HC Deb 21 November 1946 vol 430 cc1025-6
82. Sir T. Moore

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the present progress of granting British naturalisation to foreign applicants; and when it is anticipated that all desirable applicants will have received it.

Mr. Ede

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the full statement which I made in this matter on 10th October. It would be premature to forecast the date at which the work will be completed. I would once again mention that the general rate of naturalisation will be improved if applicants and their friends will refrain, so far as possible, from making inquiries into the progress of individual cases.

Sir T. Moore

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he will consider issuing a sort of list of priorities which would give people an opportunity of assessing their chances, and so lessen the inquiries of which the right hon. Gentleman has complained?

Mr. Ede

I made a very full statement to this House about the various categories that were entitled to priority. I am bound to say that I let myself in for more trouble than I otherwise might have had, because everybody at once seems to have thought of claiming that he came within one of the categories.

Mr. Gammons

What is wrong with a man asking how his application is getting on?

Mr. Ede

It means that his file has to be withdrawn from the current in which it is, with the result that not only his application is delayed but other people's are delayed.

Mr. Martin Lindsay

Is the Minister aware that the only reason for all these inquiries is that many people are very disappointed with the slowness with which their applications are considered?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir. An answer I have given today and in which there are figures, will be circulated, and it will indicate the rapid progress that we have made during the last six months.