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The Government of the United States will not remain silent while the Hungarian Government, through its secret police, continues to persecute Hungian employees of the American Legation. It is obvious that such persons have been singled out as special targets, falsely accused of subversion, and subjected to cruel and wholly unwarranted punishment by Hungarian authorities for the purposes of adding to the terrorization of the Hungarian people, attempting to discredit the American Legation, and undermining the prestige of the United States before the Hungarian people.

For many years now, the Government and people of the United States have looked in vain for some slight sign that the present leadership of Hungary might one day be disposed to act like an independent and responsible government, to honor its international obligations, and to show a decent respect for the rights of the Hungarian people. Whatever its pretensions to principle, the Hungarian Government can command no credence in its words and no confidence in the rectitude of its actions.

Now, as in the past, the Hungarian Government continues unabated its systematic suppression of human rights and liberties in violation of its specific treaty obligations. This policy, together with the irresponsible treatment and abuse of duly-accredited foreign diplomatic missions by Hungarian authorities stands in stark contrast to the insistent claims long put forward by the Hungarian Government of qualification for membership in the United Nations. The record, including the latest incidents reviewed above, not only contradicts those claims but also places in serious doubt the ability or willingness of Hungary, under its present government, to carry out in good faith the charter obligations it has assumed upon admission to the United Nations.

The United States Government has given careful thought to the situation which now exists as the result of the failure of the Hungarian Government to explain satisfactorily or to remedy and bring to an end the harmful acts which it has directed over a prolonged period against the American Legation in Budapest and the Legation's Hungarian employees. It has concluded that full responsibility rests upon the Hungarian Government for intensifying the strains and difficulties in United States-Hungarian relations and that, until this situation is altered by positive and constructive steps on the part of the Hungarian Government, there is little prospect for understanding or improvement in the relations of the two Governments.

In keeping with the considerations set forth above, the Minister is informed of the following steps that are being taken by this Government:

1. The United States Government is unwilling in present circumstances either to encourage or facilitate the travel of American citizens to Hungary. The requirement of passport validation, which was previously in effect in respect of travel by American citizens to Hungary but which was withdrawn on October 31, 1955, is being reinstituted.

2. Additional restrictions on the travel of Hungarian Legation personnel in the United States, which effectively establish full reciprocity as between limitations affecting movement by members of the American Legation staff in Hungary on the one hand and those affecting the movement of members of the Hungarian Legation staff in the United States on the other, will be notified to the Minister at an early date.

3. The United States Government no longer considers feasible, and is accordingly abandoning at this time, consideration of possible talks with the Hungarian Government on various problem areas in United States-Hungarian relations.

A copy of this note is being delivered by the American Minister in Budapest to the Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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October 31, 1956, No. 565


The Department of State announced today that because of the troubled conditions in the eastern Mediterranean area, passports are not being issued, extended or renewed for travel to or in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria. Passports will be endorsed, “This passport is not valid for travel to or in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria.” An exception may be made, however, when the Department of State is satisfied that the presence of the person in one of these countries would be in the best interests of the United States. When exception is made, an appropriate endorsement will be placed in the passport.

Persons planning to travel in Middle Eastern countries other than the four specified above for passport restrictions are urged to defer their plans if it is at all possible to do so.




November 2, 1956, No. 567 The Department of State announced today the issuance of an order invalidating all outstanding passports for travel to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria, except those of persons remaining in those countries and of Government officials and their families en route to or stationed there. Passports of persons within any of these four countries will become invalid for return thereto when they proceed to a country other than Aden, Bahrein, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Muscat and Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen. Passports invalidated for travel to or in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria will remain invalid for travel there unless specially endorsed for travel to or in one or more of these countries or until the order is revoked.



The following study was submitted by the Passport Office of the Department of State, in compliance with requests made by the Constitutional Rights Subcommittee at the hearing April 4, 1958.)


July 22, 1957

Page 262

A. Passport control...
B. Refusal of passports-Non-Communists. Memorandum of November

14, 1955, and supplement.
C. Refusal of passports to Communists. Memorandum of May 29, 1956. -
D. Moore's International Law Digest. Extracts from volume III.
E. Hackworth's Digest of International Law. Extracts from volume III.
F. State Department memorandums..
See also:

1957 compilation of laws, Executive orders, and administrative rules and regulations bearing upon the issuance of passports to American citizens.

Geographic limitations on validity of passports during past 40 years and their application to the cases of journalists.

264 268 275 309 320


[Question submitted to Department by Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1957 and answer prepared in Passport Office (Nicholas)] Question

Would you mind giving us a brief history of passport control, giving the date when the Department first began to deny passports and to restrict the use of wwwports for political reasons?

