Mr. Blaine to Mr. Grant .

No. 110.]

Sir: I have received your dispatch No. 125, of the 21st ultimo, in relation to the application of Mr. Rudolph Nejedly for a passport as a citizen of the United States.

The facts of the case appear as follows: The applicant was born in New York July 18, 1851, of a father whose national origin is not stated, but who, having emigrated to the United States in 1852, was naturalized October 10, 1860. The father returned to Europe in 1861, and has since resided there, doing, as far as you can learn, nothing to retain his American citizenship. It is to be inferred that Rudolph Nejedly, being then 6 years old, was taken to Europe with his father, and he declares; that he has since 1861 resided in Vienna. When 18 years old, in 1872—and liable to conscription—a passport was granted to him by your predecessor, Mr. Jay. Since then the applicant has done nothing until now that would indicate a desire on his part to maintain his American citizenship. He is employed in the Savings Bank of Vienna, and you gather from his statements that he has no intention of ever returning to this country to reside. His sworn declaration is that he intends to return to the United States “when circumstances will permit.”

This declaration, when considered in connection with the circumstances detailed in your dispatch, is far from constituting an expression of a purpose ever to return to the United States, and is altogether unsatisfactory.

Moreover, as Mr. Nejedly was born in the United States of a foreign father, it is probable that the most that could under any circumstances be claimed for him is that he was born with a double allegiance. But double allegiance does not always continue when the person so endowed reaches his majority; he must make an election by taking up his residence and performing the duties of citizenship in the one country or the other. This requirement would apply with peculiar force to Mr. Nejedly, who is living in Austria, the country of which at the time of his birth his father is supposed to have been a subject.

[Page 16]

This supposition the Department bases upon your statement that the circumstances indicate that Mr. Nejedly has sought the protection of the United States only for the purpose of evading the performance of the duties of citizenship in Austria and without any intention to assume the duties of citizenship in this country. However this may be, birth in this country of a foreign father, a residence of six or seven years thereafter, followed by departure with the father (who abandons the country immediately after his naturalization) and by a continuous residence abroad up to the thirty-seventh year without having returned to this country, without any identification with its interests, and without any apparent intention to come hither and assume the duties of citizenship, must be held to constitute a very slender basis for a claim to the protection of the United States. For a government, without any explanation of circumstances, to sustain a claim to protection might seem to indicate a readiness to submit to imposition upon itself, practiced for the purpose of imposition upon another government.

The Department can not, as at present advised, direct the issuance of a passport to Mr. Nejedly.

I am, etc.,

James G. Blaine.