Britain is coming under renewed pressure to provide full citizenship for Hong Kong's ethnic minorities once the bill to give full British passports to war wives and widows becomes law. Former Governor Lord Wilson spoke of Britain paying off a 'debt of honour' to those who fought in the defence of the territory as the Hong Kong (War Wives and Widows) (No 2) Bill passed another stage in the House of Lords early yesterday. The bill grants full citizenship to the 54 wives and widows of Hong Kong's World War II servicemen. Lord Wilson was among several peers who called on the Government to act over the ethnic minorities who may become stateless after the handover. 'The number is small and the concern of those people is great,' he said. 'Something needs to be done.' He noted shadow foreign secretary Robin Cook had said a Labour government would allow the ethnic minorities to settle in Britain without the current criteria of them having to come under 'pressure' to leave the territory. Several peers pointed out that there was no clear definition of what that 'pressure' might be and said it would be wrong if it were only to act 'at the last minute'. Some believe the British Government may offer the ethnic minorities full citizenship just before the handover in the hope that most will have acquired other passports by then. But Home Office Minister Baroness Blatch, who said the bill should be law by the end of next month, refused to be drawn on further protective measures. She said Prime Minister John Major had said that setting out a specific set of circumstances in which the ethnic minorities might come to Britain would not necessarily give them better protection than the 'broad guarantees' in place. There was no mention of Labour's earlier mistaken blocking of the first bill in the Commons as the Second Reading stage was passed in the Lords last night.