711.60 f 4/8

The Minister in Czechoslovakia (Einstein) to the Secretary of State

No. 1093

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 130 of July 26, 1923 and to other pertinent correspondence bearing on the proposed naturalization treaty between the United States and Czechoslovakia.

The Legation is in receipt of a note verbale from the Czechoslovak Foreign Office, dated as of April 30, 1926, in which comments are made and further considerations regarding the text of the draft are set forth. This note is hereby submitted in original French and translation, for consideration and action by the Department.

I have [etc.]

For the Minister:
John Sterett Gittings

The Czechoslovak Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the American Legation

No. 20860/26–II/5

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs had the honor during the year 1924 to set forth orally to the Legation of the United States the point of view of the Czechoslovak Government regarding the project of a Convention bearing on certain questions of nationality to which the Legation’s Note No. 406 of August 25, 1923 has particular reference. The Czechoslovak Government has examined this projected Convention in detail, with the intention of reaching an agreement which should avoid as far as possible questions of nationality which might arise between Czechoslovakia and the United States. Indeed, if no attempt is made to resolve such conflicts, they may inevitably provoke, on the part of the authorities of a State upon whose territory there resides a person who at once is a national of two States, measures against such a person under two laws.

A detailed analysis of the articles, which is to be set forth herein, will show that the Czechoslovak Government, desiring to eliminate such conflicts, was obliged, in order to take up the project presented by the American Government, to face the eventual question of making certain important and essential modifications of Czechoslovak legislation. The importance to Czechoslovak legislation of the Convention now in preparation is enough to make it clearly understandable why [Page 663] the Czechoslovak authorities who are working on it are obliged to give it very special attention. Nevertheless, the Czechoslovak Government has decided to make such modifications to its present legislation in the hope that it might be of real utility to Czechoslovak citizens as well as to American citizens, and only for those persons who in good faith have the intention of establishing themselves upon the territory of one or the other of the Contracting States and of fulfilling their civic duties. The Legation’s note of September 30, 1922, No. 196, constitutes for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a guarantee that this end will be attained. The Legation has seen fit to declare in the name of its Government to the Czechoslovak Government that “there is no intention of conferring American nationality upon aliens unless they intend in good faith to reside in the United States and fulfill the obligations of citizenship. In other words, my Government has no desire or intention of countenancing the action of aliens who may obtain naturalization certificates only as a convenience, to enable them to evade the just demands of the countries from which they come while continuing to reside therein. Where the facts and circumstances of any case indicate that naturalization was obtained with such a purpose in view, proceedings may be instituted under Section 15 to cancel the naturalization ab initio.”

In view of these considerations, the Czechoslovak Ministry for Foreign Affairs takes the liberty of communicating herewith to the Government of the United States its views touching the various stipulations of the Convention being prepared (I), and on the other hand drawing its attention to certain questions which, in the opinion of the Czechoslovak Government, are closely related to the subject in question (II).


The Ministry for Foreign Affairs first states that it consents that the introduction to the proposed Convention insist on the fact that the clauses of this Convention should apply to those cases where nationality has been acquired by a person of the other State “by reasonable processes of naturalization within any territory under its Sovereignty.” Such naturalization is considered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to mean the acquisition of a new nationality, which results from consent of the physical person acquiring it, and assumes that certain ties attach the said person to his or her new State. In general these bonds or ties shall be constituted by the domicile founded animo manendi, and existing for some little time. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs believes that paragraph 5 of Article I of the Convention takes the idea of nationality in the same sense when it says “the word ‘naturalized’ refers only to the naturalization of persons of full age, upon their own applications.”

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As to the other clauses of the Convention in preparation, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs takes the liberty of making the following remarks:

Article I

paragraph 3

The Czechoslovak Government approves the proposed stipulation and also desires that, if Czechoslovakia should be in a state of war with any other nation, the clauses of paragraphs 1 and 2 of the first article should cease to be enforced during the period of the war. Thus, in such event Czechoslovak nationals would not lose their Czechoslovak nationality by reason of their American naturalization. Nevertheless the Czechoslovak Government begs to suggest that this principle be expressly set forth in the 3rd paragraph more or less as follows: “In case one of the Contracting Powers should be at war with a third State, the above stipulations of the present article shall cease to be in force for the duration of that war.”

