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Ante, p. 71.
Letter of
Oct. 7, 1897.

You are informed that this Government has no disposition to deny any loyal citizen traveling or sojourning abroad in lawful pursuit of his business or pleasure the protection of a passport; nor does it desire to place upon him any requirements of application for a passport repugnant to his conscience or the free exercise of his religious belief. But it is manifestly proper that before issuing a passport the Government should exact from the person who applies for it a promise that he will, on his part, support and defend the Government whose protection he solicits. The oath of allegiance is therefore required from all persons before they are granted passports, and to this regulation the Department adheres; nor will it accept an oath which contains any alteration or addition tending to invalidiate it. The words used by Mr. * * * amount to a protest against the Constitution of the United States, and it is understood that such is the intention of their meaning. The Department can not accept this oath.

* * *


It is not doubted, however, that Mr. * *is a citizen of the United States, and the antecedents of the sect to which he belongs have tended to demonstrate the loyalty of its members to the Government of the United States. In order, therefore, that no hardship may be visited upon any loyal citizens because they follow the dictates of conscience, the Department is willing to reconsider so much of the letter of September 30 as refuses to accept any modification of the form of the oath as now prescribed, and Mr. * * may submit another application, containing the oath of allegiance in the form now used, except that the word "Government" may be inserted for the word "Constitution," and the statement added, "That I acknowledge allegiance to no other government," so that the oath shall read: (See for form ante, p. 71.)



As a general statement, the Department advises persons who purpose traveling abroad to procure passports, in order that they may be able to establish their nationality, should occasion require, as well as for the purpose of entering those countries which require travelers to produce passports at the frontier.

Dec. 22, 1868.

Your letter of the 18th instant requesting to be in- Vol. i, p. 151, formed if any reliance can be placed upon recent articles in the New York papers advising all American citizens who desire to reside for any length of time in any of the German cities to provide themselves with passports, and also informing the public that passports are very desirable for Russia and Austria and indispensable for Cuba, has been received. In reply I have to inform you that the articles referred to can be relied upon. This Department would advise all citizens visiting foreign countries to provide themselves with passports, as they might be liable to serious inconvenience if unprovided with authentic proof of their national character.

structions in

passports, June 1, 1888.

Citizens of the United States visiting foreign countries General inare liable to serious inconvenience if unprovided with regard to authentic proof of their national character. The best safeguard is a passport from this Department certifying the bearer to be a citizen of the United States.

the President,

The Department has at various times in the past by Mr. Olney to public announcement advised American citizens about to Feb. 8, 1897. proceed abroad to provide themselves with passports from this Government. Although the tendency of recent years has been towards freer and less hampered travel,

some countries abolishing all passport requirements and some omitting their enforcement, there are still governments which exact passports before admitting foreigners to their dominions; and in most of the countries of continental Europe a foreigner after a brief sojourn is required to establish his identity and nationality before the local authorities, for which purpose the most effective document is a passpost. As many individual cases of inconvenience arising from a failure to procure passports have been brought to the Department's attention, *** it must be said that it is still a wise precaution, if not a necessity, for all Americans to carry passports from their Government if they purpose traveling extensively or sojourning in foreign countries.

Vol. i, p. 71,
Aug. 31, 1867.

Vol. x, p. 53.

Mar. 23, 1887.

Vol. x, p. 198,

May 25, 1894.


A passport is the only document issued by this Government for the protection of Americans traveling in foreign countries.

I have to inform you that a passport as a citizen of the United States may be expected to secure for you in Great Britain or Ireland the same privileges and exemptions which, under similiar circumstances, would be enjoyed by a British subject with a Foreign Office passport in the United States.

The usual passport issued from this office is the only document provided by the Government for the protection of American citizens who are about to visit foreign


* received May 25, in

Replying to your letter of ** which you state that you are a naturalized citizen of the

United States and desire to return on a visit to Germany and request that a passport be issued in your favor, with such instruction as will prevent your detention in Germany, you are informed that, upon your complying with the regulations and making application in due form, a passport will be issued; but the Deparment can not accompany it with any special instructions.

During your temporary residence abroad you will receive such protection as this Government accords to citizens of the United States.


Excepting the special or official passport, which need not enter into consideration, this Government issues the same form of passport to all citizens of the United States, whether, they are native born or naturalized. All are accorded equal protection abroad, the law requiring that there be no discrimination. But if a citizen of alien birth returns to the country of his original allegiance and we have no treaty on the subject of naturalization with that country exempting him from such laws as may cover his case, he is liable to apprehension if he violated law before emigrating or by obtaining naturalization in this country. This Department lends its good offices, through its agents abroad, in preventing injustice to its citizens; but in civilized countries the local law is supreme, until it has been superseded by treaty provisions, and naturalized Americans can not expect to escape


Dig. Int.

from its operations when they voluntarily place themselves within its sphere.

Within our domestic jurisdiction we are bound to Law, vol. ii, uphold and enforce the right of expatriation, and our assertion of that right follows, to every foreign country,

P. 329.

France. Vol. xiii,

the alien who has become a citizen of the United States by due process of law, and regards him as the equal of a native-born American citizen.-Secretary of State to Mr. Cox, November 28, 1885.

The Department has received your letter of March 28, asking for a passport to protect you in returning to Apr. 1, 1896. France, the country of your nativity, and stating that

P. 349.

Department letter, April

23, 1896.

when you came to this country you were exempt from military service in France, because you were an ecclesiastical student, but that after having been ordained a priest in this country you were later called upon to serve in the French army, which call you did not obey.

In reply you are informed that the Department understands that under French law the naturalization abroad of a French citizen who has not complied with the military laws is deemed void, unless his naturalization was authorized by the French Government. The Department is not informed as to what classes of persons are exempt from military service in France.

This Government can give you no assurance of immunity from the operation of the laws of France in the event of your voluntarily placing yourself again within the jurisdiction of that country; but, should occasion arise, our diplomatic representative in France will, upon application, afford you such assistance as the circumstances of the case may justify.

In the absence of any statutory authority and in view of the provisions of sections 1999 and 2000, Revised

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