The Acting Secretary of State to Ambassador Tower.

No. 555.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 972, of the 30th of May last, relative to the military case of Maurice Kahn, a native of Alsace-Lorraine, and of your No. 1012, of the 16th ultimo, relative to that of Alois Boucher, also a native of Alsace-Lorraine.

The department approves your conduct in your endeavor to secure the exemption and release from military service of citizens of the United States born in Alsace-Lorraine who may have returned temporarily to the land of their nativity.

In your No. 972 attention is called to the contention of the German Government that the Bancroft treaty of 1868 does not apply to Alsace-Lorraine. In this reply, however, it is stated that the German Government is willing to enter into a convention by which the various Bancroft treaties may be extended to Alsace-Lorraine, or to negotiate an entirely new treaty covering the point in dispute.

You will express to the minister of foreign affairs the gratification produced by the proposal of his excellency that the United States and Germany enter into a treaty by the terms of which difficulties of a like nature may be avoided in the future.

You will use your discretion as to the time and manner of calling this matter to the attention of the German Government, and in so doing you will be careful to observe that the proposal at this time emanates from the German Government.

It is earnestly hoped by the department that the proposed regulation of the difficulty may be carried into effect at as early a period as practicable.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee.