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Any one who is deemed to have expatriated himself and to whom the provisions of subdivision 12 are applicable, should appear before the appropriate clerk or court, or if abroad, American consular representative, and take this oath of allegiance. If the applicant be a naturalized citizen, he should give the date, place and court in which his naturalization took place. The forms should be executed in duplicate and forwarded to the Department of State. It is desirable that an American passport should be issued to the person upon taking the oath of allegiance to enable him to re-enter the United States and thus avoid any difficulties at the port of entry into this country.1

Consular officers will observe this regulation and forward certified copies of the oaths of allegiance in duplicate, as required, to this Department. It will be noted that the law requires that the applicant for repatriation subscribe to only one oath and that the copies of the oath required for the files of this Department and the Department of Labor be certified to by the consular officers. Applicants will, however, probably not object to filling out the three copies. This course is preferable. However, it is very necessary that the consular officers take pains to see that the certified copies are distinctly written.

If the persons concerned apply for passports or registration, the usual proofs of birth or naturalization in the United States should be required.

A supply of the blank oaths will be sent for your use.

I am [etc.]


File No. 136/194

The British Ambassador on Special Mission (Reading) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 302

WASHINGTON, April 23, 1919. SIR: I have received instructions from my Government to bring to your attention two communications, copies of which are enclosed,2

1On the printed instruction sent to diplomatic and consular officers this paragraph appears as follows:

Anyone who is deemed to have expatriated himself and to whom the provisions of subdivision 12 are applicable should, if abroad, take the oath of allegiance before an American consular representative. If the applicant be a naturalized citizen, he should give the date, place, and court in which his naturalization took place. It is desirable that a person taking the oath of allegiance should, if about to return to the United States, apply for and obtain a passport in order to avoid unnecessary difficulties at the port of entry into this country. Such passports are, under the provisions of section 2 of the act of May 22, 1918, and the President's proclamation of August 8, 1918, issued in pursuance of the act, required during the continuance of the present war.

2 Not printed.

from the United States Consul General at Cape Town to the Governor General of the Union of South Africa, in which it is stated that the United States Government do not recognize the naturalization of American citizens as British subjects during the war as having any effect on the status of such persons in United States law.

In this connection I have the honour to refer to article 1 of the convention between the United States and Great Britain of May 13, 1870, under which it is laid down that citizens of the United States of America who have become, or shall become, and are naturalized according to law within the British Dominions as British subjects, shall be held by the United States to be in all respects and for all purposes, British subjects, and shall be treated as such by the United States.

His Majesty's Government are of the opinion that there is thus a conventional obligation resting upon the United States Government for the recognition of British nationality legally acquired by United States citizens in the British Dominions, and it would further appear that such an obligation can not properly be overridden by any provision of municipal law. I have therefore been instructed to bring this matter to your notice and to suggest that the position set forth in the enclosed communications from the American Consulate General at Cape Town are not consistent with the treaty obligation in this matter assumed by the United States Government under the convention of 1870.

I have [etc.]

(For the Ambassador) COLVILLE BARCLAY

File No. 136/194

The Acting Secretary of State to the British Chargé (Lindsay)

WASHINGTON, July 19, 1919.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your note of April 23, 1919, enclosing certain copies of communications addressed to His Excellency the Governor General of the Union of South Africa by the American Consul General at Cape Town, South Africa, relating to the recognition by this Government of the attempted expatriation by naturalization of certain citizens of this Government, Joel Cannon Bull and Robert James Mahaffery, in contravention of the last clause of section 2 of the act of March 2, 1907.

That clause explicitly forbids expatriation in time of war, and seems to have been enacted by Congress as declaratory of a generally accepted principle of public law of vital importance to this

country in time of war. The Supreme Court of the United States very early enunciated this principle as follows: "The duty of a citizen when war breaks out, if it be a foreign war and he is abroad, is to return without delay."

Halleck in his International Law confirms this as follows: "The right of voluntary expatriation exists only in time of peace and for lawful purposes."

The Executive branch of this Government has said: "No subject of a belligerent can transfer his allegiance or acquire another citizenship, as the desertion of one's country in time of war is an act of criminality."

It would seem that at least one of the British Dominions has informally recognized the principle in question as it exists in the municipal law of this Government through a recent communication from the Under Secretary of State for Canada to the Consul General of the United States at Ottawa in the following language:

I have the honor to refer to correspondence with you which originated with your letter of the 22d of November, 1917, upon the subject of the naturalization of persons of United States citizenship, and to inform you that a very large number of applications of this class have been received by this Department, and that, in accordance with the intimation of the United States Government that the expatriation of the United States citizens during war time is illegal, certificates have not been granted to such applicants.

