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tion of the same in the language spoken in the country where said affidavit is made and certified to be a true translation by the officer before whom the affidavit was made, shall be delivered to the person making the affidavit.
Sec. 5. All officers of the Army or of the Navy of the United States who are now or may hereafter be authorized to administer oaths for any purpose are hereby authorized to administer the oaths required to be made by this act.
SEC. 6. That any person in the military or naval forces of the United States on foreign service, or in an auxiliary organization functioning in connection with the military or naval forces of the United States in a foreign country, who shall contract marriage in such foreign country in violation of the provisions of this act, shall, upon indictment, trial and conviction thereof in the district court of the United States in the district in which he or she may be found, be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by imprisonment in a penitentiary for not more than 5 years, or both, and any such person who shall knowingly make any false statement in the affidavit herein provided for with reference to any matter herein prescribed to be contained in such affidavit shall be deemed to be guilty of perjury, and upon indictment, trial, and conviction in the district court of the United States in the district in which he or she may be found, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment in a penitentiary for not more than 10 years, or both.
SEC. 7. That a copy of either of the originals of said affidavit hereinbefore provided for, when duly certified by its official custodian, shall constitute prima facie proof of the fact that the statements therein contained were made, subscribed, and sworn to by the person whose name is affixed thereto as maker thereof, and that the person purporting to administer the oath was authorized so to do.
SEC. 8. That a copy of the certificate of any marriage contracted in accordance with the provisions of this act when certified by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country in which such marriage shall have been entered into, shall, when forwarded to the Secretary of State of the United States be by him transmitted to the Secretary of War for file in the records of the War Department, provided such certificate shall relate to the marriage of a person in the military forces, or a person in an auxiliary organization serving with such forces at the time the marriage was contracted, or shall be forwarded to the Secretary of the Navy for file in the records of the Navy Department, if such certificate shall relate to the marriage of a person in the naval forces, or a person in an auxiliary organization serving with such forces at the time the marriage was contracted, and a oopy of any such certificate so filed, shall when authenticated in the manner prescribed by section 882 of the Revised Statutes be admissible in any court of law or equity as prima facie evidence of the marriage therein certified.
File No. 851.4054/35
The French Chargé (De Chambrun) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 30.] MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: My Government, to which I did not fail to forward the bill relative to marriages of American soldiers in France which the Department of State intended to introduce into the Federal Congress, informs me that it meets with its approval.
The French authorities, however, deem it necessary that the affidavit provided by article 4 shall actually set forth all the pertinent particulars of the affiant's civil status and mention all the cases of inability to contract marriage in regard to which the express guarantee under oath is required; and shall in particular give a statement of previous marriages, as the Minister of Justice directed the mayors to demand, in such cases, and copy of the decree of divorce.
The French authorities would further wish that facilities (by the agency of Government attorneys, for instance) be granted if possible to French women in obtaining through the American courts the damages to which they may be entitled when they consented to marry a man who made a false declaration as to his ability to contract a marriage. Be pleased to accept [etc.]
CHARLES DE CHAMBRUN
File No. 851.4054/38
The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador (Jusserand)
WASHINGTON, August 1, 1919. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to refer to your Embassy's note of June 22, 1919, in regard to the proposed bill relative to marriages of American soldiers in France, and I am pleased to note that the bill as drafted meets with the approval of your Government.
The modifications of this draft suggested by the French authorities and set forth in your note under acknowledgment have been submitted to the appropriate branches of this Government, and I
am now in receipt of replies relative thereto. In regard to the sug. gestion that the affidavit provided by article 4 shall set forth all the pertinent particulars of the affiant's civil status, it is pointed out that this amendment does not appear to be practicable for the reason that the marriage status of such soldiers and sailors as fixed by the various statutes of the States of which they may be citizens, are not uniform, and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to set forth in detail the various particulars as to the affiant's civil status so as to include each individual case. It would appear that the general provision," and knows of no reason why he or she may not lawfully contract matrimony,” as contained in section 4 of the said proposed draft of the bill, will satisfactorily meet the situation intended to be covered in detail by the suggested amendment.
In regard to the suggestion of the French authorities that facilities, as for instance, by the agency of Government attorneys, be granted, if possible, to French women in obtaining through the American courts the damages to which they may be entitled by reason of their consenting to marry a man who made a false declaration as to his ability to contract marriage, it is pointed out that the difficulties in affording such facilities appear to be insurmountable. Such an action instituted by a French woman would, of course, be a private action between private individuals, and her rights and remedies in the American courts would be the same, and fully equal to that of an American woman or a woman of any other nationality under like circumstances. It would appear to be wholly at variance with the practice of such courts and with the relations which exist between Government officials and litigation between individuals, for the rights of the plaintiff to be enforced through governmental agencies, and it would be wholly at variance with the duties vested by law upon Government attorneys. On the other hand it is pointed out that, of course, so far as the proposed statute in question creates an offense and provides for punishment thereof, it would be the duty of the United States attorneys representing the Government in the prosecution of other offenses, to proceed to have the offenders under the proposed statute indicted and tried as provided therein. Such prosecution would be conducted by the United States attorneys at Government expense.
