The Secretary of State to Representative A. Piatt Andrew of Massachusetts

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of October 7, 1925,20 concerning the inquiries addressed to you … regarding certain questions raised by the reported enlistment of American citizens in the army forces of the Sultan of Morocco.

It is believed that the following statement of the facts in the matter will be of interest to you and will cover the points raised by your constituent:

Several weeks ago letters were received by the Department stating that American citizens were reported to be enlisting in the army of the Sultan of Morocco for service in Morocco. These letters expressed apprehension concerning the situation and appeared to consider that the matter should receive the attention of the Department. [Page 608] The Department, realizing that the misapprehension might also exist in Morocco, believed it advisable and proper to inform its officer in Morocco of the laws with respect to the enlistment of Americans in foreign military forces. It, therefore, sent a telegram to the Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier stating that in order to avoid any misapprehension which might be caused in Morocco by the reports of alleged enlistment of American citizens in the Sultan’s army, it was suggested that he might care to consider the advisability of calling to the attention of American citizens in Morocco the provisions of Section[s] 5282 and 4090 of the Revised Statutes of the United States. These statutes read as follows:

R. S. 5282 (Section 10 of the United States Criminal Code)

“Whoever, within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, enlists or enters himself, or hires or retains another person to enlist or enter himself, or to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States with intent to be enlisted or entered in the service of any foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people, as a soldier, or as a marine or seaman, on board of any vessel of war, letter of marque, or privateer shall be fined not more than a thousand dollars, and imprisoned not more than three years, . …”

to which was added on May 7, 1917, the following proviso which ceased to have effect at the termination of the late war:

“Provided, That this Section shall not apply to citizens or subjects of any country engaged in war with a country with which the United States is at war, unless such citizen or subject of such foreign country shall hire or solicit a citizen of the United States to enlist or enter the service of a foreign country. Enlistment under this proviso shall be under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War.”

R. S. 4090 reads as follows:

“Capital cases for murder or insurrection against the Government of either of the countries hereinabove mentioned (extraterritorial countries), by citizens of the United States, or for offences against the public peace amounting to felony under the laws of the United States, may be tried before the Minister of the United States in the country where the offence is committed if allowed jurisdiction; and every such Minister may issue all manner of writs, to prevent the citizens of the United States from enlisting in the military or naval service of either of the said countries, to make war upon any foreign power with whom the United States are at peace, or in the service of one portion of the people against any other portion of the same people; and he may carry out this power by a resort to such force belonging to the United States, as may at the time be within his reach.”

The Department has no evidence as to whether the aviators in question have or have not enlisted in the Army of the Sultan of Morocco nor has it information as to the nature of their connection with the armed forces in Morocco. The Department, however, felt [Page 609] it to be its duty to call the attention of American citizens in Morocco to the laws of the United States designed to prevent and make unlawful the enlistment, in the United States or in countries where we enjoy extraterritorial privileges, of American citizens for service in foreign armed forces.

I have [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg
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