Mr. Finch to Mr. Hay.

No. 754.]

Sir: I inclose copy of my note dated the 17th instant, addressed to the minister of foreign affairs of this Republic, in relation to the case of Louis E. Hufnagel, who claimed to be a citizen of the United States, although born and residing in Uruguay, and copy and translation of the minister’s response, dated May 19, 1904.

If the status of Mr. Hufnagel has been settled adversely to his contention, should he be allowed to retain a United States passport?

I issued to Mr. Hufnagel on or about February 3, 1904, a passport in renewal of the one issued to him on or about March 11, 1902, in obedience to instructions from Acting Secretary Hill in a dispatch dated June 28, 1901.


William R. Finch.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Finch to Señor Romeu.

Sir: In reply to dispatches from me in relation to the arrest and subsequent release of Louis E. Hufnagel at Paysandu, Uruguay, for failure to report for military duty in the national guard of this Republic, the honorable Secretary of State at Washington, under date of April 8, 1904, says:

“I have to say that, although by section 1993 of the Revised Statutes of the United States children born abroad of American fathers are citizens of the United States, the law can not be so construed as to exempt them from the allegiance due to the country of their birth so long as they remain within its territory, provided that by the law of the country where they are born and reside such children are citizens of that country.”

I am, etc,

William R. Finch,
[Page 859]
[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

Señor Romeu to Mr. Finch.

Mr. Minister: I had the honor to receive your excellency’s note dated the 17th instant, in which you are pleased to transcribe a communication addressed to your excellency by the honorable Secretary of State at Washington, regarding the nationality of Luis E. Hufnagel.

The doctrine expressed in that note is the same as that sustained by this ministry, and I never doubted but that the illustrious and upright Government of your excellency would recognize the right of the national authorities to oblige Mr. Hufnagel to lend military service, as a native citizen of Uruguay, according to the constitution and the existing laws.

I am pleased, with this motive, to renew, etc.,

José Romeu.