Mr. Lord to Mr. Hay.
Buenos Ayres, January 12, 1901.
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I rejected the application of one Mr. Frank H. Bowers for a passport on the following facts which are respectfully submitted for your approval or revision as the case may require:
Mr. Bowers was born of American parents in the city of Buenos Ayres, Argentine Republic, on the 17th day of February, 1880, in which city he has since resided, with the exception of some two years while absent at school. Being nearly 21 years of age he now proposes to go to the United States with the intention of making his permanent residence in the city of Boston, Mass., where he intends to engage in business—probably as the other end of the business here—and where his mother now resides, having recently removed from this city to that place. As Mr. Bowers desired to spend a few weeks traveling in Europe before proceeding to his destination in the United States, he made application to this legation for a passport as an American citizen under the provision of section 1993, Revised Statutes of the United States; but, in view of the provision of section 1 of Article I of the Argentine law, No. 346, of October 8, 1869, declaring all persons born within the territory of the Argentine Republic, though of foreign parentage, to be Argentine citizens, I did not feel warranted in granting his application for a passport.
I deem it proper to say, upon the facts as stated, that I was first inclined to grant Mr. Bowers’s application for a passport, intending to inform him that it furnished him no security against any claim that the Argentine Government might assert to his allegiance or service while he remained within the Argentine jurisdiction; but a subsequent reading of the opinion of Mr. Attorney-General Hoar to Mr. Secretary of State Fish, dated the 12th of June, 1869, led me to the conclusion that persons born of American parents in the Argentine Republic, which declares them to be citizens thereof, could not avail themselves of the provisions of section 1993 to obtain a certificate of their American citizenship while they continue within the Argentine territory, nor, possibly, until they should come within the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the United States.
I have, etc.,