The principle involved herein is so fundamental and so well established that there is little room for the contention that it was rendered inoperative by the general language of article 1 of the naturalization convention of 1870. In view of the explicit holdings of the various branches of this Government, some of them antedating the convention, and some being contemporaneous, I am not prepared to concede that this principle of public law was thus inferentially abrogated. Had it been the intention of the contracting parties to produce so strange a result, that intention would be expressed explicitly and unequivocally in the language of the convention, and would scarcely be inferred from a general wording designed to meet a situation entirely distinct from that in question. I therefore feel constrained to adhere to the position set forth by the American Consul General at Cape Town in his communication of December 28, 1918, as consistent with the municipal law of this Government, article 1 of the naturalization convention of 1870, and generally accepted principle of international law.

Accept [etc.]



File No. 635.119/331

The Ambassador in Argentina (F. J. Stimson) to the Secretary of



BUENOS AIRES, April 9, 1918, 4 p. m.


[Received April 10, 9.25 a. m.]

I am informed by Naón that a note has been prepared by the Minister of Marine, who is a warm friend of the United States, which is addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and makes serious complaint of the treatment of the Argentine transport Chaco, which is a national vessel, at the ports of Boston and Philadelphia, at which [it] primarily called on its last voyage to the United States. The captain of the Chaco has further complained to the Minister of Marine that he was compelled by the port authorities to sign a document giving various assurances as to the navigation of his ship, which may not under international law be required of a national vessel.

A translation of the above-mentioned note of the Minister of Marine, dated April 6, is as follows:

Mr. Minister: Lieut. Dalmiro Saenz, commander of the national transport Chaco, who has just arrived from the United States, found himself obliged, in order to undertake his return voyage, to sign a document required by [binding] our Government, to observe the new regulations which because of the war have recently been sanctioned in that country.

These regulations, perfectly logical when applied to merchant vessels, cannot be accepted to [in] the particular cases of our transports, which, while carrying on operations of a commercial nature, retain their character as transports of war by reason of the flag under which they sail, their crew, and finally by the character of their owner and outfitter, which is our Government.

The note of the official referred to, a copy of which I transmit to Your Excellency, contains all the necessary information to enable our Government to initiate diplomatic proceedings with the United States of America, in order to avoid the inconveniences indicated in the above-mentioned communication.

I rely on the success of these proceedings, as under the present circumstances we cannot expect an unfriendly action [attitude] on the part of the American Government, were it only in view of the marked deference with which ours has considered the interests of that country and those of her allies in this war. I avail, etc.

1 Rómulo S. Naón, Argentine Ambassador at Washington; on leave of absence in Argentina.

The letter of complaint made to the Minister of Marine by Lieut. Dalmiro Saenz, commander of the Chaco, dated Santiago, April 4, states that the difficulties of employing national transport ships of the Navy for commercial purposes has always been open to serious objections, and will become impossible if they are to be treated in the manner complained of, as they carry the war flag of Argentina and are manned by officers and men of the Navy. He states that the United States Government has among others dictated regulations which, in the first place, refuse coal or provisions to any neutral vessel whose master or captain has not accepted a document wherein he promises to fulfill all the orders expressed therein. Second, no ship shall begin any voyage without the previous consent of the War Trade Board, nor be sold or bought without their previous approbation. Fifth, they shall monthly send a statement of their intended movements. Sixth, the master, etc., shall remove from the ship any officer or member of the crew if so required by the War Trade Board. Eighth, no such ships shall be delivered any person other than approved by the War Trade Board. Thirteenth, any ship which shall leave the United States shall be subject to search by the War Trade Board. Seventeenth, it shall give the United States Consul at ports where it discharges cargo, an abstract of said cargo.

Captain Saenz then goes on to state that he sent to the Government a note asking to be exempted from the second, third, fourth, and sixth articles, but that he had to sign a document compelling him to conform with others, notably the tenth, thirteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth. He then complains of the treatment accorded the vessel at Porto Rico, Boston, and Philadelphia, the searches that were made, and many matters in detail. The Department is doubtless familiar with the document which he was compelled to sign, but a full translation of his letter can be cabled if required. His petition is that the Argentine transports like the Chaco, because of their status as national vessels, be released from compliance with the clauses of the regulations to which he objects, and that the proceedings of the port authorities of the United States be modified by the Government. The matter will I believe, result in an international grievance if the note is delivered, particularly because of the exceptionally friendly treatment which the Argentine Government has accorded war vessels of the United States Navy since the declaration of war by the United States, notably the United States transport Glacier, a few weeks ago. Naón suggests that, with the knowledge of the Minister of Marine, in order to avoid any official record of the incident it may be possible that the Department will recognize the justice of the complaint of the captain of the Chaco and agree that the objectionable docu

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