File No. 22918/7.

Chargé Lorillard to the Secretary of State.

No. 598.]

Sir: In continuation of my No. 5952 of the 25th instant, relative to the arrest and imprisonment of Antonio Silveira Nunes, jr., a minor son of a naturalized American citizen, for nonperformance of military service, I have the honor to report that on the 26th instant the minister for foreign affairs verbally informed me that orders for Nunes’s release had been cabled to Terceira on the previous Monday, as he had promised me would be done in his interview with me of the 23d instant. On the 27th the minister confirmed this information in a formal note, a copy and a translation of which are herewith [Page 834] inclosed. In view of section 2 of article 22 of the Portuguese Civil Code, a copy and a translation of which are inclosed herewith, the note expresses the hope that the apparent conflict between the American and Portuguese laws on the subject of the nationality of minor children of naturalized citizens may be settled to the satisfaction of both Governments.

In my reply, a copy of which is also inclosed, I informed the minister that I would transmit you a copy of his note for such action as you may desire to take on the question.

I have, etc.,

George Lorillard.
[Inclosure 1—Translation.]

The Minister for Foreign Affairs to Chargé Lorillard.

In continuation of the communication which my predecessor addressed to Mr. Page Bryan on December 13 last, and in reply to those which you have since sent me, I have the honor to communicate to you that on the 24th instant a telegraphic order was sent to the military commander of the Azores instructing that the drafting and enlistment of the youth Antonio Silveira Nunes, jr., be considered void. By this order, which implies the immediate release of the youth, you have the proof of the desire of His Majesty’s Government to acquiesce in the demands of the Government of the Republic.

The reasons on account of which His Majesty’s Government was unable, without a complete examination of the case, to come to a decision are based entirely on motives of a legal order.

The Portuguese Civil Code states (par. 2 of art. 22) that the naturalization in a foreign country of a Portuguese does not imply the loss of Portuguese nationality of the minor children born before the naturalization, except when these declare, after their majority or emancipation, that they desire to follow the nationality of their father.

On the other hand, the legation of the United States of America declares that the children of naturalized American citizens, in the conditions of the youth Silveira Nunes, are American citizens.

In the naturalization convention of 1908 between Portugal and the United States of America we do not seem to find a solution of the matter, because it does not expressly refer to the children of naturalized persons.

It thus happens that a conflict of laws takes place which it is necessary to settle. The cordial sentiments between Portugal and the United States of America and the spirit of conciliation, which can not fail to influence in this negotiation, gives me the pleasant assurance that without difficulties to either Government we may reach a rapid agreement in this matter.

I avail, etc.,

A. Eduardo Villaca.
[Inclosure 2.]

Chargé Lorillard to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s note of January 27, 1910, in which I am informed that telegraphic orders were sent on the 24th instant to the military authorities in the Azores to immediately release the youth Antonio Silveira Nunes, jr., who had been in prison at Terceira for the evasion of military service.

Your excellency adds that there appears to be a conflict between the Portuguese and American laws concerning the status of the minor children of naturalized citizens, and believes that an agreement on this question may soon be reached by the two Governments.

I shall not fail to transmit to the American Government a copy of your excellency’s note for its consideration and as a base for such instructions as it may be pleased to send me on this subject. For my own part I desire to reiterate to your excellency my most sincere thanks for and appreciation of the courtesy and consideration shown me by your excellency in this affair.

I avail, etc.,

George Lorillard.
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