§ 29. Colonel Sir A. HOLBROOK
asked the Home Secretary if the memorial of Henry Isadora Kerner for letters of naturalisation was presented to the Home Office so far back as the 15th August, 1914; and whether he will take some steps to secure the improved administration of his Department and, in particular, the framing of regulations recording the principles upon which memorials for naturalisation at the instance of men and women, not former alien enemies or stateless, should receive adequate attention with reasonable promptitude?
§ Mr. SHORTT
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second and third parts, I can add nothing to my reply to a similar inquiry by the hon. and gallant Member on the 9th instant.
§ 38 and 39. Mr. MILLS
asked the Home Secretary (1) whether applications for grants of naturalisation are dealt with strictly in order of application, or whether specially early consideration is given to applications for persons of superior wealth, influence, or pertinacity; whether he is prepared to refund the fees paid By persons whose applications 218 have been more than five years awaiting consideration;
(2) whether any and, if so, how many applications for naturalisation granted during the year 1921 were in respect of applications lodged since the Armistice; and whether he will direct that prior attention shall be given to applications which have been pending since the early months of the War?
§ Mr. SHORTT
It is not possible without prolonged inquiry to say how many of the applications for naturalisation granted during 1921 were lodged since the Armistice. Naturalisation Regulation 14 provides that the fee payable on the submission of an application shall in no circumstances be returned. Applications are not dealt with strictly in order of application, for, as I informed the hon. Member for Caerphilly on the 13th February, if an applicant submits any special reasons why his application should be expedited they are always considered, but no special priority is given to the classes of persons referred to in the first question.