511.1 C 1/7

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Gibson)

No. 41

Sir: I enclose, for transmission in the usual informal manner, a communication to the Secretary General of the League of Nations in reply to a Note, dated June 10, 1924, concerning a plan for the issuance of certificates of identity to Armenian refugees in order that they might establish their identity and travel freely in pursuit of their normal occupations.

In transmitting this Note you should request the appropriate authorities of the League of Nations to inform you when the text of this communication will be released to the press. This information should be cabled to the Department in order that a simultaneous release may be effected here.

I am [etc.]

For the Acting Secretary of State:
Leland Harrison
[Enclosure]

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary General of the League of Nations (Drummond)

The Acting Secretary of State of the United States of America has received the communication of the Secretary General of the League of Nations, dated June 10, 1924, transmitting a plan for the issue of certificates of identity to Armenian refugees in order that they may establish their identity and travel freely in pursuance of their normal occupations.

The American Government is not in a position to issue travel documents to aliens. It does not require certificates of identity of aliens sojourning within its territory or of those desiring to depart therefrom. For entry into the United States alien immigrants are required to present an immigration visa issued by the appropriate American Consul. The American Consuls will accept from aliens unable to present passports in connection with their applications for immigration visas appropriate documents of identity in lieu of passports. The Nansen certificates issued to Russian refugees have been considered to fall within the category of documents in lieu of passports. Similarly, non immigrant aliens are granted passport visas upon personal affidavits or other documents in lieu of passports when they are unable to present passports. Aliens resident in the United [Page 88]States who desire to depart temporarily, may obtain from the Commissioner General of Immigration, Washington, D. C, permits to return valid for six months, capable of further extension in the discretion of the Commissioner General of Immigration.