The High Commissioner at Constantinople (Bristol) to the Secretary of State

No. 353

Sir: I have the honor to report to the Department that a number of cases of impressment of American citizens into the Greek Army have been brought to my attention. In the majority of cases the persons concerned are naturalized Americans of Ottoman Greek origin who have returned to this country to visit their families or for business reasons. I have taken the position that the Greek authorities have no right whatsoever to impress into the Army naturalized American citizens of Ottoman origin, and in each case which has come to my attention I have made representations to the Greek High Commissioner in this City. The latter has not endeavored to maintain the right of the Greek authorities to hold naturalized Americans of Turkish origin, but for technical reasons it has often been difficult to have prompt measures taken by the Greek Military authorities to secure the release of Americans wrongly impressed into military service.

I am enclosing for the Department’s information a copy of my note of the 14th inst.26 requesting the release from military service of three Americans whose American citizenship is confirmed by the records of Mr. Ravndal’s office.27

I understand that Mr. George Horton, American Consul General and Delegate at Smyrna has also met with a number of cases of illegal impressment into the Greek Army and that he has taken up these cases energetically with the local Greek authorities.

I have the honor to suggest that the Department take steps to bring this matter to the attention of the Greek Government through the American Legation at Athens in order that the Greek Military authorities may be brought to respect American passports and cease impressing Americans of Ottoman origin into the Greek Army.

I have [etc.]

Mark L. Bristol
  1. Not printed.
  2. The U. S. consulate general at Constantinople.