File No. 8352/1.

The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Merry.

No. 5.]

Sir: The department has received your dispatch No. 4, Nicaraguan series, dated August 24, 1907, transmitting a copy of the instructions of the British minister to Guatemala to the British consul at San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua, that the children of British fathers born in Nicaragua and remaining under the jurisdiction of that country will not be protected by the British Government. You state that there are many American citizens born in Central America of American parents; but the department does not deem it expedient or necessary to lay down any rule with reference to their status. Being under our law citizens of the United States, they may be registered as such if they are able to comply with the regulations governing registration.

You state further that many naturalized American citizens without interests in the United States or a real intention to return thereto have applied for registration, and that you have instructed American consuls that when a naturalized citizen expresses, under oath, an intention to return, his right to register can not well be questioned upon his first application.

Your attention is called to the department’s circular of April 19, 1907,a entitled “Expatriation,” from which you will perceive that, under the law, a naturalized citizen who resides for two years in the country of his origin or for five years in any other foreign country shall be presumed to have accomplished expatriation from the United States; but that the presumption may be overcome upon the presentation of satisfactory evidence under the rules established by the department; and the circular states the points to which evidence to overcome the presumption must be directed. It also states that mere assertions, even under oath, that any of the reasons for continued residence exists shall not be accepted as sufficient to overcome the presumption of expatriation. Therefore, when any naturalized citizen to whom the act of March 2, 1907, refers applies for registration he should not be registered unless it is clearly established that he has not accomplished expatriation under the law. You will instruct the consuls accordingly.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee.
  1. See page 3.