars of these disabilities are ascertainable by reference to the laws of the Territory.
[Vol. 39, p. 103]