Mr. Blaine to Mr. Pitkin .

No. 52.]

Sir: I have received your No. 48, of the 19th ultimo, stating that, in view of the uncertain condition of affairs in the Argentine Republic, numerous applications for passports will be, in all probability, made to the legation by citizens of the United States long domiciled in that country and who are engaged in trade or other occupations. You further state that these persons have never assumed Argentine allegiance, regard themselves as American citizens, and declare it to be their intention to return at some time to the United States. You add that the blank forms of application for passports seem to exclude such cases.

The Department is of opinion that legitimate association in business enterprises connected with commerce between the United States and the country of residence of the person claiming American citizenship, while entailing protracted and indefinite sojourn abroad, is not incompatible with an intent to return; but such intent must satisfactorily appear. The blank forms contemplate the statement of facts evidencing, of themselves, a retention of United States domicile, but where those facts do not exist, the intention to return some time must be satisfactorily established otherwise, and not be obviously negatived by the circumstances of residence abroad.

I am, etc.,

James G. Blaine.