Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Foster.
London , February 13, 1893 . (Received February 27.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose an application for a passport made to-day by Anthony William Iby, which I have felt it to be my duty to decline to grant, unless you shall deem it proper to instruct me otherwise.
It appears from his application that Mr. Iby, who was born in Roumania in 1863, emigrated to the United States at the age of 15, with his father, whom he calls an Austrian subject, and who soon returned to Europe, and that, having resided uninterruptedly in New York from 1882 to 1888, he was naturalized in December of the latter year, and the next month left the United States and is domiciled with a permanent residence in London. He gives his intention of returning to resume the duties of citizenship within a year.
Upon reference to a former application of Mr. Iby (No. 473, of January 10, 1891), upon which a passport was issued to him by this legation, it will be seen that he then made oath of his intention to return “within two years.” He was, in consequence of this, specially interrogated, upon which it appeared that he was in 1888 in the service of a New York branch of the English firm of William Harland & Son, of Merton, Surrey (varnish manufacturers), and that he came to England to enter their service here, by transfer, as their traveling representative for the continent of Europe, and that he has no relations or property or business interests in the United States. It was clear from his conversational statement of his affairs that his sworn statement of two years ago as to his intention to return to the United States within two years was, to say the least, inconsistent with his then existing purpose to continue indefinitely in the foreign business employment in which he has been engaged for the past four years; and I have no doubt that his present statement as to his intention is to be described in the same way. I am satisfied that, while he would probably seek employment in the United States if he lost his present connection, he has no settled purpose of ever returning to the United States as a place of residence, if it is to be done at the cost of abandoning that connection. No doubt it would be a most desirable and acceptable advancement for him to be put in charge of the New York branch of the business, but I think the same would be true as to its Paris and Milan branches.
It is perhaps worthy of note that his naturalization paper is dated December 21, 1888, and that he departed from the United States under a passport issued by the Department the next day (No. 23751). He is one of a class whose value as polyglot employés of European business houses is greatly increased by the immunity from military service given by our passport, and who, I think, consider it the only benefit of their citizenship.
I have, etc.,