As an explanation of the proposed text of paragraph 3 of Article I, the Czechoslovak Government begs to remark that Czechoslovak legislation has as yet no analogous regulation, this legislation being founded on principles quite different from those set forth in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article I of the proposed treaty. If it is desired that the paragraphs in question have weight in relations with the United States, the Czechoslovak Government desires at the same time that it should be established that the clauses of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article should cease to be effective in time of war. Otherwise Czechoslovak legislation would be obliged to enact a special regulation similar to that comprised in paragraph 3.

paragraph 4

The Czechoslovak Government, returning, regarding this paragraph, to the request which it has already made to the United States Legation, begs it to point out whether there exists a difference between a person “owing permanent allegiance to …” and one “having the nationality of …” The Ministry for Foreign Affairs believes there is no difference whatever between these two conceptions. In both instances there would always be meant persons attached by the tie of nationality to the State in question.

If there should be occasion to differentiate between a person “owing permanent allegiance to … “and one “having the nationality of …”, the Government wishes to remark that the idea of permanent allegiance is foreign to Czechoslovak legislation as far as nationality of a physical person is involved. It therefore does not seem sound to make use of this formula as regards Czechoslovakia.

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paragraph 5

The Czechoslovak Government understands that the purpose of this paragraph of Article I is to specify who are nationals of the Contracting States in the light of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article I and in what circumstances these dispositions are applicable thereto. Thus, if “the word naturalized refers only …” is applied to certain persons who act in a certain way, this implies that “the dispositions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article I apply only to the naturalization of persons of legal age … etc.” The Czechoslovak Government begs to propose that the definitive text of the Convention in preparation should set forth clearly the purpose of this paragraph.


(First sentence of paragraph 5)

Regarding the conception of what constitutes a minor, the proposed text of Article I does not specify what should be understood by the term, with the result that the legislation of each of the Contracting Parties is left free to determine its meaning. In Czechoslovak law a minor is every citizen not yet having attained the age of 21, provided he or she has not been previously declared of age. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs believes that United States legislation contains a stipulation fully analogous to that just set forth. The Ministry feels that, thanks to this stipulation, conflicts concerning nationality are not to be feared, but such conflicts would be inevitable should the age limit for minors not be clearly fixed by the laws of the two countries. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs desires to call the attention of the United States Government to this point, and leaves it to that Government to decide whether it would not be preferable to define, in the text of the Convention itself, which persons they are who have not attained their majority.

Regarding the naturalization of minors (to which this passage of the draft alludes and which occurs ipso facto by the naturalization of their parents), the Czechoslovak Government ventures to say that this clause ought probably to be interpreted in this sense that every minor, being, like his or her parents, of American or Czechoslovak nationality, loses that nationality by the mere fact of the naturalization of the parents and becomes, simultaneously and conjointly with the parents, a national of the other Contracting State. Therefore, no other conditions are required, for the naturalization of minors, than the valid naturalization of their parents.

Should the United States Government interpret the dispositions in question in the manner outlined above, the Czechoslovak Government believes it is right to point out that it would be useful to specify [Page 666] likewise the conception of “parents.” Parents of a minor comprise necessarily two persons, but it is not likely that solely the naturalization of the father, or of the unmarried mother, can exercise, within the meaning of the phrases in preparation, an ipso facto influence on the nationality of the minor. The expression “parents”, employed in the first sentence of paragraph 5 of Article I, would then signify that it is alone the naturalization of the father, or of the unmarried mother, which decides. Obviously this clause may be interpreted in another sense, namely, that the naturalization of the parents includes ipso facto that of a minor child only when certain other conditions regarding the naturalization of minors have been fulfilled. Such other conditions, again, may be different in each of the two Contracting States. Regarding these special conditions, it appears that United States legislation requires that the minor establish himself or herself in the United States at the same time as the parents, or that such domicile be acquired at least prior to the age of 21. Now, Czechoslovak legislation regarding minors who lose their nationality when the fathers become naturalized in the United States does not invariably correspond to the above-set-forth principle of American law. Inasmuch as the American and Czechoslovak laws are not in accord regarding conflicts which might arise in certain cases bearing on the nationality of minors, it would be possible for a minor, through the naturalization of the parents, to be a citizen of both States, or to lose the old without acquiring the new nationality.

