§ 18. Sir Robert Young
asked the Home Secretary whether he has been made aware that W. Drichel came to this country when he was four years old; that he has been in this country ever since and is now 61 years of age; that he has been a member of the Amalgamated Engineering Union for 30 years, made an application for naturalisation in 1938, to which no reply was given; whether a second application has been made, with particulars of his present employment on important war work, and with what results?
§ Mr. H. Morrison
In the 12 months preceding September, 1939, many more applications for naturalisation were received than it was possible for the police to investigate in that period, and on the outbreak of war there were many applications outstanding, of which Mr. Drichel's was one. In view of the need for concentrating the services of the Home Office staff and of the police on work which is essential in wartime, it was decided to suspend all naturalisation work, except as regards applications from British born women and a few exceptional cases where an individual's immediate naturalisation is required in the national interest for special purposes connected with the war effort. The number of such exceptional cases has not amounted to 50 in the last three years. No second application from Mr. Drichel can be traced, but, as I have previously stated, there are numerous cases in which it is urged that the applicant is engaged on important war work, and I regret that it is not possible on that ground to single this case out from many others.