Mr. Tripp to Mr. Olney.

No. 183.]

Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith copies of correspondence in case of Bernhard Winter, a naturalized citizen of the United States, who, upon his return to his native country, was arrested and required to serve in the army of Austria-Hungary.

Mr. Winter, as will be seen from the correspondence, failed to disclose to the military authorities upon his arrest that he was an American citizen, not knowing, as he informed the legation, that he was thereby exempt from military duty.

I am glad to have the pleasure of reporting that the cases of arrest for failure to perform military duty on the part of naturalized citizens of the United States returning to Austria-Hungary are now quite infrequent. The local military authorities of the different provinces now under instructions from the foreign office give to American passports the credit to which they are entitled, and unless some peculiar facts exist in the given case, the citizen, if arrested, is immediately released upon presentation of his papers without recourse to a consul or the legation itself.

I have, etc.,

Bartlett Tripp.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 183.]

Mr. Tripp to Count Goluchowsky.

Your Excellency: Bernhard Winter, a naturalized citizen of the United States, makes complaint to this legation and for grounds of such complaint says:

He was born at Jablonitz, Hungary, on the 6th day of September, 1872, and at the age of 17 years he emigrated to America, where he arrived on the 10th of February, 1890; that he resided at New York continuously from the 10th day of February, 1890, until the 15th day of April, 1895; that on the 12th day of March, 1895, he was naturalized a citizen of the United States before the district court of the United States in and for the southern district of New York, and a certificate of such naturalization was duly issued to him on that day, which certificate is now in the possession of this legation, a copy of which is herewith submitted; that on the 15th day of April, 1895, he left the United States for a visit to his mother, who is old and feeble, and who still lives in Jablonitz: that it was his intention to return again to his [Page 5] home in the United States as soon as his visit to his mother was completed; that he arrived in Jablonitz on or about April 26, 1895, and shortly thereafter received notice to report himself before the military authorities in Pressburg on the 25th day of May, 1895, and that upon reporting he was immediately enrolled and required to serve as an Austrian soldier in the infantry regiment “Edler v. David, No. 72, Ninth Company,” first at Pressburg and later at Tyrnan; that, ignorant of his rights, he failed to make known to the proper officers at the time of his enlistment that he was a citizen of the United States; that he is still detained as a soldier in the army against his will.

If the facts be found as stated in this complaint, may I ask that your excellency will provide that immediate steps be taken to release Mr. Winter from military service and to procure the cancellation of his name upon the rolls of the army of Austria-Hungary, and permit me at the same time to take this occasion to renew, etc.

Bartlett Tripp.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 183.]

Count Welsersheimb to Mr. Tripp.

In reply to the esteemed note of January 25 last, No. 120, concerning the enrollment of Bernhard Winter, a naturalized citizen of the United States, into the ranks of the Imperial and Royal Army, the ministry of foreign affairs has the honor of informing the honorable envoy of the United States that a communication was addressed at the time to the royal Hungarian ministry of public defense conveying to the same the contents of the above-mentioned esteemed letter, and that the royal Hungarian ministry, after full investigation of the case and after having ascertained that Bernhard Winter was duly naturalized in the United States, has issued orders under date of March 5 last, in order that the above-named individual be immediately discharged from the army and that his name be struck from the rolls.

The undersigned avails, etc.,

For the Minister.