Should the United States Government interpret the dispositions in question in the manner just outlined, the expression “parents” would naturally need no further definition. Czechoslovak and American legislation would each independently decide which of the two parents should settle, by their naturalization, that of the minor. If this view is not held, the Czechoslovak Government would consider it advisable that the dispositions in preparation concerning minors should be taken into account. It is evident, in the case at hand, that the Czechoslovak authorities (needing to know whether the minor acquiring Czechoslovak nationality has at the same time lost that of the United States, or vice versa) would be obliged to reckon with pertinent American legislation. The American authorities would probably be forced, in analogous instances, to take account of Czechoslovak laws.

In view of the foregoing, the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic begs the Government of the United States to be good enough to define in what sense these dispositions of the draft Convention concerning the naturalization of minors should be interpreted. In case a difference should continue to subsist, in the clauses, regarding the naturalization of minors in the United States and in Czechoslovakia, [Page 667] the Czechoslovak Government would beg the United States Government to be good enough to inform it of the conditions on which are based, in American law, the loss of nationality by a minor as a consequence of his father’s naturalization in Czechoslovakia. On its side the Czechoslovak Government ventures to inform the United States Government that the conditions under which a minor may gain or lose Czechoslovak nationality by reason of the father’s naturalization in the United States, have been established by Czechoslovak legislation as follows:

Minors generally acquire Czechoslovak nationality upon the naturalization of their fathers.

If the father loses Czechoslovak citizenship, his minor children generally lose it too, provided, however, they have not attained the age of 17 and are not consequently restricted in their freedom of change by the laws on recruiting.

In this connection the Czechoslovak Government ventures to remark that the establishing of a minor’s nationality would be greatly facilitated if the official document conferring nationality on the parents should expressly mention the persons who, by that act, become naturalized forthwith. The Czechoslovak Government desires to point out that documents conferring or withdrawing Czechoslovak nationality mention generally and in a specific manner the names of persons gaining Czechoslovak citizenship through collective naturalization. The Czechoslovak Government would, therefore, be grateful if the United States Government were to inform it whether the American “certificate of naturalization” may, to the same end, bear likewise the names of minor children naturalized simultaneously with their father.

The Wife

The naturalization of the wife should be looked at from two angles: one, that which concerns the influence of the husband’s naturalization on the married woman’s nationality; the other, the effect of a marriage-contract when made with a husband who is a national of the other Contracting Party.

Regarding the first point, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs would like to remark that, in principle, by Czechoslovak legislation the wife acquires or loses, in Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovak nationality according as the husband acquires or loses this nationality.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs believes that, on this point, United States legislation is likewise based on the principle of collective naturalization.

But the mere fact that American nationality is not accorded contrary to the laws of the State of origin, in cases where the wife continues [Page 668] to live in her native country while the husband is in America where he becomes naturalized, alone perhaps prevents an extensive application in American legislation of this principle.

If the laws of the two Contracting States are based, in this instance, on the same principles, then the Ministry for Foreign Affairs supposes that the projected dispositions of paragraph 5 of Article I are (as regards the nationality of the wife) the expression of these principles. Otherwise, conflicts of nationality would necessarily arise from the contradictions existing between the dispositions of the Convention and the legislation of the State. Obviously this is not the desire of the authors of the project. The Czechoslovak Government, therefore, interprets the dispositions of Article I, paragraph 5 (concerning the nationality of the wife), to mean that the naturalization of the husband in the other Contracting State carries with it per se that of the wife, who thus loses her original nationality.

