Mr. Adee to Mr. McDonald.

No. 16.]

Sir: The Department has received Mr. Sperry’s No. 74 of the 12th ultimo, and the copy which he inclosed of his note of 21st July last to the foreign office, in the case of Hajie Seyyah, who was then receiving a certain protection at the legation.

Mr. Sperry misunderstood the instruction of May 17, 1893 (No. 33), in this case. The Department did not decide whether Hajie Seyyah had lost his United States citizenship, still less whether he had become reclothed with Persian citizenship. According to instruction No. 33, in the absence of evidence that Hajie Seyyah had bona fide conserved American citizenship, he could not be regarded as entitled to the protection of the United States, while continuing to dwell in the land of his origin; nor is there anything in that instruction to sustain the terms of Mr. Sperry’s conclusion. Naturalization being a judicial act, the executive branch is without competence to annul a decree of naturalization, and cannot declare forfeiture of citizenship in the absence of legislation to that end.

You will call the attention of His Majesty’s Government to Mr. Sperry’s note, and will point out wherein it fails to represent the views of this Department.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary.