File No. 365.117/238

The Secretary of State to Ambassador Penfield

No. 707

Sir: The Department has been endeavoring for several months to obtain the release from military service in Italy of Frank L. Ghiloni,2 who was impressed into the Italian Army upon the occasion of a visit by him to that country. It appears from the correspondence on file in the Department that Frank L. Ghiloni was born at Marlborough, Massachusetts, on August 4, 1885, his father being an Italian subject who obtained naturalization as a citizen of the United States on February 12, 1886. It further appears that Frank L. Ghiloni went to Italy when he was two years of age, returned to the United States in May, 1897, and resided here continuously until June, 1914, when he went to Italy for his health upon the advice of his physician. It was during this visit that he was impressed into the Italian army. In a despatch No. 396, of October 25, 1915,3 the Ambassador at Rome transmitted a copy of a note verbale which was received from the Royal Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, dated October 2, 1915, in which the Department’s request for the release of Mr. Ghiloni was definitely refused for the reason that “he was born an Italian and only afterwards took up his abode and citizenship in another country”. The Department has been informed that Mr. Ghiloni’s immediate family are permanently established in the United States.

In a communication dated December 25, 1915, Mr. Alfred R. Ghiloni, of Marlborough, Massachusetts, informed the Department that his brother was taken prisoner by the Austrian army on October 21, and that his address is now as follows: “Frank L. Ghiloni, War Prisoner, 3d Co., 156th Reg’t Infantry, Mantheusen [Mauthausen], Austria (Hungary?)”. Upon behalf of the relatives in this country, Mr. Alfred R. Ghiloni requests that proper steps be taken to inform the Austrian officials of the American citizenship of his brother, and that his release be requested, and permission obtained for him to return to the United States.

[Page 399]

You will please present the facts in this case to the appropriate Austrian officials, and request that Mr. Frank Ghiloni be released and permitted to return to this country. You are requested to inform the Department, by telegraph, concerning the decision of the Austrian authorities in this matter, as Mr. Ghiloni’s relatives are very anxious to be informed as to the outcome of this case.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Frank L. Polk