No. 153.
Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.

No. 320.]

Sir: I have the honor to-report that a question has arisen at Amoy, China, involving the legal status of a Chinese named Ae Teck.

Ac Teck, a native of Amoy, on the 31st of December, 1878, before the circuit court of the United States at Boston, Mass., declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States. Before securing his final papers of naturalization he returned to Amoy, where he has since resided. The date of leaving the United States is not given. He asserts an intention to return to the United States. Consul Crowell refused to allow Ae Teck to register, under section 468 of the Consular Regulations.

I have approved of the consul’s action, because under section 158, Consular Regulations, Ae Teck is not a citizen of the United States.

The consul desires instructions as to whether Ae Teck is entitled to protection from him. Following the case of Simon Tousig, cited in Wheaton’s International Law, ed. 1866, sec. 86, I am of the opinion that Ae Teck having voluntarily returned to China has lost the protection of the United States. (See also Woolsey, 5th ed., p. 122.)

I construe section 118 of the diplomatic instructions as meaning that protection will be afforded in maintaining the status of domicil, and as [Page 191] not inconsistent with the Tousig case. The case of Martin Koszta does not conflict with this view.

Although not necessary for the decision of the point presented, it is important to know whether section 14 of the act of May 6, 1882, (acts of 1881–’83, p. 61), which prohibits the naturalization of Chinese, is law when tested by Article 11 of the treaty of 1880 (p. 827, acts 1881–’83). That is to say, can any Chinese subject be naturalized, and if so, what class and under what conditions?

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This question arises in Ae Teck’s case. That is to say, if Ae Teck can never be naturalized, the decision hereof may rest on that point alone. You may say that Ae Teck can not be protected by the Government, for the reason that, although he has declared his intention, he can never be a citizen.

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I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.