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years of age, and on reaching his twenty-first birthday purported to make a declaration of alienage and claimed his discharge. The Court of Appeal were of opinion that sect. 14 of the Act of 1914 must be construed subject to the general principles of law, amongst which they included that illustrated by Rex v. Lynch1 to the effect that a British subject (in Lynch's case there was no question of dual nationality) cannot, when the British Empire is at war, divest himself of his British nationality, and become a subject of an enemy State.
There are a number of similar doubts which this decision does not touch. During war, may one who is solely a British subject become naturalized in a neutral or allied State? During war, may one who is both a British subject and a neutral or allied subject by making a declaration of alienage divest himself of British nationality ? Unless these two questions are answered in the affirmative, sections 13 and 14 of the Act of 1914 become dead letters whenever we are engaged in war, although the war may be upon a distant frontier and call for no special change in the life of the mother country. Possibly the answer is that naturalization in a foreign country and declarations of alienage in the circumstances put in these two questions are only void and of no effect when the object is treasonable or to escape the obligations of British military service. Both in Freyberger's caseand in Vecht v. Taylor these two questions were left
open, but in the last-named case a man both British and Dutch by nationality made a declaration of alienage on the day after he was arrested as an absentee from military service, and it was held by a Divisional Court that even if such a person could make a declaration of alienage during war, the declaration in this case could not be an answer to a charge upon an offence committed before it was made. Dual nationality is not ‘half and half' nationality, but two complete nationalities, and in time of war a veritable damnosa haereditas.
Further, His Majesty may under sect. 15 enter into a convention with any foreign State to the effect that subjects of that State to whom certificates of naturalization have been granted may, within certain limits of time, make a declaration of alienage and cease to be British subjects.
1  1 K. B. 444, 459. 3 (1917) 116 L. T. 446.
2  2 K. B. at p. 132.
Some attempt is made by the Act of 1914 (ss. 8 and 9 in particular) to place the type of nationality acquired by naturalization upon a uniform basis throughout the Empire; but it will be seen from section 9 that the Self-Governing Dominions are free to adopt the relevant part of the Act or not as they choose. Until they have all adopted it, there will continue to be several types of acquired nationality throughout the Empire, and a person may be an alien enemy in one part of the Empire and a British subject in another. Thus British nationality acquired by naturalization may be either (a) complete in point of space, that is, imperial in character, or (b) limited in point of space, that is, local in character. So in Markwald's case, the applicant, a German-born subject, had been convicted before a police magistrate for that he, being an alien resident in London, had failed to furnish certain particulars to the registration officer as required by the Aliens Restriction (Consolidation) Order, 1916. He had obtained in 1908 from the Commonwealth of Australia a certificate of naturalization whereby he became 'entitled to all political and other rights, powers and privileges' and became “subject to all obligations to which a natural-born British subject is entitled or subject in the Commonwealth. Upon his application for a rule directing a case to be stated, a Divisional Court of the King's Bench, nevertheless, held that in the United Kingdom Markwald was an alien, although he had taken the oath of allegiance in Australia, and that his allegiance in the United Kingdom was merely that owed by every stranger within our gates.
It is, however, the intention of the Act of 1914 to sweep away these anomalies and, when the necessary legislation has
1 (1918] 1 K. B. 617.
been passed by all the Self-Governing Dominions, to constitute 'a system of Imperial naturalization on a uniform and definite basis throughout the whole Empire. By this means an American who has become naturalized in Canada will no longer become an alien when he visits Englandı.
MARRIED WOMEN AND MINOR CHILDREN. The Act of 1914 also makes provision for the status of married women and minor children. By section 10 a wife is deemed to share her husband's nationality, but the wife of a man who during marriage ceases to be British may by declaration retain her British nationality, and (by the Act of 1918) the Britishborn wife of an alien enemy may declare her desire to resume British nationality, whereupon the Home Secretary may in his discretion grant her a certificate of naturalization. By section II a widow retains after the death of her husband or dissolution of the marriage the nationality (if any) acquired by marriage, until it is changed by one of the recognized methods.
