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jurisdiction of France, whatever his age may then be, or whatever tho number of years he has lived abroad, even if he left France in his tender infancy, and even if he was born abroad, provided his father was French at the time, he is arrested and tried as an insoumis, and after such trial turned over to the active army or to the reserve of the active army or to the territorial army, according to his age.
" When a Frenchman has passed the age during which he may be called to serve in the active army or its reserve—that is to say, when his name has been transferred from the muster roll of that army to that of the territorial army-he does not need the consent of his Government to be lawfully naturalized abroad; and when naturalized in the United States under such conditions an application from this embassy secures, without difficulty, the recognition of his American citizenship, provided this application is accompanied by the naturalization papers of the person in whose behalf it is made and by an American passport. The production of the passport is not absolutely necessary and can be dispensed with, but the original papers of naturalization or an authentic copy of the same must be produced.
“Before or after his naturalization abroad a Frenchman may ask his Government its consent to renounce French national character, but if he is of the age during which active military service is due, this consent is never given, or given only under very exceptional circumstances. I do not know of any successful application of that character. This consent is, on the contrary, usually given to those who, having passed the age of service in the active army and its reserve, can only be called to do service in the territorial army, although their naturalization may have taken place while still belonging to the active army.
“Applications of this kind should be made direct to the minister of justice by the interested parties and must be accompanied by a fee of 1.75 franes and by a statement giving all necessary particulars concerning the applicant. When granted it is in the shape of a decree signed by the President and countersigned by the minister of justice and another high official. I inclose herewith a copy of the form used in such cases. This decree is then communicated to the minister of war, who directs that the name of the person concerned be erased from the military lists of the French army, as being no longer French, and who informs that person of his action,
" It is the rule of this embassy to decline making any application of this kind in behalf of those who are already in possession of their full American papers of naturalization, as such a step might imply an improper admission on our part. But it does not refuse its good offices to those who desire to secure the consent of their Government before having been naturalized."
Mr. Vignaud, chargé d'affaires ad int., to Mr. Sherman, Sec. of State,
Aug. 2, 1897, For. Rel. 1897, 141.
Form of consent given to a Frenchman to change his allegiance.
(Name of President.) (Signed)
(Name of Minister.) The Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice. For exemplification.
The Councillor of State, Director of Civil Affairs and of the
See a list of military cases in France under the law of 1889, For. Rel.
1897, 143 et seq. As communicating information concerning the French law, as above
stated, see Mr. Moore, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Bossange, July 23, 1898, 230 MS. Dom. Let. 34; Mr. Ilill, Assist. Sec. of State, to Mr. Piednor, jr., June 30, 1900, 246 MS. Dom. Let. 204.
“The information given below is believed to be correct, yet is not 'to be considered as official, as it relates to the laws and regulations of a foreign country.
“All Frenchmen who are are not declared unfit or excused may be called upon for military duty between the ages of 20 and 45 years. They are obliged to serve three years in the active army, ten in the reserve of the active army, six in the territorial army, and six in the reserve of the territorial army.
“ If released from all military obligations in France, or if the authorization of the French Government was obtained beforehand, naturalization of a former French citizen in the United States is accepted by the French Government; but a Frenchman naturalized abroad without the consent of his Government, and who at the time of his naturalization was still subject to military service in the active army or in the reserve of the active army, is held to be amenable to the French military laws. Not having responded to the notice calling him to accomplish his military service, he is placed on the list of those charged with noncompliance with the military laws, and if he returns to France he is liable to arrest, trial, and upon conviction is turned over to the army, active, reserve, or territorial, according to his age. Long absence from France and old age do not prevent this action.
“A Frenchman naturalized abroad, after having passed the age of service in the active army and the reserve, nevertheless continues on
the military list until he has had his name struck from the rolls, which may usually be done by his sending his naturalization certificate through the United States embassy to the proper French authorities."
Circular Notice, Department of State, Washington, Jan. 21, 1901, For.
Rel. 1901, 153.
Article I. of the French law of February 7, 1851, provides: “ Every person born in France of a foreigner who was himself born there, is a Frenchman, unless within the year which follows the time of his majority, as fixed by the law of France, he claimed the quality of foreigner by a declaration made either before the municipal authority of the place of his residence, or before the agents, diplomatic or consular, accredited to France by the foreign government."
The French law of 1851 continued in force in Alsace-Lorraine till 1873, when the German law of June 1, 1870, was introduced there.
For. Rel. 1886, 320, 325; For. Rel. 1887, 389.
born in France of foreign parents, one of whom was also born there,
Mr. Pendleton, in a despatch to the Department of State of February 1, 1886, gave a translation of the German law of June 1, 1870, concerning the loss and acquisition of nationality in the North German Confederation and in various States thereof, as follows:
“SECTION 13. State nationality can be lost henceforth in the following ways only:
“(1) By discharge upon application therefor (sections 14 and following).
