Marriages between British Servicemen and Alien Women

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Marriages between British Servicemen and Alien Women

On 30 May 1946 the Cabinet discussed whether the restrictions which were in place should be relaxed so that marriages between Servicemen and foreign women (other than Germans and Japanese) could take place if the local military commander considered that there were good reasons for these marriages and there were no security implications. 

The following extracts give a flavour of what was said in Cabinet:

J.J.L.

Further point - is this legal? This is being raised in H/C. C-in-C must be consulted because security. But my personal view is: time to abolish this ban altogether & leave it all to discretion of C-in-C. For Germany. For Japan: wd. have to get views of Doms. & U.S. de Fr. Agree with W.O. Germany: permit in exceptional cases. Wd. prefer Air Miny to exercise the discretion: but ready to leave it to C-in-C if desired for sake of uniformity.

H.D.

What are the exceptional cases?

J.J.L.

Pregnancy: or anti-Nazi sympathies.

J.

Believe it is "legal". C-in-C. has requisite authy. as i/c troops. Find it diff. to defend w´holding consent when the woman is pregnant. Don´t like saying that is not an exceptional case.

E.W.

Marriage confers B. nationality. Yet a B. woman marrying a Spanish red loses hers. G. women will go out for this - even offering money.

C.E.

And we don´t allow an alien marrying B. woman to acquire thereby a right to remain in U.K. Supposing a soldier contracts a marriage: it isn´t invalidated merely because C-in-C. has refused his consent.

P.M.

Opens v. diff. points. Will enable many ex-enemy women to become B. when we refuse citizenship to alien men who fought for us. Don´t encourage G. women to go for marriage.

J.J.L.

Will Cab. agree except for G. & J. : & let me explore security point with C-in-C.

P.M.

If you base it on moral or H.O. grounds, G. & J. aren´t diff. from Austria etc.

E.W.

Cdn´t we legislate to prevent these women acquiring B. naty.

H.O.

to convene Ministers concerned & make further report.

Taken from C.M. 53(46)(4) - Meeting held on 30 May 1946.