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It is to be understood that the terms “consideration of the public authorities which the Government of the United States has agreed to extend to Poles to whom these certificates are issued,” implies that whenever the holder of a certificate of this character applies to any official of the Department of Justice for a permit to enter forbidden areas or for a permit to do any other act forbidden by the restrictions contained in the President's proclamations relating to alien enemies, special and liberal consideration will be given to his application.
It is understood that these certificates will not be issued by your Committee to persons of Polish nationality whose loyalty to the United States has not previously been satisfactorily established. I am [etc.]
File No. 763.72115/3412a
WASHINGTON, October 5, 1918. Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a statement which I issued on the 3d of September, in which the Government of the United States formally recognizes that a state of belligerency exists between the Czecho-Slovaks as organized in the Czecho-Slovak National Council and the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires; and also formally recognizes the Czecho-Slovak National Council as a“ de facto belligerent government clothed with proper authority to direct the military and political affairs of the Czecho-Slovaks." ;
Furthermore, the Government of the United States declares that it is prepared to enter formally into relations with the de facto government thus recognized for the purpose of prosecuting the war against the common enemy, the Empires of Germany and Austria-Hungary.
I desire to bring these facts to your attention for the purpose of arranging that the Czecho-Slovaks in the United States who have not become naturalized as American citizens, although previously residents of territory forming a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and subjects of that Empire coming within the classification of alien enemy under Revised Statutes, section 4067, may now receive as nearly as possible the same consideration from your Department as citizens of a government associated with the United States in the war.
I should be pleased to be advised as to what may be done in this respect in order that the policy of the Government, as indicated by its recognition of the de facto belligerency of the Czecho-Slovak National Council, may be carried out fully and in good faith. I have [etc.]
* See Supplement 1, vol. I, p. 824.
File No. 763.72115/338442
WASHINGTON, October 5, 1918.
[Received October 8.] Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 5th inst., transmitting copy of a statement issued by you on the 3d of September, in which this Government formally recognizes that a state of belligerency exists between the Czecho-Slovaks, as organized in the Czecho-Slovak National Council, and the German and AustroHungarian Empires; and in which this Government also formally recognizes the Czecho-Slovak National Council as a "de facto belligerent government," etc. It is noted also that this Government has declared itself prepared to enter formally into relations with the said de facto government for the purpose of prosecuting the war against the common enemy.
I note that you bring these facts to my attention for the purpose of arranging that the Czecho-Slovaks in the United States who have not become naturalized as American citizens, although previously residents of the territory forming a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and subjects of that Empire coming within the classification of alien enemy under Revised Statutes 4067, may now receive the same consideration from this Department as are citizens of a government associated with the United States in this war. In reply to your question as to what may be done in this respect in order that the policy of the Government, as indicated by its recognition of the de facto belligerency of the Czecho-Slovak National Council, may be carried out, I respectfully call your attention to the fact that under the section of the Revised Statutes above quoted these people, as natives, denizens, subjects and citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, are clearly defined as alien enemies, and I do not understand that they hold rights of citizenship under any other government. It is, therefore, not within the power of this Department to alter the status so created.
In this connection, however, I further direct your attention to the fact that the Czecho-Slovaks within the United States labor under no handicap or restrictions of any description imposed by any branch of the United States Government. The only action taken by this Government toward these people by reason of the state of war, is the action taken by the President granting me power to apprehend and intern any dangerous Austro-Hungarian alien enemy. They have not been required to register as alien enemies; unlike the Germans they are free to enter prohibited areas and restricted zones without permits. Under these circumstances, I see no occasion for any further action to be taken in respect to their treatment by this Department. Furthermore, I am distinctly opposed to any modification of the power of internment, which I regard as vitally essential to the national defense. Respectfully,
T. W. GREGORY
File No. 860c.01/152
The Secretary of State to the Attorney General (Gregory)
WASHINGTON, November 26, 1918. Sir: Referring to your letter of October 12, and to previous correspondence, particularly to your letter of August 121 regarding the issuance by the Polish National Committee of certificates of Polish nationality to residents of the United States who, though technically “ alien enemies” under the provisions of section 4067 of the Revised Statutes because of their birth in enemy countries, are of Polish nationality, I have the honor to advise you that Mr. Paderewski, representative in the United States of the Polish National Committee, has recently called at the Department and expressed great disappointment at the attitude of the Government toward Polish residents in the United States. He states that the certificates issued by him have become practically worthless; that, in several instances, holders of such certificates have been arrested and treated with the utmost lack of consideration; that only about 150 certificates have been issued by him, and that he has stopped further issuance of the certificates because of the suspicion under which the holders thereof seem to be held by your Department.
