Ambassador White to the Secretary of State.

No. 64.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith for your information correspondence between the minister for foreign affairs and myself regarding the enforced service in the Italian army of one Giuseppe Formica, a naturalized American citizen of Italian origin.

Formica wrote to the embassy in July last that he was being compelled to serve in the Fourth Company of the Fifty-ninth Infantry Regiment at Exilles, province of Turin, and furnished the following material information: That he was born in Italy in 1882; emigrated to the United States when 8 years of age, and returned to Italy some time after December last, being then more than 20 years old. In proof of his American citizenship he produced his passport, No. 95840, issued by the Department on December 1, 1904, and the certificate of his naturalization before the United States district court for the western district of Pennsylvania on May 1, 1903.

As the principle laid down by the foreign office corresponds with the Department’s “Notice to citizens formerly subjects of Italy who contemplate returning to that country,” dated March 18, 1901,a I see no reason to take any further steps in the matter.

I have, etc.,

Henry White.
[Inclosure 1.]

Ambassador White to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Minister: I beg leave to call the attention of the royal ministry of foreign affairs and through its kind intermission the attention of the ministry of war to the following case of hardship in which an American citizen of Italian birth is involved.

Giuseppe Formica was born in Gizzeria, province of Catanzaro, in 1882 and was taken to America by his father in 1891. Upon arriving at his majority he became a citizen of the United States, married, and has a wife and two children whose home is at No. 81 Spencer street, Brooklyn, N. Y. In January last his health not being strong, Formica came to make a visit to Italy, and was pressed into the Italian army as a renitente of the class of 1882 March 1, 1905. He is now a member of the Twenty-ninth Regiment of Infantry, stationed at Exilles, province of Turin. Meanwhile the man’s wife and children are at Gizzeria, the money which they have is about exhausted, and unless the husband is allowed to return to America to follow his business the wife and children will soon be in want.

If the military authorities of His Majesty’s Government, therefore, can arrange to release Formica from his present distressing position, the man will be most grateful and the Government at Washington much obliged.

I avail, etc.,

Henry White.
[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

The Under Secretary of State to Ambassador White.

Mr. Ambassador: In reply to the esteemed note which your excellency was pleased to address to me July 31 last, I have the honor to inform you that Giuseppe Formica was, by the fact of his enrollment, allowed provisional exemption from the call to arms according to article 33 of the laws in regard to immigration, because he had expatriated himself before he [Page 567] was 16 years of age. In order to continue to profit by such an exemption, he should have continued to reside abroad, or else, had he wished to return to the country of his birth and to remain there for a period not exceeding two months, he should have had a special permit from the royal consular authorities.

It appears, however, that on March 1 last Formica presented himself in person to the commander of the military district of Catanzaro in order to enter upon his service, and to discharge his obligations as a conscript, from which he was not exempt because of his loss of Italian citizenship.

The ministry of war regrets, therefore, that it is unable to absolve Formica from military service which he entered upon voluntarily.

Please accept, etc.,

G. Fustinate,
The Under Secretary of State.