No. 7.
Mr. Davis to Mr. Taft .

No. 21.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge your No. 24, of November 20 last, in regard to persons residing in Austria-Hungary claiming protection as naturalized citizens of the United States when called upon to perform duties as citizens of the Austrian Empire. You state the case of a native of Hungary (brought to your notice by the consul at Buda-Pesth) who emigrated to the United States, remained there six years, became naturalized, then returned to Hungary, where he has remained for the past fifteen years, has paid taxes and voted, has married and had children. The children he now desires to have registered as children of an American citizen at the consulate in Buda-Pesth. To the inquiries of the consul, whether he should register the children if he renewed the passport of the father (which was dated 1855); and secondly, what was the true construction of paragraph 167 of the Consular Regulations, you reply that the fact of the father returning to Hungary and voting in that country, immediately after obtaining his naturalization, was evidence of his resuming the domicile and citizenship of his birth j and secondly, that a passport is good for two years and no longer. You present the case for the approval by the Department of your ruling.

In reply, I have to state that your conclusions are approved, except that it is thought that too much stress may be laid on the fact that the person whose case is described voted in Hungary, inasmuch as it appears that foreign taxpayers may vote. The absence of intent to return, and silence as to status for fifteen years, afford sufficient ground for refusing a renewal of his passport. The question of his own or his children’s nationality will become proper subjects for consideration when he shall have returned to the United States, resumed his residence here, and taken upon himself the duties and obligations of American citizenship.

I am, &c.,

Acting Secretary.