HC Deb 31 July 1941 vol 373 cc1525-6
37. Wing-Commander James

asked the Home Secretary how many aliens serving in the Pioneer Corps have applied for naturalisation; and whether he will bear in mind the assurances repeatedly given to the House that admission to this country from Nazi oppression was to be for temporary transit only and was not to be a prelude to the granting of British citizenship?

Mr. H. Morrison

It was found necessary more than a year ago to suspend the consideration of applications for naturalisation at the present time. Inquirers are being informed that it has not been found possible to make special arrangements for dealing with applications from men serving with His Majesty's Forces and that service in the Pioneer Corps could not of itself be regarded as a special ground for naturalisation.

Wing-Commander James

Will my right hon. Friend answer the first part of the Question, as to how many applications have been made?

Mr. Morrison

I am afraid I could not do that without a great deal of research, but I imagine that the number may be fairly considerable.

Wing-Commander James

Is it not the case that the applications have to go through the usual channels, and therefore, must be available almost at once?

Mr. Morrison

I will go into that further, but in any case there was some difficulty in getting the figures in time for my answer.

Mr. A. Bevan

Is it not a fact that many aliens belonging to the Pioneer Corps are suffering great hardship, as many of them had their naturalisation papers almost completely through at the beginning of the war and many of them would be extremely desirable as citizens, and does not my right hon. Friend deprecate the malicious spirit behind the Question?

Mr. Morrison

That is a gross misrepresentation— a wild statement that my hon. Friend ought not to make. There is no malicious spirit about this.

Mr. Bevan

I think my right hon. Friend misunderstood me. I asked whether he did not deprecate the malicious spirit behind the original Question?

Mr. Speaker

It is not in Order for an hon. Member to comment in that way on another hon. Member's Question.

Colonel Arthur Evans

May I ask

Mr. Speaker


Colonel Evans

May I not ask a supplementary question on a very important point?

Mr. Speaker

There has been a considerable number of supplementary questions on this Question.

Forward to