Mr. Olney to Mr. Uhl.

No. 72.]

Sir: I inclose for your information a copy of a letter of the 28th ultimo from Mr. Hermann Mueller, of Providence, R. I., who desires to [Page 214] ascertain whether, as a naturalized American citizen of German birth, he can revisit his native country without incurring the danger of being subjected to the performance of military service.

You will observe that Mr. Mueller’s letter is accompanied by a translation of a certificate obtained for him by the consul of Germany at Boston, from the authorities of the Grand Duchy of Mechlenburg, which states in effect that Mr. Mueller had lost his “state citizenship” by his more than ten years’ uninterrupted residence in a foreign country.

The Department has informed Mr. Mueller that it is unable to advise him as to whether the Imperial German Government would recognize the certificate of the local authorities of Mechlenburg as exempting him from liability to punishment for the non-performance of military service should he voluntarily place himself within the jurisdiction of the German Empire.

As no instance is recalled by the Department in which a certificate similar to the one which Mr. Mueller has obtained has been given to a native of Germany naturalized in this country, you are instructed to make informal inquiries in the proper quarter as to what legal effect, if any, would be given to the certificate in question by the competent authorities, and as to whether under all the circumstances he can safely return to Germany.

In view of the urgency of the case, you are instructed to take prompt action in regard to the matter.

I am, etc.,

Richard Olney.