Mr. Storer to Mr. Hay.
Brussels, January 21, 1899. (Received February 3.)
Sir: I have the honor to ask instructions in the following application for a passport.
On 19th March, 1896, Henry Louis Becker applied for a passport to my predecessor, Mr. Ewing, being then holder of a passport issued to him May, 1893, by Secretary of State Gresham.
The records of this legation show that Mr. Becker, on his application here on the form of “Person claiming citizenship through naturalization of parent,” made oath that he was born in Holland in 1848 and emigrated with his father to the United States in 1853, where his father was subsequently naturalized and resided until his death, in 1893; that the applicant came abroad in May, 1893, with the passport from the Department above referred to; that he intended to return to the United States within two years from the date of the said application. On this application a passport, No. 70, from this legation was issued to him and his former passport from the Department taken up and transmitted. He applies now, 18th January, 1899, for a new passport in exchange for his passport which expired March 20, 1898.
From his oral statement the applicant has not been to America since May, 1893, at all; has not returned to America within two years from March, 1896, as he declared his intention to do; and, while entirely ready to make a similar declaration now, has neither explanation nor any definite intention to give on this subject. The applicant himself never made any declaration of intention and was never naturalized [Page 84] on coming of age, but, as he says, relied on his father’s naturalization papers, both for voting in Brooklyn, as he claims to have done several times before 1893, and to obtain his original passport from the State Department in 1893. He has resided in Holland and Belgium, and is now a resident of Brussels, and is a manufacturer of scientific instruments as a “company” under the laws of Belgium. On making this application he first informed the clerk of the legation that he desired a passport, as he was going to Germany. To myself, when questioning him, he stated that he wanted it at once, in order to go to Russia. On declining to issue a new passport immediately he demanded back his old one, saying he could apply at some other legation. This demand was not complied with, and the old passport remains at the legation.
I respectfully ask instructions for the guidance of this legation in this case and in the future on the following points:
- Does paragraph 153 of instructions to diplomatic officers direct that the existence of a former passport precludes inquiry outside the contents of the original application as to the right of applicant to a passport?
- Does the presumed presentation of naturalization papers on application for a passport in 1893 always furnish sufficient evidence of their existence at all times in the future?
- What is the effect of the statement of the applicant that he has never been naturalized?
- Under the facts ascertained and reported shall this legation in the present case issue a new passport?
I have declined to issue such passport without obtaining the instructions asked for above.
I have, etc.,