Mr. Winchester to Mr. Bayard.
Berne, October 17, 1887. (Received October 29.)
Sir: The blank forms for passport application recently furnished by the Department require in the case of “naturalized” citizens a declaration of intention “to return to the United States with a purpose of residing and performing the duties of citizenship there.” This declaration is not required from “native” citizens. The legation desires to be advised if the above declaration can be exacted from persons claiming citizenship through the naturalization of their parents and residing indefinitely abroad, when applying for passports.
The legation has no doubt of the equity of such exaction in many cases, for the proper protection of the dignity and character of American citizenship, but has not been entirely sure of its right to do so, there being no instructions from the Department on the question, intimating any purpose of extending the exceptional clause of the blank forms provided, beyond “naturalized” citizens. The class of persons alluded to of course take care to use the forms for “natives,” whether born in or out of the United States; and in two cases recently submitted to the legation (one where the party was born abroad of naturalized parents and had reached the age of twenty-four without ever being in the United States, and the other born in the United States but brought abroad when two years old and now twenty-one, without ever having returned, and neither declaring any intention to return to the United States to reside), passports were refused.
I am, etc.,