HC Deb 24 April 1907 vol 173 cc27-8
MR. CAVE (Surrey, Kingston)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will state the number of aliens who have been naturalised in this country during the last year, and the amount received by way of fees for such naturalisation; whether he has been asked to reduce the fee; and, if so, what reply has been made to this request.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) 851 certificates of naturalisation (including 155 to seamen) were granted in the year 1906. The fees received in that year in respect of naturalisation amounted to £3,470. With regard to the amount of the fee and the question of reducing it, I can add nothing to the statement I made in answer to the hon. Member for North Salford, on 28th February last. A copy of his Question and of my Answer is appended.

"MR. BYLES (Salford, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department has his attention been drawn to the increasing settlement of Jewish inhabitants in Manchester, Salford, and other large towns of the Kingdom, is he aware that many of them desire naturalisation in this country, but are precluded from obtaining it by the fees they are called upon to pay; and will he explain why these fees are maintained at a prohibitive figure.

" (Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) The fee for the grant of a certificate of naturalisation has for the last twenty years been £5. The number of certificates granted every year is considerable, varying in the last five years from 686 to 978, and there is every year in addition a certain number of refusals. The average number of grants for the live years 1892— 6 was 494, and for the five years 1902— 6 was 850, an increase of about 70 per cent. It should be remembered that an alien must live for rive years in this country before he can be naturalised, and if the saving of £5 during that period presents any difficulty, that difficulty is greatly lessened by the existence of a number of agencies which enable him to accumulate the sum on payment of very small weekly subscriptions."