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cated, bar associations, who have definite ideas as to possible changes in our laws. But it seems to me that if those groups could in advance be requested to submit their views so that your committee or subcommittee would know definitely what their ideas are, then if you desire you could call witnesses and take testimony as to the points upon which there is controversy, leaving your committee or subcommittee to determine as to those points as to which there is no controversy whether the features of the law that are proposed are desirable. The CHAIRMAN. Is that clear enough, gentlemen?

Well, now, Mr. Hazard, do you know of any possible controversy that may exist at the present time in regard to the Departments of Labor and State?

Mr. HAZARD. Do you mean as between the two Departments?

Mr. HAZARD. Are there any matters under controversy between the two Departments at the present time?


Mr. HAZARD. I believe the Departments are fairly in harmony, Mr. Chairman, as to the whole code because the three Secretaries have agreed upon this code and have submitted it to the President with their recommendations that it be adopted.

The CHAIRMAN. The President's message is along the same line. Mr. HAZARD. The President's message submits it for the consideration of Congress.

The CHAIRMAN. Then I think we have a pretty clear picture of it. Shall we then authorize the Chair to appoint a subcommittee for the consideration of this bill? I think that will be the better way. Mr. MASON. Do you need a motion for that?

The CHAIRMAN. Yes, and then I will make the appointments within a day or two.

Mr. MASON. I make that motion.

The CHAIRMAN. The motion has been made that the Chair appoint a subcommittee to consider H. R. 6127, a bill to revise and codify the nationality laws of the United States into a comprehensive nationality code, and authorizing the subcommittee to conduct public hearings or executive sessions as they choose, and call upon the two Departments for whatever assistance they need and then report to the full committee.

Mr. REES. I will second that motion, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. The motion has been seconded by Mr. Rees. All in favor of that motion signify their assent by saying "Aye," those opposed "No."

The "ayes" have it and the Chair will make his decision within a day and notify the various members of the committee who have been appointed to serve on the subcommittee.

Now how big a subcommittee should we have?

Will you amend your motion, Mr. Mason, to cover that?

Mr. MASON. I would suggest three and two or four and three, but not have too large a subcommittee.

The CHAIRMAN. How about five-three, and two; three on this side and two on yours?

Mr. MASON. That is all right.

Mr. KRAMER. Of course we can discuss it in the full committee.
Mr. MASON. We will have to discuss it in the full committee.

I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, a subcommittee of five-three, and two.

The CHAIRMAN. The motion has been amended by Mr. Mason that the chair appoint a subcommittee of five, three Democrats and two Republicans. The Chair hears no objection and it so ordered.

Mr. HAZARD. Mr. Chairman, may I say that the representatives of the Department of Labor will be very happy to cooperate with the subcommittee and the full committee and I am sure that I speak likewise for the other two Departments.

The CHAIRMAN. How about you, Mr. Warren?

Mr. WARREN. We will be glad to assist the subcommittee and the committee in every possible way.

Mr. KRAMER. When he says the Department of Labor does he mean Mrs. Perkins, the Secretary, too?

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hazard means the experts of the Department of Labor.

Mr. MASON. He means the Department of Labor.

Mr. KRAMER. I have never found Mrs. Perkins would cooperate. Mrs. O'DAY. I found her to be very cooperative.

Mr. KRAMER. I believe she is very cooperative with some people but I never found her to be very cooperative yet and I say that for the record. I have found very few people who found her cooperative.

Mr. MASON. Mr. Chairman, if any member of this committee has cause to say what Mr. Kramer has been trying to say I would be that member, but I refrain.

The CHAIRMAN. Off the record.

(Discussion off the record.)

The CHAIRMAN. I will make my announcement later of the members of the subcommittee.

(Thereupon at 11:10 a. m. the committee proceeded to the consideration of other business.)




Washington, D. C..

The subcommittee met at 10:15 a. m., the Honorable W. R. Poage presiding. Mr. POAGE. The committee will be in order.


Mr. REES. Mr. Flournoy, you represent the Department of State; is that correct?


Mr. REES. What is your official position?

Mr. FLOURNOY. Assistant legal adviser.

Mr. REES. All right, you may proceed.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Mr. Chairman, I have not prepared any formal statement. The scope of this measure is set forth in the letter of transmittal you will find in volume 1 of these three volumes here.

The State Department is interested in this problem principally if not entirely, because of its duty to extend protection to Americans abroad. Mr. REES. Will you just let me interrupt so we can get the record straight? The hearing is on H. R. 6127.


Mr. REES. A measure introduced for the purpose of revising and codifying the nationality laws of the United States into a comprehensive nationality code. That is correct.


Mr. REES. You are here to give the views of the State Department on this measure.


Mr. REES. All right. May we have your views on this bill; and what we want especially is to know what changes are being made and why they are being made, from the standpoint of the Department of State.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes, sir. I started to say the Department of State is especially interested in this problem on account of its function of extending protection to American nationals in foreign countries. That is not only in connection with the issuance of passports, but also actual protection in cases in which Americans get into difficulties of any kind

in foreign countries, and they feel they need the protection of their government, and growing out of cases of that kind, of course we have many international claims.

The first question we have when we are called upon either to issue a passport, in the first instance, or to extend protection, or to support a claim, is the question whether the individual concerned is an American national, that is, a citizen of the United States, or an inhabitant of one of the outlying possessions who, although not a citizen of the United States, is an American national.

On account of the peculiar drafting of the nationality laws, which you will find scattered among approximately 50 different statutes, some of them running away back to the early days of the Republic, and many of them apparently inconsistent, it is often difficult to construe these laws and say with any degree of confidence whether any individual born under certain circumstances is or is not an American national.

It is important to the individual, obviously, as well as to the United States, that these laws should be just as clear and definite as possible. One example I can give you, which occurred within the past week, involved the nationality of a person who had been in an outlying possession. His parents were citizens of the United States and had lived most of their lives in this country. One would say right off, of course, that he must be a citizen. If he is born in the center of Asia, he would be a citizen, so why wouldn't he be a citizen if he was born in an American territory. Personally, I think he is a citizen and I have expressed that opinion and our Department has so ruled, but there is a difference of opinion in that case.

I just give that as one example.

Then we have the peculiar provisions in the Expatriation Act of 1907, where it says that when a naturalized citizen resides in the foreign state from which he came for 2 years, or in some other foreign state 5 years, he shall have ceased to be a citizen of the United States, although this presumption may be overcome under rules prescribed by the Department of State.

Those are substantially the words; I haven't the text before me now. Just what that means has been the subject of great controversy. One of the courts held at first that a naturalized citizen who resides in his native land for 2 years did not come within any of these rules prescribed by the State Department for overcoming the presumption, ceased to be a citizen, and lost his nationality, so that if he came back to the United States he would have to come as an alien.

Later on Attorney General Wickersham in a case which this Department referred to him held that the presumption under that statute did not really mean loss of citizenship; it merely meant the loss of right to protection as a citizen; even though a person might live in his native land 40 years or more, had all his interests there, when he felt like it he could come back to the United States and demand entrance into this country as a citizen.

Some of the other courts later on followed that ruling of Attorney General Wickersham.

There is another example of indefinite drafting which has caused great confusion, but a still more serious reason why the Department of State is interested in this measure is that under the laws now exist

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