Mr. Hay to Mr. Storer.
Washington, March 6, 1899.
Sir: Your dispatch, No. 175, of the 21st ultimo, in further relation to Mr. Henry Louis Becker’s application for a United States passport, has been received and your comments in regard thereto noted.
The conflicting statements as to Mr. Becker’s domicile in the United States which you report, the lack of evidence of his purpose to return here to dwell, and the apparent inconsistency of the conditions of his indefinite residence abroad and of his founding a manufacturing establishment under foreign laws with the holding of a bona fide and realizable purpose on his part so to return and discharge the duties of citizenship, seem to warrant your withholding the renewal to him of a passport.
The press publication under date of November 4, 1898, to which you refer as laying down the rule in regard to the biennial renewal of passports, was not, as you surmise, an instruction to the embassy at Paris, but was a letter addressed to a Mr. F. Clark in answer to inquiries made by him from Paris under date of October 25, 1898. It is understood that Mr. Clark communicated that letter to the Paris edition of the New York Herald, but the publication therein has not come to the Department. A copy of the letter in question is herewith senior your more convenient perusal.
With regard to your inquiry as to whether a person residing abroad could be considered as “dwelling in the United States,” so as to come within the meaning of section 2172, Revised Statutes, I would say that this passage has reference merely to the residence of the minor, who, to be naturalized under the statute, must be “dwelling in the United States” either at the time of the parent’s naturalization or afterwards during his minority. The phrase clearly could not be construed to mean that the person must always be “dwelling in the United States “in order to be entitled to citizenship. By such interpretation a person claiming citizenship through the parent’s naturalization would be precluded from asserting citizenship when not actually within the jurisdiction of the United States. A person properly claiming naturalization under this statute (2172, R. S.) is as completely naturalized as if he had complied with the conditions of the general naturalization laws of the United States, and would not, if he left the jurisdiction of the United States, have to comply with the requirements of Revised Statute 2167, [Page 88] by taking out naturalization papers for himself, as you seem to think possible.
I am, etc.,