File No. 365.117/123.


No. 194.]

Sir: With reference to the Department’s telegram No. 261 of June 14 and other correspondence concerning the detention in Italy for military service of Ugo Da Prato who was born in this country August 25, 1895, and whose father, Antonio Da Prato, had previously obtained naturalization as a citizen of the United States, I send you herewith a copy of a letter of July 29, 1915, from Senator Lodge, and a copy of an accompanying affidavit5 of Giovanni Da Prato, brother of Antonio, concerning the cause of the residence in Italy of the latter and his son Ugo Da Prato since July, 1910. It appears from this affidavit that Antonio Da Prato is still president of the A. Da Prato Company of Massachusetts, and went to Italy for the purpose of extending the business of the company and preparing an exhibit for the Panama Exposition at San Francisco; also to place his son Ugo in a school of art and architecture in Italy. It appears further that the father and son did not go to Italy to reside permanently, but intended, and still intend, to resume their residence in this country.

You will please present copies of the papers mentioned to the appropriate Italian authorities, and express the earnest desire of this Government that Ugo Da Prato’s name be removed from the Italian military list, and that he be permitted to leave Italy and return to the United States. As stated in the Department’s telegram No. 261 of June 14, it is not believed that the provision of Italian law mentioned in your telegram No. 321 of June 10 is applicable to the case of Antonio Da Prato, who evidently went to Italy for mere temporary residence, in the interest of the Massachusetts concern of which he is president. You may add that the case of the Da Pratos has been made public and discussed widely in the newspapers of this country, and that general dissatisfaction would result if the Italian Government should insist that these men are Italian subjects. Moreover, it is believed that such a decision on the part of the Italian authorities would not be propitious to commercial intercourse between Italy and the United States. It may be of interest to observe that Section 2 of the American Expatriation Act of March 2, 1907, provides that a residence of [Page 572] two years by a naturalized American citizen in his native land raises a presumption that he has ceased to be an American citizen, but that “such presumption may be overcome on the presentation of satisfactory evidence to a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States under such rules and regulations as the Department of State may prescribe.” Under circular instruction10 of April 19, 1907, to American diplomatic and consular officers entitled “Expatriation,” as amended by the circular instruction11 of May 14, 1908, a naturalized American citizen against whom the statutory presumption of expatriation has arisen may overcome such presumption by presenting evidence “that his residence abroad is solely or principally as a representative of American trade and commerce, and that he intends eventually to return to the United States permanently to reside.” It thus appears that Mr. Antonio Da Prato is in a position to overcome the presumption arising under the law mentioned that he has ceased to be an American citizen. It would not be amiss to mention this phase of the matter to the Italian authorities.

I am [etc.]

Robert Lansing.

Senator Lodge to the Secretary of State.

Dear Mr. Secretary: I am enclosing herewith an affidavit from Giovanni Da Prato, acting president of the A. Da Prato Company, showing, as suggested in your letter of the 12th, Antonio Da Prato’s business interests here together with his property and real estate. Certified copies of these deeds and mortgages can be furnished if desired but I do not suppose that it is necessary. It is perfectly evident that Antonio Da Prato not only has not given up his residence here but that he always had and still has the animus revertendi.

I hope that this affidavit may enable the Department to obtain favorable action from the Italian Government.

Very truly yours,

H. C. Lodge.