to Mr. Winchester.
Washington, October 7, 1887.
Sir: Your dispatch No. 153, of the 23d ultimo, relative to the application of Mr. Henry Edward Kern to your legation, through our consul at St. Galle, has been received.
You state that Mr. Kern’s application for a passport shows that he arrived in New York on the 21st of May, 1873; that he received his certificate of naturalization on the 23d of October, 1877, when he had only resided in the United States four years and five months preceding his admission, instead of five years as required by section 2170 of the Revised Statutes; that he admits that the facts are as stated, but claims [Page 1073] that be was misinformed as to the law, and that the court which admitted him to citizenship did not ask him any questions.
As the fact of insufficient residence in the United States, and consequent violation of the requirements of the naturalization statutes, appears in Mr. Kern’s statement, and is further admitted by him on his attention being drawn to the fact, it is your duty to decline to grant him the passport sought.
Mr. Kern’s explanation, while appearing to relieve him personally from imputation of fraud, is instructive as showing the defects of existing legislation in regard to such a case, and shows the necessity for the closest scrutiny of all applications for passports.
I am, etc.,