Mr. Leishman to Mr. Hay.

No. 170.]

Sir: I beg leave to submit the question of the propriety of issuing a passport to Elise and Emma Bernot, aged 7 and 5 years, respectively.

These children, according to certificates issued by the board of health of Hoboken, N. J., were born in the United States of alien [Page 762] parents, although the grandfather, who resides in Berne, with whom the children are living, states that the father has taken out his first papers and is still living in the United States. It appears, however, that the parents have practically deserted the children, the father’s whereabouts being unknown and the mother living an immoral life in Long Island, so that the grandfather is not only willing but anxious to keep the children, but experiences considerable trouble, as the Swiss authorities refuse to allow the children to remain without a passport, not recognizing them as Swiss, as the mother lost her right through her marriage, her husband being a German and a deserter from the army. Under these trying circumstances, the children having been born in the United States, I respectfully submit for your consideration the question whether protection can be afforded the children during their minority.

Awaiting your instructions, I have, etc.,

John G. A. Leishman.