The requirement for aliens to register with the police was introduced under the provisions of the Aliens Registration Act 1914; and it was renewed by the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919 and the Immigration Act 1971.
Glasgow City Archives holds the historical records of Strathclyde Police and its predecessor forces. Statistics were published in the City of Glasgow Police Chief Constable’s annual reports from 1938 onwards and early immigrants from Russia, mainland Europe, America, Scandinavia and Egypt are recorded as having registered with the Aliens Registration Department. Later statistics demonstrate the growth in immigrants from further afield travelling to Strathclyde from Africa, Asia and South America.
Few alien registration records survive but where they do, these are:
- Argyll County Constabulary alien registration and transfer cards, 1917-1975 (Ref: SR22/91/73)
- City of Glasgow Police Nationality Branch, register of aliens, 1962-1975 (Ref: SR22/63/25)
The alien registration records may include:
- date of birth
- address, sometimes including address of last residence outside the UK
- date and place of arrival in UK
- profession / occupation
- marital status
- place of birth
- conditions of landing
- occasional photographs
Staff can search a computerised index of the Argyll alien registration and transfer cards on your behalf.
The alien records are closed for 75 years under data protection legislation.
During World War 1 aliens resident in Britain and belonging to allied nations had either to return to their own country to undertake military service or become liable to serve in the British forces, unless they were granted a certificate of exemption by their home country ambassador or a tribunal. The City of Glasgow Town Clerk’s Department was granted authority from the War Office to hear tribunals of those who applied for exemption from military service. Only one list of around 130 Russian tribunal applicants survives dating from 1917 (Ref: D-TC19/box3).
Information given in these records includes:
- name of applicant
- address of applicant
- reference number