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Northern Ireland (Residence Permits)

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 8 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that natives of Northern Ireland, who had been absent from that area prior to January, 1940, have since their return been granted residence permits for the duration of the Order, thus entitling them to their United Kingdom franchise rights, while other natives of Northern Ireland, since their return, are granted residence permits renewable periodically, thus depriving them of similar franchise rights; what is the reason for this differentiation; and if he will take steps, pending the withdrawal of the Residence Permits (Transitional) Order, 1942, to secure their franchise rights for all natives of Northern Ireland.

No, Sir. I am informed that it is the regular practice of the Northern Ireland authorities to issue a permit, valid for the duration of the Order, to all natives of Northern Ireland who fall within the ambit of the Residence in Northern Ireland (Restriction) Order, 1942, so that the second and third parts of the Question do not arise.

Will my right hon. Friend give advice that in regard to the natives of Northern Ireland who are on temporary residence permits the matter should be reconsidered?

I am perfectly willing to consider and to take up with the authorities of Northern Ireland any cases my hon. Friend cares to submit to me.

Will my right hon. Friend bring this Residence Permits Order to an end and stop the inconvenience caused to employers in Northern Ireland, and thus prevent the restriction of movement of Irish people from one part of the country to another?

That is too large a matter to deal with in answer to a supplementary question.