HC Deb 14 April 1938 vol 334 cc1297-8
40. Mr. Mander

asked the Home Secretary whether he has any statement to make with reference to the proposed application by the German Government of the German Registration Act of 3rd February, 1938, to Germans and former Austrians in this country; whether, so far as the British Government is concerned, such persons are free to take whatever action they think fit as regards registration; and whether the German plan is in accordance with the usual international practice?

Mr. Lloyd

The effect of the new German law to which the hon. Member refers is that every German national residing for longer than three months in the district of the same German Consulate is under an obligation to report to that Consulate, and to keep the Consulate informed of every change in his personal status and every change of address within the district. I believe that other States encourage their nationals while abroad to register with their local Consul, but it is, I think, unusual for them to require such detailed particulars. So far as His Majesty's Government are concerned, individual aliens who are resident in this country and are affected by the new law are entirely free to choose whether or not they will comply with its requirements.

Mr. Mander

Is my hon. Friend aware that the questions that are being asked at the German Consulate are of a very searching nature, and that considerable apprehension exists among Germans over here? Will he make it clear that German aliens in this country are subject to British, and not German law?

Mr. Lloyd

My right hon. Friend made that clear the other day.

Mr. Leach

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that we are now in a position to take from Germany some of her finest citizens?