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The effect of the revocation of a certificate of naturalization is stated by the Act of 1914, as amended in 1918, to be that 'the former holder shall be regarded as an alien and as a subject of the State to which he belonged at the time the certificate was granted1.' In many cases, however, he may have previously divested himself of his nationality of origin before applying for naturalization in which event the effect of revocation presumably is to leave him an alien of no nationality—'neither flesh, fowl, nor good red herring.' The effect upon his wife and children is discussed later.
Once granted, however, and unrevoked, the certificate 'subject to the provisions of this Act' entitles him to all political and other rights, powers, and privileges,' and imposes upon him ‘all obligations, duties and liabilities, to which a natural-born British subject is entitled or subject'; he acquires 'to all intents and purposes the status of a natural-born British subject,' so that he may say Civis Romanus sum, and if he is a Protestant, may even aspire to becoming Lord Chancellor. The sanctity of the status of British subject, backed up by the prestige of the British Empire, is well illustrated by reference to the case of Don Pacifico2 in 1850, a Jew born at Gibraltar and so a natural-born British subject, who subsequently resided at Athens and by suffering injury at the hands of a mob was the occasion of instructions being issued by the British Government for the sequestration of all Greek ships in Greek ports.
VOLUNTARY LOSS OF NATIONALITY. In addition to this compulsory loss of nationality by revocation of naturalization, provision exists for voluntary loss. The common law rule was Nemo potest exuere patriam, but, under the Act of 1914 (in this respect re-enacting the Act of 1870),
(i) By section 13 any British subject not under disability may by becoming naturalized while in a foreign State renounce his British nationality-overruling the common law rule-but not in an enemy State at war with this country during such war1.
1 S. 7 A (3).
? Pitt Cobbett's Leading Cases and Opinions on International Law (3rd ed.), Vol. 1. p. 201.
(ii) By section 14 (1) any person, who in addition to becoming a natural-born British subject by being born in the King's dominions, also becomes at the time of his birth, or during his minority, a subject of another State and remains so, may on attaining full age, make a declaration of alienage, and so cease to be a British subject, but until making such a declaration he remains a British subject.
(iii) By section 14 (2) any person who, having been born out of the King's dominions, nevertheless is a natural-born British subject, may on attaining full age make a similar declaration of alienage and so cease to be a British subject.
(iv) By section 5 (1) a person whose name, when a minor child, was included in a certificate of British naturalization, may within one year after attaining his majority make a declaration of alienage and cease to be a British subject.
It will be noted, however, that under section 14, unlike sections 5 (1) and 12 (2) and the provisions of the common law and equity permitting the exercise of certain rights within a reasonable time of attaining full age, there is no time limit.
But a state of war places certain limitations upon the right of the person having dual nationality, British and another, to divest himself of the former in this way. The Court of Appeal construing section 14 summarized above, have stated that such a person cannot during a state of war divest himself of his allegiance to the British crown in order to become solely the subject of an enemy State?.' So a man who was born in the United Kingdom (and so became a British subject by English law) of parents who were Austrian subjects (so that, as was assumed by the Court, he became and remained an Austrian subject) was held to be not entitled to make a valid declaration of alienage on attaining the age of twenty-one years. He had been compulsorily enlisted in the British Army when twenty 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.
1 R. v. Lynch (1903] 1 K. B. 444. 2 Freyberger's case (1917] 2 K. B. at p. 139.
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 case and 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 (1903] 1 K. B. 444, 459.  2 K. B. at p. 132. 3 (1917) 116 L. T. 446.
IMPERIAL NATURALIZATION. 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 (6) 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  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).