The Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Representatives of Foreign Governments

Excellency: I have the honor to enclose, for your information, a copy of an order of the President of the United States, requiring that all persons who leave the United States shall be provided with passports issued by the proper agents or representatives of the countries of which they are citizens or subjects, and that the passports [Page 914] shall be examined and stamped by agents of this Government at the points of departure from the United States.1

The object of the President’s order is not to interfere with travel from this country, but to prevent the use of passports by persons who may obtain them by improper representations or for fraudulent purposes.

The order will become effective first at the port of New York, now the principal port of departure from this country.

It will be necessary that this Government’s agents, in order to inspect all passports intelligently, may be able to recognize the genuine passports of your Government, and for that purpose I have the honor to request that this Department may be furnished with several—say six—blank or old expired [name of country] passports, each bearing the seal of the issuing office. It is suggested that to insure impossibility of the use of such blank or old passports except for the purpose indicated in this note the fact that they are canceled and cannot be used may be clearly written across the face of each of the documents furnished this Department.

I take this opportunity to renew [etc.]

Robert Lansing
  1. Ante, p. 911.