Inasmuch as the issuance of these certificates has been duly authorized by this Government (as you were informed by my letter of September 30, 1918,1) pursuant to an understanding reached between your Department and the Department of State, I venture to suggest that you may desire to issue instructions to the end that the certificates may receive proper recognition by the agents of the Department of Justice. I have [etc.]
PERSONS OF GERMAN BIRTH NATURALIZED IN COUNTRIES OTHER
THAN THE UNITED STATES File No. 763.72115/3170 The British Ambassador (Spring Rice) to the Secretary of State
MEMORANDUM On July 18 the chairman of the United States Immigration Board of Montreal informed the Registrar of Alien Enemies in that city that the United States authorities at present refuse to acknowledge any naturalised British subject of German birth as a British subject, but treat them as alien enemies.
It is suggested that an arrangement might be made whereby the Canadian authorities should similarly view German subjects naturalised in the United States as alien enemies. The present practice whereby a naturalised United States citizen of German origin is treated exactly the same as the born United States citizen, has given rise to very considerable trouble in Canada. These persons, who are now free to cross and recross the frontier at their pleasure, include many labour agitators with whom it is exceedingly difficult to deal. In fact the protection afforded to such people by their United States naturalisation papers constitutes a serious menace to the welfare of the Dominion and the vigorous prosecution of the war in which both the United States and the British Empire are engaged. It will of course be remembered also that the German Government does not recognise the naturalisation papers of a born German subject, once the holder of those papers returns to Germany; and that such persons become automatically repatriated as German subjects as soon as they return within the confines of the German Empire.
The Canadian Government are anxious before taking any action in the matter to ascertain (a) whether the information conveyed to the Registrar of Alien Enemies in Montreal embodies the practice of the United States Government, and, if so, (b) whether the United States Government would see any objection to the Canadian Government regarding Germans naturalised in the United States as alien enemies. An arrangement of the kind suggested would undoubtedly simplify to a great extent many difficult problems with which the Dominion Government is now confronted.
CECIL SPRING RICE WASHINGTON, July 30, 1917.
[Received August 2.]
File No. 763.72115/3169
WASHINGTON, August 24, 1917. Sir: Referring to your despatches No. 2280 dated July 9, 1917, and No. 2324 dated August 14, 1917, the Department transmits herewith for your information and guidance a copy of a letter received from the Department of Labor 1 stating that all persons who were born in Germany but who have become citizens of any country other than the United States by naturalization are alien enemies. I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
WILBUR J. CARR
File No. 763.72115/323712
WASHINGTON, December 27, 1917. . MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: On August 18, 1917, you transmitted to me a copy of a note from the British Ambassador, asking whether the United States authorities in this country regard a naturalized British subject of German birth as an alien enemy.
On August 24, 1917, I transmitted an answer to you stating that "section 4067, Revised Statutes, expressly defines natives of a country with which the United States is at war as alien enemies, and the President's proclamation of April 6, 1917, was issued in strict conformity with the wording of the statute." I also called your attention to the fact that at the conference held in your office on April 2, 1917, you concurred with me in believing that the policy of the statute was a wise one in treating a person, born in Germany and naturalized elsewhere, as an alien enemy, owing to the fact that the laws of the German Empire did not fully recognize the adoption of a new allegiance by a German naturalized in another country.
The question whether the word "native" included German-born, naturalized in other countries, was, as I recall, discussed at some length between us, and no doubt was expressed as to the meaning of the statute or as to the high advisability of the policy embodied in it. The exact phraseology of the statute is that
Whenever there is declared a war between the United States and any foreign nation' or government, or any invasion or predatory incursion is perpetrated, attempted, or threatened against the territory of the United States, by any foreign nation or government, and the President makes public proclamation of the event, all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation or government, being males of the age of fourteen years and upward, who shall be within the United States, and not actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed, as alien enemies.
In my opinion the language of the statute is susceptible of but one construction. No qualification is attached to the word “natives.” On the contrary the use of the disjunctive conjunction “or” makes it clear that four distinct classes are being named. I cannot but believe that not only the letter, but also the intent of the statute, requires its application to all persons who have been born in Germany (other than American citizens) whether now naturalized in other countries or not.
You will note that the statute prescribes that they shall“ be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed, as alien enemies," and the President is authorized to direct the conduct to be
Letter of transmittal not printed; note from the British Ambassador printed ante, p. 215.