To the Diplomatic and Consular Officers of the United States.

Gentlemen: The Department has from time to time received complaints from persons sojourning abroad that they have been refused passports because they were unable to state definitely when they intended to return to the United States. The renewed attention of diplomatic and consular officers is therefore called to the Department’s circularsa of instruction of March 27 and September 26, 1899, relative to “Passports for persons residing or sojourning abroad” and “Intent to return to the United States,” which should be carefully studied and applied to the construction of the regulations governing the granting and issuing of passports, so that no one who has effectually expatriated himself from the United States shall receive the protection which he has forfeited a right to expect, and, on the other hand, no one shall be denied protection who is a loyal American citizen not permanently and voluntarily absent from this country.

I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,

John Hay.
  1. See infra.