The Acting Secretary of State to Ambassador Tower.

No. 392.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 722 of the 24th ultimo, reporting the circumstances attending the military case of Hans Wilhelm Peters, son of a naturalized American citizen.

In reply to your request for instructions in the matter I have to state that the view you take that young Peters voluntarily enlisted in the German army appears in all probability to be correct. If so, his enlistment, occurring just after he had reached majority and when it was incumbent upon him to elect whether he would conserve the nationality conferred upon him by his parents’ naturalization during his (the son’s) minority and residence in the United States or that conferred by birth may be regarded as plainly indicating his choice of German nationality and as precluding any claim on his part to the protection of this Government.

Inasmuch as there is some doubt as to the facts concerning Peters’s enlistment, however, and as the matter would appear to be one plainly susceptible of proof the Department is of opinion that it would be best for you to request information (as you suggest in the last paragraph of your dispatch) on this point from the German war office.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee.