No. 347.
Mr. Romero to Mr. Bayard.

Mr. Secretary: I have had the honor to receive your note of the 19th instant, in reply to mine of the 16th, whereby I informed you that Article 39 of the laws of the Mexican Congress, which was promulgated [Page 733] on the 28th of May last, had taken the place of the laws previously existing in relation to the matriculation of foreigners, leaving those residing in Mexico at liberty to apply for a certificate of their nationality, which would be issued to them by the secretary of foreign relations.

You are pleased to state that you have already received a copy of that law, and that you observe that it is provided in Article 39 that “final proof of any given nationality shall be furnished before the competent courts, and by the means provided in the laws and treaties.” Reserving this point until it shall be better understood, you express your confidence that there is nothing in the domestic laws of Mexico or in the judicial proceedings thereby sanctioned that can restrict the rights of a citizen of the United States with respect to the national protection which he is entitled to receive from his country, or his obligations to the same.

I beg you to permit me to state that, in my opinion, two different questions are embraced in the foregoing; the first has reference to the manner of proving the nationality of a foreigner and the second to the rights and duties which that nationality confers or imposes upon foreigners residing in Mexico. Until the date of the promulgation of the law of the 28th of May last, proof of the nationality of a citizen of the United States consisted in Mexico of his certificate of matriculation, and that system has been abolished by this law. When the nationality of a person is once established it is evident that he is entitled to the enjoyment of what the laws or treaties of the country grant to foreigners in general, and especially to those of a given nationality, if special treaties exist.

Before concluding this note, it seems proper for me further to inform you that Article 31 of the aforesaid law has very liberally modified the Mexican laws which prohibited foreigners not residing in Mexico from becoming owners of real estate in that country.

Be pleased to accept, &c.,