The wife and minor children of a man whose certificate of naturalization is revoked prima facie remain British subjects, but in two ways loss of British nationality may occur: (1) if the Home Secretary so directs, which in the case of a Britishborn woman he can only do when, if she had held a certificate in her own right, it could properly have been revoked under the Act; and (2) if the woman within six months of the revocation makes a declaration of alienage; in either of these events she and her minor children 'become aliens3. Moreover, these provisions override any other provisions in the Act as to the effect of changes of nationality upon a wife and minor children.
With regard to minor children, an alien upon obtaining a certificate of naturalization may be allowed by the Home Secretary' to include in the certificate the names of any alien
1 The imperial aspect of the Bill of 1914 is discussed by Mr E. B. Sargant in the Journal of Society of Comparative Legislation, N.S., XXXI. 327.
2 See the matter discussed by Mr G. G. Phillimore in Journal of Society of Comparative Legislation, N.S., XXXIX. 165.
3 S. 7 A (1).
minor children already born, who thereupon become British subjects?. Similarly, the British minor children of a person (presumably the father, if alive, or, if not, the mother) who ceases to be a British subject, themselves lose British nationality, unless by the law of the new country of adoption those minor children do not become naturalized therein. But in both these cases the child may, within twelve months of attaining his majority (presumably his majority by English law), by declaration divest himself of British nationality in the former case or re-acquire it in the latter 3.
An unmarried woman can become a naturalized British subject in the same way as a man. There is, however, in addition, the vicarious naturalization of married women: (1) when an alien woman marries a British subject, and (2) when the wife of an alien becoming naturalized automatically participates in the nationality so acquired by her husband. Neither of these women receives any certificate of naturalization, and no provision exists for revoking her acquired British nationality. In neither case can the husband be denaturalized for acts on the part of the wife which, were she an unmarried woman, would call for revocation under section 7 of the Act of 1914, so that she appears to be in an impregnable position. This view derives some support from section 27 (2) of the Act of 1914, which provides that 'where in pursuance of this Act the name of a child is included in a certificate of naturalization granted to his parent. . .such child shall, for the
purposes of this Act, be deemed to be a person to whom a certificate of naturalization has been granted.' The effect is that he, like his father, is exposed to the possibility of revocation under section 7; but the alien woman marrying a British subject receives no certificate, and the wife of an alien becoming naturalized is not, and does not require to be, included in his certificate, and the absence of any similar provision deeming these women to be persons to whom certificates have been granted is a clear indication that they are not exposed as independent persons to the perils of revocation. So long as their husbands remain British subjects, there is no way (apart from parliamentary intervention) in which we can be rid of them as British citizens, however undesirable and unworthy they may be. We take them, as their husbands do, ‘for better for worse.'
1 S. 5 (I).
3 S. 12 (I).
3 SS. 5 (I) and 12 (2).
GERMAN LAW OF NATIONALITY. We cannot attempt to review the nationality laws of even the principal civilized nations, but in view of the late war it is worth while spending a few minutes upon the German law at our main point of contact with it, namely the national status of the German subject who becomes or seeks to become a naturalized British subject. Germany revised her imperial and state nationality law by what is termed the Delbrück Law of 1913, a translation of which, together with a Memorandum upon the law by H.B.M. Embassy at Berlin, was presented to Parliament in March, 19141. The new legislation had 'the double object of rendering more difficult the loss of German nationality and of facilitating its recovery.' The fact that it succeeded in these objects must have been a matter for regret to some at least who thought they had ceased to be German subjects, as we shall presently see. By section 13 of this Law a former German, without settling again in Germany, may become naturalized upon application to his former Federal State and upon complying with certain terms more lenient than those applicable to a pure foreigner (section 8), whatever may have been the cause of his loss of German nationality. This represented a great advance upon the Law of 1870 which only permitted the recovery of German nationality without again settling in Germany to former Germans who had lost their German nationality by ten years' mere residence abroad without acquiring a foreign nationality. Now note the effect of these provisions upon the cases of two former Germans, Weber and Liebmann. Weber, born in Germany in 1883,
1 Reprinted Cd. 7277 of 1915. 2 (1916) 1 K. B. 280, n.; (1916] 1 A. C. 421.