No. 239.
Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard.

No. 391.]

Sir: In compliance with your Nos. 170, of October 25, 1886, and 201, of February 18, 1887, I have applied for the discharge from the French military service of Jean Pierre Arbios, an American citizen of French origin, who acquired his American citizenship through the naturalization of his father, under section 2172 of the Revised Statutes, and I now send a copy and a translation of the reply received, from the minister of foreign affairs.

This reply is substantially the same as made to all applications of the kind, as explained in Mr. Vignaud’s dispatch of November 13, 1884, viz, that questions of personal status with reference to citizenship cannot be determined in France by any action of the Executive, and can only be settled by the judiciary. (See Mr. Morton’s dispatches Nos. 494 and 555, and inclosures.*)

[Page 293]

In the case of Arbios, however, an appeal to the judiciary would be useless, because in all cases of this kind brought to the notice of this legation the French courts, acting upon the principle that while the conditions of the acquisition of another national character are determined by the country giving that character, the country of origin is the only judge of the conditions upon which the original allegiance can be set aside, have decided that the minor son of a Frenchman can not lose his original character through any action of his father.

I have, etc.,

Robert M. McLane.
[Inclosure in No. 391.—Translation.]

Mr. Flourens to Mr. McLane.

Sir: On November the 9th and 1st of March last you were kind enough to appeal to my good offices with a view to obtain the striking off from the rolls of our army of the name of Pierre Arbios, a soldier in the One hundredth Regiment of Infantry, whose father, Jean Arbios, a Frenchman by birth, after having, in 1877, emigrated to the United States, there acquired American citizenship.

The minister of war, whoso attention was at once called to the demand, remarks that it raises a question of status beyoud the competency of the administration, and which the civil tribunals alone are qualified to decide. My colleaguo, General Boulanger, consequently requests mo to inform you that the erasure of Mr. Arbios’s name from the rolls can not be proceeded with before the production by the latter of a judgment proving his foreign citizenship.

Receive, etc.,