I have the honor to inform you that I shall be pleased to submit the proposed draft of this bill to the chairman of the appropriate committee of Congress, if, as I understand, it meets with your general approval, but before taking this action I shall await a further communication from you. Accept [etc.]
File No. 851.4054/40
[Received September 29.] MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: My Government, to which I did not fail to forward the note Your Excellency sent me on August 1, advises me that considering the circumstances stated by you it desists from all objections to the bill drawn up by the American authorities relative to the marriages of American soldiers in France.
I should be thankful to Your Excellency if you would kindly, in view thereof and in accordance with my Government's wishes, expedite the introduction of that bill into the Federal Congress. Be pleased to accept [etc.]
File No. 851.4054/43
WASHINGTON, October 21, 1919. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor further to refer to your note of September 26, 1919, and my reply note of October 9, 1919, in regard to the proposed bill relative to the marriage of American soldiers and sailors to French women abroad.
In this connection I beg to inform you that I am now in receipt of a letter from the War Department of this Government, in which it is stated that the draft of the bill referred to in your note of September 26, 1919, has been submitted to Congress with a request for early enactment. Accept [etc.]
ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE LAWS OF WAR
File No. 763.72116/533
[Received 10.15 a. m.] 2615. Following is translation of text of appeal of International Committee of Red Cross, dated Geneva, February 6:
* Not printed.
'A bill “ To regulate the marriage of persons in the military and naval forces of the United States in foreign countries, and for other purposes (S. 3245, 66th Cong., 2d sess.), passed the Senate Jan. 19, 1920, but was not passed by the House of Representatives.
One of the saddest features of the war that is at present desolating humanity is the daily violation of the most solemn conventions of what were called the laws of war, of those agreements by which it was hoped its cruelty would be lessened. Far from lessening the evils of warfare one can say that the progress of science in aeronautics, in ballistics, or in chemistry have only increased suffering and unsparingly extended it to the entire population in such a manner that war will soon become solely a merciless work of general destruction.
Today we wish to raise protest against a barbarous innovation that science tends to perfect, that is to say to render more fatal and of a more refined cruelty, that is the employment of asphyxiating and poisonous gases, the use of which it appears is increasing at a rate never before imagined.
The Hague agreement concerning the laws and customs of war on land contains the following provision: “ It is especially forbidden to employ poison or poisoned arms,” and also, “ to employ weapons, projectiles, or materials calculated to cause needless suffering." Poisonous or asphyxiating gases are without doubt one of the poisons forbidden by this convention. Members of sanitary corps who have ministered to combatants on the battlefield attacked by these gases, and also nurses who cared for them in hospitals are all unanimous in their testimony of the terrible sufferings caused by the gases, sufferings the sight of which is more heartrending than that of the most cruel wounds.
It is already too much that these methods should have entered into the practice of warfare; but what we wish to declare is that upon him who may have tried to render this method of combat more cruel will rest an ever-increasing responsibility of having forced warfare into a direction contrary to the ideas of humanity, which seemed to become more diffused and of which the Red Cross is the living witness; for here it is not a question of an act that an army can reject because it is repugnant to it. Its very existence is at stake. A combatant before an enemy which employs these gases if [is] forced in spite of itself to imitate it. If it does not wish to be in a position of inferiority which might be fatal to it, it will try to surpass the enemy, it will concentrate all its efforts to secure poisons of a more destructive and extended nature, it will result in a race to obtain the most murderous and cruel methods.
We hear now of new volatile poisons of which the manufacture in quantity is easy as they are composed of materials that can be obtained without difficulty: We are shown projectiles charged with these poisonous gases sowing death, and a cruel death, not only in the ranks of the combatants, but behind the lines in the midst of an inoffensive population in an extended zone where all living beings will be destroyed. We protest with all our soul against this manner of warfare that we can only call criminal, and if, as is probable, the adversary is forced to have recourse to counter-attacks or reprisals to force the enemy to renounce this barbarous practice, we foresee a struggle which will surpass in ferocity all that history has known of barbarity. That is why we, the Red Cross, whose flag is the emblem of the sentiment of humanity which appeared formerly to bring enlightenment even to the battlefield, address ourselves to the sovereigns, to the governments, and to the generals,