The Czechoslovak Government is of the opinion that this interpretation of paragraph 5, Article I of the projected Convention is substantiated by the expression “the naturalization of their parents”, employed in Article I in connection with minors. It is apparent that the simultaneous naturalization of the father and of the mother is recognized. For a minor to obtain the nationality of one of the Contracting States it suffices, as said before, that the father or the unmarried mother be naturalized. If Article I says “the naturalization of their parents”, this indicates probably that the naturalization of the father includes per se that of the mother. The Ministry believes that the words “upon their own application” (paragraph 5, “persons of full age”) should be interpreted in this sense: namely, that the formal consent of the wife must be added to the request of the husband seeking naturalization. Naturalization of the husband, therefore, cannot occur (according to Article I) without bringing about simultaneously that of the wife and in conformity with her express desire. The Czechoslovak Government willingly admits that the naturalization of the husband should act upon that of the wife, but on condition that the wife herself may make her will count. Experience shows that the acquisition of a foreign nationality by a husband often causes difficulties to the wife when the two are living apart. Such difficulties will cease to exist if the projected dispositions which grant a common nationality to the couple take into account also the desire of the wife to acquire her husband’s nationality.

As regards the second point bearing on the wife, the last sentence of paragraph 5 of Article I of the draft stipulates that the dispositions of this article (on the consequences of naturalization within one Contracting State in connection with the nationality of a citizen of the other Contracting Party) are not to apply to marriage or to the contract [Page 669] of marriage. By this clause the wife does not lose her former nationality by marrying a citizen of the other Contracting State. This clause probably emanates from the principle that marriage does not confer another nationality on the wife, and it apparently results from the American law of September 22, 1922.

It is well to state that, contrary to this point of view, Czechoslovak legislation is based (as regards the effects of marriage on the wife’s nationality) on the principles held up to now by nearly all nations; that is to say, a woman of Czechoslovak nationality loses that nationality by the mere fact of marrying an alien. As a result of the divergence between the two sets of laws, a woman of Czechoslovak origin loses, by marrying an American citizen, her Czechoslovak nationality without acquiring that of her husband, for, in order to acquire American nationality, she is obliged to become naturalized in the United States. It might be remarked at this point that, if there is question here of a negative conflict between United States and Czechoslovak legislation, then the provisions of the aforementioned law of September 22, 1922, bring the two legislations into positive conflict: An American woman, by reason of her marriage with a Czechoslovak, does not lose her American nationality, although by the same fact she acquires Czechoslovak nationality.

As regards the theoretical conflict of American with Czechoslovak legislation which has been treated above, this may be resolved according to Section 2 of the law of September 22, 1922. By this clause, a foreigner married to an American acquires American nationality only after having resided a certain length of time in United States territory. On this point the Ministry for Foreign Affairs would appreciate being informed by the United States Government whether American legislation does in fact, in every case, permit a Czechoslovak woman married to an American citizen to establish herself upon United States territory, in the Hawaiian archipelago, Alaska, or Porto Rico for the purpose of fulfilling the conditions requisite for the acquisition of American nationality.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs ventures to ask this question because it considers that the purpose of the projected convention is to remove all germs of possible difficulties concerning citizenship rights, which might arise in Czechoslovak legislation. The Czechoslovak Government believes it would be well, in the case where a Czechoslovak woman loses her nationality through marriage to an American, to give such woman full possibility of acquiring the nationality of her husband. The Czechoslovak Government would be obliged if the United States Government should confirm the understanding that a Czechoslovak woman marrying an American citizen without the continental United States (namely, in Hawaii, [Page 670] Alaska, or Porto Rico) may in every instance establish herself on United States territory, including Hawaii, Alaska or Porto Rico, and remain there during the period of time required by American legislation for a woman married to a citizen of the United States to acquire American nationality.

