Mr. Grant to Mr. Blaine.

No. 173.]

Sir: I have the honor to request information upon the following subject:

On the 17th of September, 1869, in Washington, D. C, there was born to Mr. and Mrs. Mazel a son. Mr. Mazel was at the time the minister of the Netherlands to the United States. His wife was an American citizen. After the birth of the son in question the Mazel family continued to reside in the United States until the middle of July, 1871, when they came abroad, and have subsequently lived at Stockholm, St. Petersburg, and Vienna, at each of which capitals Mr. Mazel represented his Government, and is now the minister of the Netherlands to the court of Austria-Hungary.

During all this time young Mr. Mazel has been either with his parents or has been placed by them at institutions of learning in different cities. He is now 21 years of age, and, while he has never committed any overt act—by paying taxes or by exercising the right of suffrage—tending to confirm his allegiance to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to which he [Page 20] was born a subject, he has also never since 1871 returned to the United States.

It is now young Mr. Mazel’s wish, in which he has the cordial acquiescence of his parents, to go to the United States and to become a citizen thereof, and the question arises, therefore, what formalities will be necessary for him to observe in order to acquire the said desired citizenship. Will the law and the regulations governing such matters be satisfied and complied with if young Mr. Mazel appears before a competent court in the United States, renounces his allegiance to his sovereign, the Queen of the Netherlands, declares it to be his wish and purpose to be admitted to citizenship in the United States, and gives evidence of his birth in Washington, D. C., and that he is 21 years of age? In other words, would he, under the circumstances, be at once admitted to citizenship of the United States, or would it be necessary for him to comply with the statute governing naturalization?

I have not been able to find for my guidance a case in Wharton’s International Law Digest (sections 183–185) exactly covering the circumstances herein set forth, and therefore would be glad to have the Department’s ruling in the matter.

I have, etc.,

F. D. Grant.