HC Deb 06 June 1946 vol 423 cc2136-7
12. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of applications for naturalisation now awaiting decision; and what prospects there are for these requests to be granted.

Mr. Ede

Over 22,000, Sir; these applications will be dealt with in accordance with the arrangements announced in my statement of 28th February as rapidly as is possible consistently with the need for making' full inquiries as to the applicants' suitability for naturalisation.

Sir T. Moore

Would the right hon. Gentleman say if there are any priorities in selection and, if so, what priorities take precedence over the others?

Mr. Ede

I would refer the hon. and gallant Gentleman to the statement I made in the House when I announced it, which indicated that certain persons who have rendered notable service to the country during the war, in the Forces and in trade, and certain other classes, have priority.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

Is the Minister aware that very considerable delay has taken place in the case of people who are good citizens and would be good citizens, and can he do something to expedite decisions in such cases?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir. The grant of British citizenship is a very considerable privilege․[HON. MEMBERS: " Hear, hear."] ․and it is essential that one should establish beyond all doubt that the person to whom it is granted is worthy of the receipt of so high an honour

Mr. Piratin

Could the priority granted to those who have given service in this war be extended to persons who saw service in the 1014–18 war?

Mr. Ede

They were not included in the priority classes.

Lieut.-Commander Joynson-Hicks

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many of the 22,000 cases have been allotted priority?

Mr. Ede

Not without notice.