My Lord: In reply to your lordship’s dispatch of the 16th of June, I have the honor to inclose copy and translation of a note dated the 8th instant, and of its inclosure, addressed to me by the minister of foreign affairs, in answer to my application to him for information as to the disabilities of aliens in this country.

In the inclosure above referred to, your lordship will find a statement of the rights, as well as of the disabilities, of aliens in Portugal.

I have, &c.,


The Right Honorable Lord Stanley,
&c., &c., &c.

Most Illustrious and Excellent Sir: In addition to the note which my predecessor addressed to your excellency on the 16th of July last, I have the honor to forward to your excellency the inclosed copy of the report made by the councillor and assistant attorney-general to the Crown attached to the department of the interior, wherein the rights and powers to which foreigners are entitled in Portugal are summarily stated.

Having thus complied with the wish expressed by your excellency in your note dated the 24th of June last,

I am, &c.,

[Page 1400]

Rights and powers enjoyed by foreigners in Portugal.

All foreigners residing or traveling in Portugal possess the same rights and are subject to the same civil duties as Portuguese citizens, as far as regards any acts which are to be carried into effect in this country, except in such cases in which either an express law or a special treaty shall provide otherwise. (Civil Code, art. 26.)
The status and civil capacity of foreigners are to be regulated according to the law of their own country. (Article 27.)
If met with in these realms they can be sued before the Portuguese justices on account of any engagements entered into with Portuguese in a foreign country, the case of any special treaty excepted. (Arts. 28 and 30.)
They can be sued by other foreigners before the Portuguese justices for any engagements entered into in this country, if met with there, the aforesaid case excepted. (Arts. 29 and 30.)
Any judgments given in foreign courts of justice upon any civil rights between foreigners and Portuguese can be carried into execution before the Portuguese tribunals, (art. 31,) provided they are examined and confirmed in any of the tribunals of second instance of the kingdom, after hearing the parties, and in the presence of the representative of the Crown, unless there should be a treaty stipulation providing otherwise, or whenever the parties expressly consent to the execution of such judgments by a written agreement signed by them before the proper judge, namely, that of the domicile of the person against whom judgment is to be carried out, and in his absence that of the place where the property is situated. (“Reforma Judiciaria,” Judicial Reform, art. 567, and respective paragraph.)
Foreigners can become naturalized, if they are of age, both by the law of their country and by Portuguese law, provided they are able to maintain themselves either by the work of their hands or by any other means of subsistence, and shall have resided during one year in Portuguese territory, unless they should be the descendants of Portuguese blood, and should have come for the purpose of establishing their domicile in this kingdom; because, in such a case, one year’s residence is not requisite, which may also be dispensed with by the government in the case of a foreigner married to a Portuguese woman, or in the case of any one who shall have performed, or may be called to perform, any important service to the nation. (Civil Code, arts. 19 and 20.)
Letters of naturalization are granted by the executive power, (Constitutional Charter, art. 75, § 10,) but are only valid after being registered in the municipal chamber of the district where a foreigner shall have established his domicile. (Civil Code, art. 21.)
All foreigners who are naturalized are Portuguese citizens, (Constitutional Charter, art. 7, § 4,) enjoying as such all the political rights appertaining to them, such as voting at elections, &c., (art. 63 of the Constitutional Charter.) They cannot, however, be elected deputies, (art. 68, § 2,) nor succeed to the Crown, (art. 89,) nor be minister of state, (art. 106,) nor a councillor of state, (art. 108.)
True copy: