File No. 365.117/547

Ambassador Page to the Secretary of State

No. 664

Sir: Referring to the Embassy’s despatch No. 597 of December 14, 1916, in regard to the release from military service of Vito Messino, I have the honor to enclose herewith translation of a note received today from the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs declining to release him on the ground that he was already of age at the time of his father’s naturalization in the United States.

I have [etc.]

Thos. Nelson Page

Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the American Embassy

In reply to the note verbale of March 20, No. 1508, and to the preceding ones of the Embassy of the United States of America, relating to Vito Messino, the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the honor to bring to the Embassy’s attention the fact that, the above-named Messino, though born in America must be considered an Italian citizen as he is the son of an Italian citizen; neither can [Page 840] it be held that he has lost his Italian citizenship—according to Italian law-following the naturalization of his father; as this happened, as the Embassy will note, the first of February, 1915, after the son had already become of age.

It must be recognized, therefore, that Vito Messino is subject to full military service in Italy, and his release from the Army cannot be consented to.