The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Wallace )
87. Recently numbers of naturalized American citizens of French origin have complained to the Department that, when they applied to have their American passports visaed for France, French consular officers in New York City and elsewhere declined to recognize them as American citizens and insisted that they must use French passports, describing them as French citizens. In one case it was stated that the French Vice-Consul in New York City told an applicant that he must renounce allegiance to the United States and assume allegiance to France in order to visit that country. This Government, regarding it as objectionable for French officials in the United States to advise American citizens to renounce their allegiance to this country, or to take French passports, or to do anything which involves disowning American citizenship, desires you to request that French consuls be instructed to that effect. Please state also that, while it is realized that in view of the conflict of laws of the two countries, complications may arise regarding the status of persons having a dual nationality, it is hoped that, until such difficulties can be obviated by a satisfactory treaty of naturalization, which is greatly to be desired, the French Government may be able [Page 947] to make arrangements under which persons owing allegiance to the United States and whose allegiance is also claimed by the French Government may, when they find it necessary to visit France, be enabled to do so without in any way being called upon to disown allegiance to the Government of the United States, which naturalized citizens have obligated themselves by solemn oath to observe. Enquire whether, with a view to the elimination of unfortunate difficulties for the two Governments and for their respective citizens, and in harmony with the growing tendency toward a more liberal and uniform practice among nations in dealing with questions relating to the loss and acquisition of nationality, the French Government may be willing to take up the negotiation of a naturalization treaty.