Mr. Wharton to Mr. Lincoln.

No. 1090.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 916, of the 13th ultimo, relative to the application for a passport made to you by Mr. Antony William Iby.

Mr. Iby, son of a Roumanian subject, is stated to have come to the United States at the age of 15 and to have been duly naturalized in December, 1888, when 25 years old. Quitting the United States in January, 1889, he has since been domiciled in London with apparent permanence. On the occasion of applying for a passport, January 10, 1891, Mr. Iby declared his intention to return to the United States “within two years.” That time having elapsed, he now declares his intention to return “within a year.” His employment is that of a traveling agent for a British manufacturing firm, in whose service he was for a time in their New York branch office. He has no relations, property, or business interests in the United States, and the personal interrogatories made by you suggest doubt as to the bona fides of his declared intentions to take up his residence in the United States “within a year.”

While Mr. Iby’s case is free from the detrimental features which often surround the case of a naturalized citizen returning to dwell in the country of his origin it is not especially commended to favorable consideration by the facts of his commercial association and personal interests. The Department is always well disposed toward those of our citizens who sojourn abroad in representation of American commercial [Page 321] interests, but Mr. Iby’s employment is not American, and even were lie to be put in charge of the New York branch of the present English house, as is suggested, his agency would be still foreign, and his American citizenship of no special advantage to him or to his principals, whereas, as you point out, it is now of distinct benefit to him in his trade of traveling agent on the continent.

It is the long-standing rule of the Department that an applicant’s declared purpose to return to the United States should be made satisfactorily apparent, and not be conspicuously negatived by the attendant facts of his sojourn abroad. Tested by this rule, Mr. Iby’s case very naturally suggests the doubts you express.

Nevertheless, if he should satisfy you of good grounds for his purpose to return within a year, a passport may be issued, with the distinct intimation that should not his intentions be more practically executed at the end of that term than they have proved to be on the expiration of his previously announced term of two years, further renewal can not be granted by your legation. The best proof of intention in such cases is its execution.

I am, etc.,

William F. Wharton,
Acting Secretary.