HC Deb 06 February 1947 vol 432 cc1935-6
2. Mr. John Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that citizens of this country are compelled, under threat of penalty by the Government of Northern Ireland, to obtain residence permits if they wish to live in Northern Ireland, to notify the police every time they wish to change their address, and to renew their residence permits every six months; and if he will make representations to the Government of Northern Ireland to prevent these indignities being inflicted upon citizens of the United Kingdom.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Ede)

The authority for the requirement of residence permits in Northern Ireland is the Emergency Laws (Transitional Provisions) Act of this Parliament, which continued in force Defence Regulation 18 for the purpose of facilitating the resettlement in employment of Northern Ireland ex-Servicemen.

Mr. Lewis

Is it the intention of my right hon. Friend to renew the Northern Ireland Residence Permit Order, which expires on 31st December of this year? Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the existence of this Order is a glaring indictment of the civic administration in Northern Ireland?

Mr. Ede

I cannot accept the second part of my hon. Friend's supplementary. The decision was a decision of this House, for which the Northern Ireland Government have no responsibility at all. As regards the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary, it is too early yet to say what the situation will be on 31st December of this year.

Mr. Lewis

Can my right hon. Friend say what will be the position in regard to the employees of Short Bros.? Will they all have to register with the Northern Ireland police?

Mr. Ede

Perhaps my hon. Friend will put that question on the Paper.

Professor Savory

Is not the principal object of this decree to prevent deserters from this country taking refuge in Northern Ireland, and to prevent ex-Service-men who fought for this country losing their jobs by the admission of outsiders?

Mr. Ede

The primary object, as was explained by my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council when this matter was brought before the House on 8th October, 1942, is to preserve the position of Northern Ireland ex-Service-men, who were all volunteers. I do not think that at any time the consideration in the first part of the hon. Member's supplementary has been in the minds of those responsible for maintaining this Order.

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