Mr. Sherman to Mr. Breckinridge.
Washington , November 9, 1897 .
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 635 of the 23d ultimo, reporting that the application of Mr. Marks Nathan, an American Hebrew, to visit Russia, had been granted by the minister of the interior.
In this connection I inclose copy of a letter from Mr. Charles L. Aarons, of Milwaukee, transmitting copy of a reply made by the Russian legation at this capital to a request for permission made, in behalf of a naturalized American citizen of Russian birth, to visit Russia.
This reply was couched in terms new to this Departments.
It may be prudent to inquire if the condition of five years’ service in the Russian army is in lieu of the criminal liability incurred under article 325 of the Penal Code for the offense of becoming a naturalized citizen in a foreign country and whether the same condition of return extends to Jews. If penal exile to Siberia or arrest and expulsion as a Jew should lie, the reply of the Russian legation would seem to be unnecessarily silent as to these possible aspects of the case.