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HO 144/962/B11067

 

B11067/8

 

/3-7 dest.d

 

Date : July 1916

Sir Arthur Markham

 

Aliens Restrict

Baron Emile d’Erlanger

 

69. Sir Arthur Markham, — To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether, seeing that Mr. Emile d'Erlanger, born of German parents, is now a naturalised British subject, he will say whether this gentleman is entitled to all the privileges of a British citizen and at the same time to retain his German title of baron; whether, at the time he became a naturalised British subject, he notified the Home Office of his intention to retain his German title; and whether he is aware that Mr. Emile d'Erlanger, under the title of Baron Emile d'Erlanger, has raised money from the British public for his companies, the said money being employed in the case of the Forestal Land and Timber Company to promote German interests. [Thursday 13th July.]

 

Minutes

? Say

 

The use by a British subject of a foreign title which is not officially regonised is a question of taste with which matter in which the Home Office is not concerned cannot intervene. I express no opinion on it but I may remark that if the gentleman in question has dropped his title at the present time he would probably [to judge by the Qon constantly asked by the Hon Bart and other Members of this House – have been charged with] lay open to a suspicion of seeking to conceal his German origin.

I have no information as to the last paragraph of the Qon.

 

J.P.

12/7/16

AJ 12.7.16

HS 12.7.16

 

Has it been considered whether, in such cases, nat.n should be conditioned on the abandonment of the foreign title, if not officially recognized?

HS

 

[clipping]

Daily Debates 12 July 1916

 

BARON EMILE D'ERLANGER.

35. Sir A. MARKHAM asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, seeing that Mr. Emile d'Erlanger born of German parents, is now a naturalised British subject, he will say whether this gentleman is entitled to all the privileges of a British citizen and at the same time to retain his German title of baron; whether, at the time he became a naturalised British subject, he notified the Home Office of his intention to retain his German title ; and whether he is aware that Mr. Emile d'Erlanger. under the title of Baron Emile d'Erlanger, has raised money from the British public for his companies, the said money being employed in the case of the Forestal Land and Timber Company to promote German interests?

Mr. SAMUEL: The use by a British subject of a foreign title which is not officially recognised, is a matter in which the Home Office cannot intervene. I have no information as to, the last paragraph of the question.

Sir A. MARKHAM: Are we to understand that a German can be naturalised and has a right to use a German title which he has not given up?

Mr. SAMUEL: I understand this gentleman is not a German, but is [was] of French nationality. With regard to the use of the title, the title is not officially recognised.

Sir A. MARKHAM: Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he definitely stated that this gentleman was born of German parents in an answer he gave two days ago?

Mr. SAMUEL: He is not of German nationality.

 

Mr Harris: “is” should be “was”.  AJ 15/7

M Shawn: please correct. SWH 15/7

The correction has been made. 17/7


[clipping]

The Daily Mail, 11th July 1916.

 

BARON D'ERLANGER.

 To the Editor of The Daily Mail

 

Sir—Mr. Dudgeon's letter has led me to refer to the verbatim report of the recent meeting of the British South Africa Company, at which I occupied the chair in the absence of Sir Starr Jameson, and I find that he invites me to explain a statement which I did not, in fact, make in reply to a question which was not, in fact, asked. But such slips of memory happen to all of us.

 

I was asked (and we welcomed the opportunity) to. give "an assurance that there are very few, if any, naturalised or unnaturalised alien subjects in connection with the management of the company . . . that we shall never see an alien enemy getting a hold of the company, commercially, politically, or in any administrative sense." The latter assurance I gave emphatically on behalf of every director on the board, and as regards the former point I added (as a fact well known in London and Paris) that Baron d'Erlanger has long been a prominent champion of the " Entente Cordiale," "his aim, like that of his father before him, having been to bring France and England together. He was born in Paris, and has been a naturalised British citizen practically ever since he attained to adult years. . . . He has a son fighting for us . . . who has been awarded the Military Cross for valour."

