136/256

The Vice Consul in Chargé at Melbourne ( Fox ) to the Secretary of State

No. 772

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction, (File 136/234 PC), of July 22, 1921, relative to the applicability of the last proviso of Section 2 of the Act of March 2, 1907, (which provides that no American citizen shall be allowed to expatriate himself while the United States is at war), to those citizens who may have become naturalized in a foreign country during the period between April 6, 1917, and July 2, 1921, keeping in mind the Joint Resolution of Congress of July 2, 1921.

The Department’s instruction, above referred to, states that the Joint Resolution of July 2, 1921, has terminated the state of war and has made the proviso of March 2, 1907, inoperative and that, accordingly, “American citizens who have been naturalized in a foreign country or taken an oath of allegiance to a foreign country since July 2, 1921, have expatriated themselves”. The Department’s attention is invited to the fact that this answer does not seem to cover the situation under consideration and it is respectfully requested that information be received as to whether or not the rights arising out of peace are retroactive, and also whether those citizens who may have become naturalized in some foreign country during the period between April 6, 1917, and July 2, 1921, have been relieved of the operation of the proviso above referred to.

In the absence of instruction from the Department, it is presumed that the Joint Resolution of July 2, 1921, was retroactive in its effect and that those citizens who may have become naturalized in a foreign country during the period when the United States was engaged in hostilities are relieved of the application of the proviso and their expatriation has been accomplished.

I have [etc.]

Ray Fox