Mr. Riddle to Mr. Gresham.

No. 232.]

Sir: Referring to the general subject of Armenians who obtain naturalization in the United States and subsequently return to Turkey, I desire to call the attention of the Department to a class of cases which have not yet been the subject of correspondence, but which are likely to arise in the future.

Such cases would be furnished by naturalized Armenians who come back subsequently to and notwithstanding the President’s declaration in his annual message of the 4th of December last concerning the right to exclude aliens, and who, fearing that they will not be allowed to enter Turkey and that the United States will not intervene in their behalf, return as Turkish subjects traveling with Turkish passports.

To illustrate, I have recently received a visit from Garabed M. Mourad, who declares that he is a duly naturalized American; that he left his naturalization certificate in America, as he feared it would be discovered and taken from him on his return here, but that it will follow him by post and be produced shortly at this legation. He traveled from America to Turkey under a Turkish passport, and on his arrival here discarded his hat for a fez. Ever since he has kept silent in regard to his American nationality, except in the legation, and has been entirely unmolested by the authorities. He now desires to go to Harpoot, in the interior. As he foresees that when he has completed his stay there and sets out on his return journey the authorities will probably prevent his departure—emigration being forbidden—he wishes to know [Page 758] how far he may count upon assistance from the legation in the event of his getting into difficulty when he, for the first time, proclaims his real nationality to the Turks and furnishes the legation with documentary evidence thereof.

With a request for instructions as to how far such double-dealing on the part of naturalized Armenians affects their right to be protected by this legation,

I have, etc.,

J. W. Riddle,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.