Mr. Hay to Mr. White.

No. 1159.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 1510, of the 17th ultimo, reporting the case of Max Friedrich Schaaf, a naturalized American citizen, who was taken to this country when 10 years old, became a citizen through the naturalization of his father, and, having returned to Germany, has been ordered to leave the city of Hamburg in April next.

The German contention in this case appears to be extreme and even scarcely reasonable, as Mr. Schaaf emigrated in his father’s care when only 10 years old. This Government would much regret if this case, and others which have within the past two years been reported to your [Page 159]embassy, and the consulates in Germany, should indicate a purpose to hold all American citizens of German origin, who emigrated during minority, amenable to the imputation of intention to evade military service, no matter what their age may have been at the time of emigration. Whilst it may be licit to deduce from the facts of any particular case that the emigration of the minor was for the sole purpose of evading military service and that conditions exist in his instance which make his return to and sojourn in his native place detrimental to public order or interests, the application of this exceptional procedure to all minor emigrants would not be in consonance with the spirit and intent of the existing conventions of naturalization between the two countries, and would in fact almost amount to the injection into the treaty stipulations of a requirement of prior consent to change of allegiance, a requirement not admitted by the negotiators of those conventions.

I am, etc.,

John Hay.