HC Deb 12 November 1931 vol 259 cc247-8

asked the Home Secretary whether the Government has considered the position of British-born men and women who have acquired American or other foreign nationality and are desirous of returning and settling down in this country as the land of their birth; and whether, in the event of such persons undertaking not to seek work in the United Kingdom and giving guarantees as to their ability to maintain themselves, they will be allowed to settle permanently in this country?


This question has been the subject of anxious consideration for many months. My right hon. Friend has the greatest sympathy with British-born men and women who wish to return to the United Kingdom; but it must be born in mind that the persons in question have abandoned British nationality, and my right hon. Friend feels that favourable consideration of their ease should not be allowed to prejudice those who have thoughout retained their British nationality. Every case must be dealt with in the light of its own individual circumstances, including those referred to, but my right hon. Friend regrets that he can give no such general answer as is suggested.


In the special circumstances set out in this question, in which no employment is sought in this country, if a man can give guarantees as to his ability to maintain himself, cannot my hon. Friend see his way to lay down a definite policy?


My hon. Friend will appreciate that the important thing is not only that the Home Office should receive the undertaking of these people, but that my right hon. Friend should be convinced that they are in a position to carry it out.


I have suggested a guarantee.


Will my hon. Friend apply the same conditions to women as to men?

Viscountess ASTOR

Does the Under-Secretary consider that, when an Englishman marries a Frenchwoman or an American woman, he abandons his British nationality?

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