§ An alien who has been naturalised before the passing of this Act may apply to the Secretary of State for a certificate of naturalisation under this Act, and the Secretary of State may grant to him a certificate of naturalisation under this Act, and the Secretary of State may grant to him a certificate on such terms and conditions as he may think fit.
§ Mr. GLYN-JONES
I beg to move to leave out the Clause.
I move this Amendment in order to ascertain what the position will be under this Bill. At present I do not know whether a person who is naturalised under this Clause and who receives a certificate of naturalisation at the hands of the Home Secretary in this country is by law a British subject in the Colonies. It may be that in practice he is, but I do not know whether he has any right, by reason of having the certificate of naturalisation here, to be accepted in the Colonies. I understand that the object of the Clause is that if a person in a colony holds a certificate of naturalisation there prior to the passing of this Bill and wants to avail himself of naturalisation here, he will have to apply for a certificate under this Bill. Will it be necessary for those who at present have old certificates granted by the Home Secretary in this country to obtain fresh certificates under this Bill in order to be regarded as British subjects in the Colonies?
§ Mr. BOOTH
I beg to second the Amendment, but for a very different reason. There is a sentiment in this Clause which I am sorry to see scattered throughout the Bill with a degree of profusion which is alarming. There is a great deal too much of legislation of the kind of this Clause which gives power to the Secretary of State to do anything he likes. He can admit whom he likes, and keep out whom he likes. I should prefer a more direct and simple Bill to the effect that my right hon. Friend should have complete jurisdiction and need not consult anyone and so end it and I daresay he would prefer it too. The latter part is what I object to. The Secretary of State may grant a certificate on such terms and conditions as he may think fit. These powers are given far too freely nowadays and I very much regret it.
The object of the Clause is to deal with those cases, which have produced this Bill, of persons living in our Dominions who have been naturalised there and up to now have been unable to obtain British naturalisation. Under this Clause a certificate can be granted to them by the Home Secretary making them citizens of the Empire as a result of the naturalisation which they have acquired in past years in the Dominion. It is unnecessary that any certificate should be acquired in the Dominions themselves because the Dominions have accepted British naturalisation as running throughout the Empire as a whole.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.