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REPATRIATION OF CERTAIN FORMER AMERICAN CITIZENS.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION, Thursday, May 24, 1917.

The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. John L. Burnett (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, I have called the committee together to consider a bill which Mr. Rogers has introduced and asked a hearing on (H. R. 3647), " permitting the repatriation of certain former American citizens who have hitherto served or who shall hereafter serve in the armed forces of any foreign State engaged in war with a country with which the United States is at war.' "Under the present law it is thought that they denationalize themselves by taking the oath, and it is a very important matter, and I have asked both the State Department and the Labor Department to have representatives here this morning to give us the benefit of their views, and gentlemen from each of those departments are here.

Mr. Rogers, we will let you control the time, and you can make your own statement now.

STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN J. ROGERS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS.

Mr. SLAYDEN. Tell us about the particular men you are interested in.

Mr. ROGERS. There are between 35,000 and 40,000 men I am particularly interested in. It is impossible to ascertain the exact number of men, former American citizens, who are now fighting with the armies of the allies or who have been so fighting since August 1, 1914; but the best information I have been able to compile is that it is between 45,000 and 50,000. I have a letter from a former American citizen, now a lieutenant colonel in the Canadian Army, which states. that he himself has administered the oath of allegiance to 1.000 men, and that he knows personally of between nine and ten thousand former American citizens who are now fighting in the Canadian Army alone. The law to which Judge Burnett referred at the outset is the law of March 2, 1907, section 2 of which provides in part as follows:

That any American citizen shall be deemed to have expatriated himself * when he has taken an oath of allegiance to any foreign state.

Mr. RAKER. How is that?

Mr. SIEGEL. That is in the naturalization act.

Mr. RAKER. That is not the way section 2 reads here.

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