HC Deb 06 November 1940 vol 365 cc1327-8
34. Miss Rathbone

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that there is considerable uncertainty as to the extent and conditions under which it is possible for aliens, whether belonging to Allied countries, neutral countries or friendly aliens of enemy origin, to join the Navy or any force auxiliary to it; and under what conditions can such aliens apply at recruiting offices with the hope that, if personally suitable, they will be accepted for enlistment distinguishing, if necessary, between the three groups indicated?

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

Full information on all the points raised by my hon. Friend can be obtained at any Combined Recruiting Centre. I am glad to say that the number of applications for entry into the Royal Navy greatly exceeds the requirements of the Service, except in a limited number of special categories. This means that every alien entered for the general branches excludes a British candidate. Only aliens with special qualifications are, therefore, accepted either as ratings or as candidates for temporary commissions. No aliens of enemy origin are entered. Polish, Norwegian, Dutch and French nationals can apply for entry to their Naval Services operating with us.

Miss Rathbone

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether that answer applies to the Women's Auxiliary to the Navy, or whether they can apply, as we have just been told they can in a similar branch of the other Services?

Mr. Alexander

I have not looked into that point, but I understand that as a general rule it would apply.