Mr. Hay to Mr. Hardy.

No. 36.]

Sir: The Department has received your No. 56 of May 2 relative to the application for a passport of William Strahlheim, and his right to the continued protection of this Government.

It appears that he was born in the United States and received his first passport in 1893, when he was 34 years of age. Since then, although according to his statements he has been several times in the United States, he has lived in Switzerland because his wife, who was born there, wishes to be near her parents. During the greater part of this time he has been engaged in selling American wares as part of his business. The intention of residing in the United States, expressed by him each time he has received a passport, he has failed to put into effect. He expresses his intention again, but his health is now so feeble that it is improbable he will be able to fulfill it.

It would appear that the issuance of passports in his favor in the [Page 976] past was proper. His supplementary statement, accepted by your predecessor in issuing passport No. 455, March 22, 1900, set forth that it was his earnest desire to retain his citizenship, that the feeble condition of his wife’s parents kept him abroad, and that he was actively engaged in the sale of American goods.

The statements of the consul at Zurich and of the applicant’s wife, furnished with the pending application, show that he is now himself in precarious health and impecunious circumstances. The Department’s circular instruction of March 27, 1899, on the subject of passports for persons residing or sojourning abroad states, as a favorable circumstance in determining the question of whether a passport should issue in eases of this character “that reasons of health render travel and return impossible or inexpedient, and that pecuniary exigencies interfere with the desire to return.”

The Department is disposed to conclude that such circumstances exist in Mr. Strahlheim’s case, and that the improbability of his carrying out his expressed intention of returning to the United States within eighteen months need not be counted too strongly against him, as his physical condition is, according to the consul at Zurich, pitiable, and his mind, according to his wife, is so unsound that the question of putting him in an asylum has been seriously considered.

Unless further adverse facts than this Department now has before it are developed, you are therefore authorized to issue a passport to Mr. Strahlheim.

I am, etc.,

John Hay.