Mr. Bayard to Mr. Gresham.

No. 70.]

SirI have the honor to submit, at the request of the applicant at this embassy for a passport, the case of Fielder J. Hiss, who claims to be a native of the State of Maryland, born in the city of Baltimore in the year 1851 of American parentage.

I inclose herewith a written statement, prepared at this embassy upon the personal information of Mr. Hiss, and upon considering which I have not felt warranted in issuing to him a passport; and as to this he now desires to obtain the decision of the Secretary of State.

Mr. Hiss presented a passport duly issued by the State Department at Washington on April 22, 1886, and from the visas indorsed thereon he appears to have used the passport to visit the island of Cuba during the same year, but not otherwise.

Mr. Hiss states that his domicile is here in London, where he has brought his family to reside since April, 1892; that he has here embarked in business, and is the treasurer and general manager of an English company, and has no intention ever to return to the United States, there to reside or perform the duties of citizenship.

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Mr. Hiss did not come away from the United States, nor is he now, in the service of that Government; nor is he the agent of American interests nor connected therewith in any manner that requires his residence abroad on that account.

The forms of application presented and furnished by the State Department for a passport by a native being submitted to Mr. Hiss, he stated his unwillingness and inability to subscribe to the averments of his being domiciled in the United States or having a permanent residence there, or that he intended at any time to return to the United States with the purpose of residing and performing the duties of citizenship therein.

Thereupon I declined to issue to him a passport, regarding all the above-recited averments to be essential regulations, prescribed after careful consideration and in the high discretion of the Executive, as interpreted by the Department of State.

I do not think it necessary to burden this despatch with citations of authorities or statutes to show that indefinite residence abroad was never contemplated, but, on the contrary, the limitation of two years from the date of a passport is expressly placed upon the power of affixing visas; nor to do more than reaffirm what our highest authorities have stated to be “a maxim of international law,” that the acquisition of a permanent domicile at once impresses the national character of the country of that domicile.

The second volume of Wharton’s Digest of International Law contains abundant citation of authorities, political and judicial, all of which sustain this rule. In the Supreme Court of the United States the case of the Venus (in 8 Cranch) is a leading authority upon the law of permanent domicile and its consequences.

Among the cases that have arisen I can recall none that more clearly excludes the right of an applicant for a passport on any ground of law, public policy, and well-defined regulations than that now in question.

It is well that our countrymen should be reminded from time to time of the mutual dependency and correlation of allegiance and protection, and that each is the natural compensation for the other. When a man voluntarily leaves his native country, settles himself in a foreign community, embarks his property in business under its laws, making his permanent domicile there, and furthermore expressly declares he has no intention to return to his native country to resume his residence and perform the duties of citizenship, he has practically abandoned his allegiance, and with it the right to claim protection from the Government from which he has so alienated himself and withheld his support.

I have, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 70.]

Memorandum in the case of Mr. Fielder J. Hiss’ application for a passport.

Mr. Hiss produces a passport duly issued by the State Department and dated April 22, 1886. Also a letter from Messrs. J. S. Morgan & Co., identifying him as having been recommended to them by their Philadelphia agents. Also an affidavit (returned to him to be lodged with the Sun Life Assurance Society of London) sworn to by Mary J. Hiss, before Thomas M. Dobbin, notary public at Baltimore, on 31st of January, 1893, affirming his birth as below stated. Mr. Hiss is willing to swear that his name is Fielder J. Hiss, and that he was born at Baltimore Md., on on about the 30th of June, 1851; that his father was a native citizen of the United States; that he is the bearer of a passport, No. 5435, issued by the Department of [Page 329]State on April 22, 1886, and that he came abroad with his family on the 27th day of April, 1892.

He is now sojourning at 75 Wilberforce Road, Finsburg Park, London, and having at first come over to represent American friends, yet now he is acting as treasurer and general manager of the Henry Allen Company, a limited English company which he helped to organize, being merchants in iron ore and ship brokers, with their offices at 4 St. Mary Axe E. C., London.

Mr. Hiss states that there is a small property in trust for him in Baltimore on which taxes are paid, and also that his present intention is never to return, to the United States to reside or perform the other duties of citizenship.

Having been unable to obtain a passport, to properly fill out the forms of application, owing to the reason underlined above, Mr. Hiss requests that his case be submitted to the Department of State, in order that he may know his status, as he desires, notwithstanding his residence abroad, to retain his citizenship in the United States.

Upon reading the blank form provided by the State Department for native applicants for passports, Mr. Hiss stated his unwillingness to sign such an application, unless the averments that “he was domiciled in the United States, his permanent residence being at, etc.,” and that “he intended to return to the United States within * * * with the purpose of residing,” etc., were omitted.