368.117/95: Telegram

The Minister in Greece (Capps) to the Acting Secretary of State

272. In accordance with Department’s cable 90, November 29, I made representations to Minister for Foreign Affairs concerning status of naturalized citizens of the United States of Greek origin and made demand for return to Legation of passports that have been seized and the discontinuance of practice of molesting such persons who have come to Greece and desire to return to America.

In reply Minister of Foreign Affairs states that he has given orders to competent authorities to discontinue practice of seizing American passports and to return those already seized to their owners. Minister for Foreign Affairs then reiterated view of Greek Government that it cannot concede American citizenship of Greek subjects who in violation of law 120 of 1914 have become naturalized without previously having consent of Greek Government. Regarding such persons he says, “Every Greek having acquired naturalization in the United States must produce before the competent authorities in order to have his passport visaed the act of naturalization which must be [Page 168] accompanied by the indispensable authorization of the Royal Government in every case where this naturalization has taken place after the year 1914”, implying that failing to show such authorization his passport will be taken up on the ground that the Greek Government claims him and will treat him as Greek subject.

Twenty or thirty naturalized citizens of the United States of this class stranded here as they are required by Greek Government to get Greek passport application before leaving country and then cannot obtain American visé. Enforced stay of these people here a great hardship to them.