[Inclosure in No. 84.]
Mr. Heenan to Mr.
Consulate of the United States,
Odessa, Russia, March 29,
Sir: I have the honor to report that in
addition to the regulations regarding foreigners, it is intended now by
the Russian Government to issue special rules for granting permission to
Russians to become subjects or citizens of a foreign power.
Propositions on the subject which are out lay down the general principle
that the right of becoming a Russian subject, or of leaving such
allegiance, is only personal, so that children who have not reached
their fall age and have no personal will of their own must remain in the
allegiance in which they were born, even when their parents have changed
On the strength of these rules will he laid down for children taken
abroad by their parents and who have discontinued to be Russian subjects
- No. 1.—No person can receive permission
to renounce his allegiance while he is liable to military
service, and must first serve his time.
- No. 2.—Persons who are not of age, and
such males as have only reached the age of fifteen years, if
they are under the control of their parents, will be entered in
the release documents of their parents, but will continue to be
considered Russian subjects until they attain the age of
twenty-one years. After reaching that age they can only be
permitted to renounce the Russian allegiance subsequent to their
carrying out all the rules laid down for that purpose.
- No. 3.—Persons who have not attained
full age and whose names were entered in the release documents
of their parents must serve their time of military service on
attaining the age of twenty-one years.
The following additions will be made to the rules of the general military
service: Males can only be permitted to renounce Russian allegiance
after having served their full time, or on drawing lots which will
exempt them from serving in the regular army.
The minister of the interior, however, after consulting with the minister
for war, will have the right to address a special request to the
committee of ministers to grant permission to persons who have not
served their time in the ranks of the army to become foreign subjects.
At the same time it is intended to add certain rules to the military
service statutes, to the effect that Russian subjects who are liable to
military service and have left the country without permission and before
serving their time, in the event that they should return to Russia, be
it even with a foreign passport which shows that they have become
foreign subjects, will at once be compelled to join the regular army on
the same conditions as transgressors.
This rule will be in keeping with the corresponding rules in the
legislation of those countries where general military service
Persons who were formerly Russian subjects, and who have renounced their
allegiance, should they return to Russia even with a foreign passport,
will be considered Russian subjects if they remain in the country for
more than one year. By this last paragraph the Russian Government
strikes a severe, but at the same time a proper, blow at an abuse which
causes annoyance to Russia and other countries.
I have met many naturalized American citizens who were formerly Russian
subjects, and it has always been a source of great surprise to me to
find how devotedly they cling to Russia, and how great is their love of
country; they appreciate very fully the advantages which their American
passports give them, but I venture to predict that many of these
individuals will renounce their allegiance to the United States rather
than be forced to leave Russia.
I am, etc.,