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South Africa (British Citizenship)

Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 12 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many inquiries about acquiring British citizenship were made at the offices of his Department in the Republic of South Africa in each of the years 1972, 1973 and 1974.

I am circulating in the Official Report details of the recorded figures for written inquiries. No records are maintained of the numbers of casual oral inquiries received.

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that South African residents were given a very long time to choose whether they wanted to assume British nationality when South Africa left the Commonwealth? Will he ask his departmental staff in South Africa to undertake an investigation into the number of South Africans who are ultimately admitted into this country as visiting aliens, then get jobs, and then become British citizens? If black South Africans, Indians or Pakistanis tried to do it, they would very soon be found out.

I understand and take note of my hon. Friend's point. These applications must be considered on their individual merits, and we must continue to do that.

The following are the details :