Mr. White to Mr. Sherman.

No. 42.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 4, of the 17th ultimo, and the Department’s reply, Instruction No. 38, July 6 (7), I have the honor to inform you that the embassy is in receipt of a note from the Imperial foreign office, dated July 23, 1897, a copy of which, with translation, is herewith inclosed. From this note it appears that the German Government confirms its former opinion—that Meyer, being born in the United States of German parents, the proof of whose naturalization in America was not forthcoming, was to be regarded as a German subject and therefore could be held for military duty. Although the principle [Page 201] is not relinquished, the aim in this particular case has been accomplished by the discharge of Meyer as “unfit for service,” and as the Department suggests (No. 38, July 6, 1897) that it may not be useful to push the discussion further in this instance,” no further communication in the case will be addressed to the Imperial foreign office unless specially ordered by the Department.

I am, etc.,

Andrew D. White.
[Inclosure in No. 42.—Translation.]

Baron von Rotenhan to Mr. White.

Referring to the notes of April 30 and June 30, 1897, the undersigned has the honor to inform his excellency the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the United States of America, Mr. Andrew D. White, that the request to release Alfred Meyer from service in the German army has again been thoroughly investigated. If the request in the note of April 30 last was based on the statements made in the case of Ferdinand Revermann in a note to the foreign office dated December 31, 1884, it must be stated that this case in a legal sense was different from that of Alfred Meyer. With Revermann it was the case of an American citizen who was born after his father was naturalized in America, and who therefore never possessed German nationality, and on his coming to Germany was to be solely regarded an American citizen. With Alfred Meyer, on the other hand, the acquisition of American citizenship was based solely on his birth in the United States, while the naturalization of his father in America could not be proved. According to investigations made, the latter remained a Prussian subject until the time of his death. His son, therefore, also possesses German nationality by descent, and if through his birth in Baltimore he is considered by the American side as at the same time an American citizen, it can only be stated that through his double nationality he will have to fulfill his duties toward both countries.

Touching the legal point of this so-called subjets mixtes, this question has been more thoroughly treated in the case of Wizemann, and the undersigned begs to refer to his note of the 23d ultimo.

If Alfred Meyer is to be regarded as a German subject according to the laws prevailing in Germany on whom the regulations of the treaty of February 22, 1868, can not be applied, he can not be liberated from performing his military duty in Germany.

While the undersigned therefore is not, to his regret, in a position to comply with the request made, he avails himself, etc.,