Chargé Dodge to the Secretary of State.

No. 824.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that on September 18 last Mr. Joseph A. Decker requested the embassy to obtain permission for him to make a visit of a few months’ duration during the coming winter at Blodelsheim, Kreis Gebweiller, Canton Eusisheim, Alsace, in order to see his parents. After some correspondence Mr. Decker submitted his naturalization certificate, by which it appeared that he was naturalized a citizen of the United States before the district court of the third judicial district of Oklahoma, October 18, 1904. He also stated that he was born at Blodelsheim on March 19, 1869, and emigrated to the United States February 2, 1888, where he has since continuously resided.

A communication was accordingly addressed, on October 24 last, to the Imperial foreign office, inquiring whether there was any reason to prevent Mr. Decker from making his visit as desired. A reply to this communication has been received to-day, stating that—

Joseph Alexander Decker, who was born on December 9, 1869, at Oberschäffalsheim, emigrated to France in 1888, and since then has not returned to Germany. The judgment of the Imperial Landgericht at Strassburg in Alsace, of February 14, 1894, imposed upon him on account of evasion of military service and sentencing him to a fine of 600 marks or forty days imprisonment, has not yet been executed and is not yet invalid through lapse of time, therefore the warrant issued against him is still in force. On the 9th of December, 1900, Decker lost his Alsace-Lorraine nationality through lapse of time. The Imperial Statthalter, according to the rules in force, does not consider himself able to grant to Decker a temporary residence in Alsace-Lorraine in order to visit his parents.

In this connection it may be well to refer to the somewhat similar case of Maurice Kahn, reported by the ambassador in his dispatch No. 798 on November 14 last.

I have etc.,

H. Percival Dodge.