At a time when it is important to stir up the Government to deal more vigilantly with hostile influences which  undoubtedly  exist, let us not weaken our pressure by attacks on those who have from their youth thrown in their lot with England as their home. Baron d'Erlanger (though technically an alien during his legal infancy) was, I believe, neither born in Germany nor of a German mother nor brought up as a German. His father was the friend and ally of Mr. Rhodes and his coadjutor in the development of the Rhodesian Railway system. He was a German just as the father of the late Lord Goschen was a German; but the latter was the staunchest of British patriots.                            
P. Lyttelton Gell.

2, London Wall-buildings. E.C.

 

BARON D'ERLANGER.

Baron d'Erlanger claimed at the annual meeting of the Channel Tunnel Company yesterday that he was born, educated, and married in France, was identified with the Entente Cordiale movement, and was in a favourable position to judge of the public feeling in that country.

 


 

Baron Emile d'Erlanger is entitled to all  the privileges of a naturalized British subject: his title of Baron is mentioned in his naturalization papers. He has proved himself a loyal subject promoting British interests to the best of his ability.

 

The moneys raised for the Forestal Company were raised by the firm of Emile Erlanger & Co..  The capital so raised was not employed to promote German interests, and the formation of  that Company and its commercial success have been of material benefit to this country, resulting in a German industry passing under British control.

 

The affairs of the Company, since the War, have been conducted in complete accord with the responsible Government departments.

 


 

2, London Wall Buildings

London E.C.

 

13 July 1916

 

Dear Mr Harris

with reference to our conversation this morning.  The facts about Baron Emile d’Erlanger are as follows.

He was born in Paris of a German father and an American mother.  His parents who were established in Paris before he  [ two pages missing! ] work has been of great value to the Empire in connection with Liberia, Borneo and British South Africa in regard to the latter of which he is closely connected with a Director of the British South Africa Comp.

 

The enclosed, which I venture to submit to you, would be a satisfactory answer from our point of view.

Yours very truly,


    D. Malcolm

 


 

B 11067/10

 

./9 destroyed

 

18.7.16

Baron Emile d’Erlanger

Thanks S of S for his actions in minimising harm from attack.

 

Minutes 

On ./8 S of S suggests that naturalisation of an alien with a foreign title should be made conditional on his abandonment of the title unless he obtains official recognition of it i.e. by Royal licence.  Such licence would be rare.

Already the practice is not to quote the title in the Certificate: and it would be easy to extend this to a refusal to grant the Cert. except on an undertaking to drop the title.  The only objection seems to be that there would be no appropriate means of enforcing the undertaking.  It would perhaps hardly be possible if the man subsequently resumed the title to revoke the Cert. on the ground that he had obtained it by false representations or fraud.  But a breach of the undertaking is perhaps a remote contingency.

 

? Make it a rule to require a title to be dropped before a cert. of Nat. is granted – subject to have to apply subsequently for Royal Licence.

J.P. 25/7/16

 

AJ 26.7.16

I think this is right.  If a man becomes a citizen of  a country he ought to conform to its customs in matters of title, and if he wishes to use a foreign title should seek to obtain leave in the same way as other citizens.

If he represents that if naturalized he will forego the use of his foreign title, unless leave is granted, and then does not do so, he would have made, I should say, false representation and his certificate should be liable to cancellation.

As proposed.

HS

27.7.16

 


 

Private

 

139 Piccadilly

 

The Right Hon Hubert Samuel

Secretary of State for the Home Department

 

Dear Sir

I am extremely sorry that in these times of national stress and pressure your valuable time and that of the House should have been trespassed upon in answering an attack upon my own humble person, but I beg to thank you for doing so in a way that has minimised the harm that certain busy bodies appear to wish to inflict upon me.

 

I am, dear Sir,

Yrs faithfully

 

    Emile d’Erlanger

 


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