Mr. Sherman to Mr. Uhl.

No. 405.]

Sir: I have received and read with interest your dispatch No. 338, of the 4th instant, in relation to the military case of Jonas Lippmann, whose proper in Alsace-Lorraine had been attached in order to secure the payment of a fine of 600 marks to which he had been sentenced on account of his failure to perform military service in Germany.

It appears from the statements of your dispatch and its accompaniments that Mr. Lippmann, having been born in Alsace-Lorraine, obtained from the German authorities a certificate of release from German allegiance and subsequently emigrated to the United States, where he duly became naturalized as a citizen. His case, therefore, stands not only on the rights accorded by our treaties with Germany so far as they may be claimed by us and allowed by the Imperial Government, but his express release from German allegiance is essentially in point.

The reply to your representations rests particularly upon the technical objection that Mr. Lippmann had failed to furnish authoritative proof that he still possesses American nationality and that he possessed this nationality in 1887; and partly on the assumed right of the Imperial authorities to apply to him the presumptions raised under article 4 of the treaty between the United States and the North German Union of February 22, 1868, respecting his return to and continued residence in the country of origin. You have met the allegation of Mr. Lippmann’s failure to evidence his continued American citizenship by adducing his passport issued in 1893. I desire, also, to commend the point you make in calling attention to the apparent lack of consistency on the part of the Imperial Government in declining to apply the German treaties of naturalization with the United States in the one case where benefit would result from such application to the American citizen and in spontaneously applying them in the other case to the detriment of the person concerned.

Mr. Lippmann’s case deserves continued, and it is hoped eventually successful, intervention of the embassy.

Respectfully, yours,

John Sherman.