No. 886.
Mr. Bell to Mr. Bayard.

No. 289.]

Sir: As public attention seems to be at present drawn to the boundless mischief attendant upon the present process of naturalization in the United States, I have thought it useful to invite your attention to the process of naturalization in the Netherlands as ordered by the laws of this Kingdom.

In accordance with the provisions of article 6 of the Dutch constitution, a foreigner can only be naturalized in the Netherlands by means of a special law.

The general conditions required in order to be naturalized in the Netherlands have been fixed by the provisions of article 5 of the law of July 28, 1850 (No. 44).

The law as it now stands requires that the applicant in order to be entitled to naturalization must be twenty-three years of age, and must have resided within the Kingdom or its possessions during six consecutive years with the declared intention to remain permanently.

The following-described documents must accompany the application which must be addressed to the King in order to obtain naturalization:

The certificate of the birth of the applicant or such other evidence of birth as the laws of the country to which the applicant belongs require to supply the place of the certificate of birth.
The certificate showing a residence in the Kingdom or its possessions for the continued term of six years.
The certificate from the local authorities where the applicant is established, exhibiting his declaration that he has the intention to reside permanently in the Kingdom or its possessions.

Naturalization can also be accorded, as will be seen by reference to the provisions of article 7, by reason of special or extraordinary services to the state.

In such cases the process of naturalization above mentioned is not requisite.

Certificates of naturalization are issued to all persons who are naturalized.

The nationality of the wife and minor children follow that of the individual naturalized.

The enjoyment of rights acquired by naturalization commence from the moment that the provisions of the law by which it is accorded are complied with.

The person naturalized is required to present to the local administration of his district the certificate of naturalization for registration and must also make the declaration that he accepts naturalization.

In case of the naturalization of a person for special services who reside abroad, the certificate of naturalization should be sent to the minister of foreign affairs for registration. In such cases the naturalization will expire in six months if the individual does not signify his acceptance.

Citizenship in the Netherlands is vacated or lost under either of the following conditions:

In accepting naturalization in another country.
In rendering foreign military service without the consent of the Dutch Government or in accepting public service on the part of a foreign government.
By a sojourn of five years in a foreign country with the known intention not to return.

The intention to return is considered to exist in all cases where the sojourners abroad are connected with Dutch commercial establishments.

Trusting that this information may be of some importance in case of future legislation in the United States touching citizenship and naturalization,

I have, etc.,

Isaac Bell, Jr.