“(2) By decree of the public authority (sections 20 and 22). “(3) By a residence of ten years abroad (section 21).
“(4) In the case of illegitimate children, the father having another allegiance than that of the mother, by legitimation effected pursuant to the provisions of law.
“(5) In the case of a North German by marriage with a person having allegiance in another State of the Confederation, or with a foreigner.
SEC. 21. North Germans who leave the territory of the Confederation and sojourn during a period of ten years uninterruptedly abroad lose thereby their state nationality. The above-designated period is reckoned from the time of the departure from the territory of the Confederation; or, if the person leaving is in possession of a passport or home certificate, from the time of the expiration of this paper. It is interrupted by an entry on the files of a consulate of the Confederation. Its course recommences with the day following the cancellation of the entry on those files.
- For North Germans who sojourn in a foreign state for at least five years uninterruptedly and at the same time acquire nationality there, the period of ten years may by treaty be reduced to one of five, whether or not the persons concerned are in possession of a passport or home certificate."
This law, as Mr. Pendleton stated, was, by the law of January 8, 1873, made applicable to Alsace-Lorraine.
For. Rel. 1886, 317, 318.
from German nationality is granted by the issue of a discharge
nativity. Section 15 provides that the discharge shall not be granted till a certifi
cate is obtained from the circuit recruiting commission (Kreis-Ersat:Commission) showing that the discharge is not sought for the sole purpose of evading service in the standing army or navy. (Report by Mr. ('oleman, sec. of leg., For. Rel. 1892, 181.)
" It is presumed that Greece, like most other governments in Continental Europe, has a municipal law requiring military service from its subjects even when naturalized abroad, unless the claim to that service shall have been relinquished or modified by treaty. Unfortunately for Mr. Vaccas, as the United States has no such treaty with Greece, it is not likely that any representation which this Government might make would accomplish the object which you seek [the release of Mr. Vaccas from arrest on a charge of having evaded military service). And even were this piobable this Government has no diplomatic representative at Athens, through an officer of which character alone could a correspondence upon the subject be properly conducted."
Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Wolf, Noy. 28, 1881, 139 MS. Dom.
Let. 696. Louis Economopoulos, a native of Greece, emigrated in 1893, in his 16th year, to the United States, where he was duly naturalized in August, 1899. In the following month he returned to Greece for a
temporary sojourn, as he alleged, on account of the illness of his father. On his arrival in Greece he was arrested and put into the army. The American legation applied for his release, but, as he had changed his name in America from Leonidas to Louis, the war office declined to consider the case on the ground of want of proof of identity. This difficulty having been removed, the foreign office stated that he could not be released on the ground of his American naturalization, since he had not fulfilled the conditions of the Greek constitution, by which the assent of the King is essential to the relief of a Greek subject from his obligation."
In reply Mr. Hardy, United States minister at Athens, cited the following precedents in support of his application:
A. M. Cassimus, born in Greece in 1862, emigrated to the United States in 1873, and was naturalized in 1884. Returning in the same year on a visit to Greece, he was arrested and taken to Corfu, where, on the interposition of the American consular agent, he was, on proof of citizenship, discharged, and his name erased from the conscription rolls.
E. C. Catechi, a native Greek, emigrated in 1872, at the age of 14, to the United States, and was naturalized in 1879. Returning to Greece in 1885 to visit his parents he was conscripted, but on proof of American naturalization was released. In 1886, his name not having been stricken from the rolls, he was again arrested, but was released on the interposition of the consular agent at Corfu. Being again conscripted in 1890, he was finally discharged on the request of the American minister at Athens.
D. X. Vasilatos, who emigrated to the United States in 1880, and was naturalized in 1893, revisited Greece in 1897, when, having been conscripted, he was, on the informal request of the legation, discharged, and his name erased from the rolls.
G. Dragoman, who, after service in the United States Navy, was naturalized in 1891, was, when arrested at the Piraeus, in 1898, released on a similar request.
Two other natives of Greece--E, Xanthakos and P. Cutzenisnaturalized in the United States, were released on the interposition of the legation, the first in 1895 and the second in 1896.4
As the citation of these cases failed to secure a favorable response, Mr. Hardy invoked, without success, two decisions of the Legal Council on Doubtful Administration, June 14, 1886, which served as the basis of Catechi's discharge, to the effect that a Greek might
a For. Rel. 1900, 634, 638, 640.
For the correspondence in the case of Catechi, see For. Rel. 1890, 511, 513, 514, 515, 516, 519, 520.
c For. Rel. 1890, 511.