My Lord: In reply to your lordship’s dispatch, marked circular of the 11th instant, in which I am instructed to report on the state of the Belgian law with regard to the nationality of children born of alien parents in the Belgian dominions, I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of the two articles of the civil code which afford the information desired.

I beg further to explain that, according to the doctrine and jurisprudence most generally received, the individual who complies with the conditions of article 9 of the civil code is considered a Belgian subject from the day of his birth, and not from the day on which he may make the declaration, the declaration having a retroactive eifect; therefore the declaration once made the individual making it is considered as never having been a foreigner.

I have, &c.,


The Lord Stanley, M. P., &c., &c., &c.


Every individual born in Belgium of a foreigner may, during the year which follows the epoch of his majority, reclaim the quality of a Belgian, provided that, in case he shall reside in Belgium, he declare that it is his intention to fix his domicile there, and in ease he shall reside in a foreign country he makes his submission to fix his domicile in Belgium, and establish himself there within one year, from the date of the act of submission. (Article 9, civil code.)

The person born in Belgium of alien parents residing there, who shall have neglected to make the declaration prescribed by the ninth article of the civil code, may, if he is an inhabitant of the country, ask for full naturalization without being required to show that he has rendered eminent services to the state. (Law of September 27, 1835, article 2.)