The Commissioner in Albania (Blake) to the Secretary of State

No. 3


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… I considered it my duty to address the following communication to the Prime Minister under date of June 23, 1922:

“Mr. Prime Minister: During informal conversations which I have had the honor of holding with Your Excellency, in my unofficial capacity as American Commissioner, assurances were offered that the authorities of the Albanian State, under a decree of the Regents, would be instructed by your government to duly recognize, throughout Albanian territory, all passports issued by the American Secretary of State, especially those carried by persons of Albanian origin who have acquired American nationality in conformity with the laws of the United States of America.

It may be found useful for me, on my part, to reiterate at this time points of view which I have already explained to Your Excellency concerning the attitude of the Department of State, in the interpretation and application of laws affecting naturalization in the United States, which is, to wit, that a naturalized citizen who returns to his country of origin and there resides continuously for a period of more than two years, shall be considered to have expatriated himself and thereby to have ceased any longer to be entitled to the rights of American citizenship, unless (a) such residence in his country of origin is for the purpose of trading directly and principally with the United States, or (b) to enable him to pursue studies or engage in missionary or other legitimate cultural and philanthropical work, or (c) because a state of poor health prevents his immediate return to the United States. The right of a naturalized citizen to benefit by any of these exceptions must be proven in each case by the submission of satisfactory evidence to the Department of State.

It would be a further source of gratification to me to be able to draw to the attention of my government the fact that similar assurances had been given by the Government of Albania that favored-nation treatment also would be accorded American interests in Albania, coincident with an initiation of formal diplomatic relations [Page 512]between the Government of Albania and that of the United States of America; and that the Albanian Government will include this provision as a treaty clause in any future commercial convention that may be drawn up between Albania and the American Government.

In connection with the above, for the completion of the archives of this Commission, I venture to suggest the propriety of our confirming these understandings by an exchange of written communications.

Please accept, Mr. Prime Minister, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

To the above, the Prime Minister replied as follows, under date of June 25, 1922:

“Mr. Commissioner: In response to your letter of June 23, 1922, I beg to state that the Albanian Government feels the utmost satisfaction to enter into correspondence with the unofficial representative of the United States Government, which more than once has saved Albania from partition and utter destruction, by pleading her cause during most critical periods of her history.

In connection with the two points you bring forth in your letter as needing settlement, before you could take any steps in favor of the official recognition of the Government of Albania by that of the United States, allow me to communicate to you that:

The Albanian Government will recognize the passports given by the authorities of the United States of America, to persons of Albanian origin, who are naturalized Americans in conformity with the American laws concerning nationalities.
In case a commercial treaty is concluded between the Government of the United States of America and that of Albania, the latter promises to insert in the said treaty, the most favored nation clause. Meanwhile, following the official recognition of the Government of Albania by that of the United States, and pending the conclusion of the treaty above mentioned, the American interests in Albania will receive the most favored nation treatment.

Furthermore, the Albanian Government is ready to show all kinds of facilities! to the installation of American capital in Albania, as well as to accord concessions to American concerns.

Please accept, Mr. Commissioner, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

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I have [etc.]

Maxwell Blake