No. 425.
Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Wallace.

No. 162.]

Sir: Your No. 315 of January 24 last, inclosing the correspondence between your legation and the Turkish Government touching certain persons of Russian origin claiming to be American citizens domiciled in Palestine, has been received, as also your No. 327 of February 14.

It would appear that those persons have been declared by the Russian consular representatives to have lost Russian citizenship, and it is [Page 552] understood to be the claim of the Turkish Government that by the fact of so ceasing to be Russians they, being within Ottoman jurisdiction, become subjects of the Porte, thus ignoring their claim to American citizenship.

Your note to the minister for foreign affairs as to the rights of fully-naturalized citizens is approved. The Department reserves to itself, however, the decision of ultimate measures of protection in such cases if ordinary steps are unavailingly exhausted, which is, of course, not to be anticipated.

A decision as to the second class of persons possibly claiming the protection of the United States, as set forth in your note, viz, those who may have declared their intention, is reserved until the consul’s report called for by you shall be received, although it may be said now that so far as it may concern persons of an original allegiance other than Turkish the declaration of intention is not of itself a renunciation of original allegiance, but simply a record of declared intention to renounce such allegiance on becoming a citizen of the United States. While, as an abstract question, they continue, from one point of view, to be, for example, Russian subjects, they acquire by such declaration of intention, a quasi right to protection as against the claim of a third power to their allegiance. This Government could not, in that case, admit that persons of the second class became Turkish subjects because they intended to throw off Russian allegiance at some future day. We would hold in case of dispute on this point that they retain a future right to perfect their naturalization in conformity with our laws.

As to the first class, your view is approved. No one can be lawfully naturalized outside of American jurisdiction.

I am, &c.,