Would you summarize briefly the several successive phases of the development of the Department's passport policy?

1) Passport control, in the sense that the refusal and limitation of passport Brilltion has been used as an instrument for implementing the foreign policy of The luited States Government, has been exercised on numerous occasions; mostly but not always, as a measure short of war to induce the release of American citi. kann, Ser? U.S. C. 1732.) Some examples are:

During the civil war in Spain (1936 to 1939), to enforce the neutral position of this Government, passports were refused to persons who the Department and person to believe, intended to join one of the belligerent armies. The same

toy was the reuson passports were endorsed “not valid for travel in Spain."

The brier ban on travel of journalists to Finland in 1944 can also be classed as #t'oreign policy decision.

The theral restriction against travel in Iron Curtain countries announced in the press release of May 1, 1952, was partly for the protection of American citikon but was also a measure to stop Communist propaganda groups from going to the Soviet Union,

The ban nguinnt travel to Czechoslovakia imposed on June 12, 1951, was a mensure directed against Czechoslovakia to induce the release of an American journalist named Oritis. The ban was lifted after the release of Oatis.

The bun against travel to Hungary on December 21, 1949. was a foreign policy meantire directed against Hungary to induce the release of Robert Vogeler. The bain was lifted after the release of Vogeler.

Travel to Hungary was again banned on December 28, 1951, as a measure to induce the release of American flyers who had been forced down.

One of the reasons for the present ban on travel to Communist China is to put pressure on the Communist regime to induce the release of Americans being beld in China.

(0) Passport control, in the sense that passports were required for departure from and/or entry into the United States, appears to have been exercised only in time of war or national emergency. Such control was, to a limited extent, enforced during the War of 1812 and to a greater extent during the Civil War. It was established in World War I by the act of May 24, 1918. This act was effective as to American nationals only during the time that the United States was actually at war. It was extended by Congress in 1941 while we were still neutral to apply also to the then existing period of national emergency which had been proclaimed by President Roosevelt. Later the travel control provisions were embodied as section 215 in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and were made applicable during the period of any national emergency.

(c) Passport control, insofar as it relates to the refusal of passports to American nationals whose allegiance to the United States was questionable, goes back at least to 1823. John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, advised our Minister to Spain, under date of April 28, 1823, that passports “may be refused eren to citizens of the United States who have so far expatriated themselves as to have become bound in allegiance to other nations, or who in any other manner have forfeited the protection of their own."

In a circular instruction sent out by Secretary of State Seward under date of May 6, 1861, our embassies and legations abroad were advised as follows:

“You are therefore strictly enjoined to grant no passport whatever to any person of whose loyalty to the Union you have not the most complete and satisfactory evidence."

The 1903 rules governing the granting and issuing of passports in the United States contain the following paragraph :

"The Secretary of State has the right in his discretion to refuse to issue a passport, and will exercise this right toward anyone who he has reason to believe desires a passport to further an unlawful or improper purpose."

After World War I the Department adopted the policy of refusing passports to leading American Communists. This policy was reversed by the Secretary of State in 1931.

During World War II the Department refused to issue diplomatic or special passports to Communists.

After the termination of World War II the question came up as to whether the Department would issue regular passports to Communists.

At first passports were refused, but the matter was reconsidered at the highest level in the Department early in 1948 and the decision was reached that passports would be issued to Communists and supporters of communism who satisfied the Department that they did not intend, while abroad, to engage in the promotion of Communist activities. At the same time, the decision was made that passports should be refused to persons whose purpose in traveling abroad was believed to be to subvert the interests of the United States. Later in the same rear the policy was modified to permit the issue of passports to Communist journalists even though they were actively promoting the Communist cause. In 1950 the Passport Division raised the question, in connection with pending passport applications by Communist journalists, whether this policy should be inodified. It was pointed out that ten members of the national committee of the Communist Party had been convicted of violating the Smith Act; that the Communists were actively supporting the enemy position in the Korean war, and the Internal Security Act of 1950 indicated that Congress desired that no Communist should be issued a passport of this Government.

The Department also took into consideration, its own experience, that ever since the end of World War I, American Communists and alien Communists, illegally in possession of American passports, had effectively carried on abroad, espionage, propaganda and revolutionary activities on behalf of the Soviet Government and the international Communist movement and contrary to the foreign policy of the United States Government. The matter was referred to the Legal Adviser who agreed that it was the duty of the State Department to refuse passports to all Communists, including journalists. The promulgation of this policy lead to considerable criticism of the Department's practice and procedures and resulted in the promulgation of sections 51.135 to 51.143 of title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which made mandatory the discretionary policy which had previously been followed and which provided for certai procedures in the cases of persons refused passports.

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