Article II of the Project

The principle which proclaims that naturalization may not have retroactive effect undergoes, in the proposed article, a double modification. By the act of naturalization, both expatriation itself (“Original Act of Naturalization”) and the failure to obey orders concerning obligatory military service cease from being ultimately punishable. In the latter contingency, ultimate immunity from punishment includes the period which commences at the moment the national establishes himself bona fide within the territory of the other State.

As to immunity from punishment for expatriation itself, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has the honor to inform the Legation that Czechoslovak legislation gives nationals of the Czechoslovak State the right to expatriate themselves freely.

In this sense paragraph 110 of the Czechoslovak Constitution of February 29, 1920 stipulates that the right to emigrate shall not be restricted except by a law. This law, to which the Constitution refers, is that of February 15, 1922 (No. 71 of the Compilation of Laws and Decrees). In paragraph 2 it is expressly stipulated: “Emigration is free within the limits of the law in force.” The Government can, by decree and for any determined country, forbid or restrict emigration in cases where the lives, liberty, or property of the emigrants might be seriously menaced, or where this measure might be necessary to protect the material or moral interests of the emigrants. Further, the Ministry of Social Welfare, in accord with the other competent Ministries, can restrict emigration to certain travel routes which are of easier control by the State and better suited as regards the public interests and those of the emigrants. Restrictions on emigration due to military obligations are established by the recruiting law and by the decrees promulgated in conformity therewith. Czechoslovak citizens not of legal age who do not emigrate with their father require an authorization from the officials charged with the care of minors. This regulation does not apply to minors over 18 who emigrate beyond Europe; but the said authorities may prevent emigration if the circumstances, notably the nature of the minor’s occupation abroad, should perchance be dangerous to his or her health or morals. Furthermore, minors, male and female, under 16 years of age, may not emigrate without their [Page 671] father or mother unless it is proved that they are to be accompanied to their destination by responsible persons over 24.

The following persons also may not emigrate:

Those who are being sought by justice for crime, misdemeanor or infraction of law, those sentenced to prison, those against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued or who have been summoned to court;
Parents who leave behind them at home children under 16 without having previously assured their permanent protection;
Persons who by reason of advanced age, illness, or bodily infirmity are unable to work, unless it can be shown that their subsistence is assured in the country to which they emigrate;
Those who, after their expenses of travel are paid, might arrive at the country of destination without resources;
Those who are forbidden entry by law in the country to which they wish to immigrate.

Infractions of these rules are punishable by a term of imprisonment up to 3 months or by a fine of 50,000 Czechoslovak crowns. This punishment may be inflicted by the administrative authorities only, in conformity with paragraphs 37 and 38, II, of the above law. The prison term may be applied together with a fine to the maximum of 20,000 Czechoslovak crowns. However, only certain actions bearing on emigration shall be considered as crimes or misdemeanors subject to prosecution in accordance with paragraphs 33–35 of the law in question; e. g., emigration-propaganda (paragraph 33), misleading of minors (paragraph 34), and white slave trade (paragraph 35), but not emigration itself.

If, therefore, in conformity with Article II of the projected Convention, freedom from punishment for expatriation itself is guaranteed, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs believes that, insofar as Czechoslovak legislation is concerned, it is thereby established that a former Czechoslovak national when naturalized may not be subject to punishment for infraction of the aforementioned legal prescriptions.

As to the already-cited second category of stipulations of Czechoslovak legislation whose infraction, as a result of American naturalization, ceases to be punishable in the case of Czechoslovak nationals, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs wishes to point out to the Legation that, in view of Czechoslovak legislation, there should be taken into consideration the stipulations of paragraphs 47 to 51 of the Recruiting Act of March 19, 1920 (No. 193 in the Compilation of Laws and Decrees), according to which a person who does not obey the order to enter active military service commits a breach of law. Under the terms of paragraph 183 of the Military Penal Code (No. 19/1855 of the old Austrian Code), such avoidance of [Page 672] military service may become the crime of desertion, if the person called to active duty remains away from his army corps (group or any other establishment) with the intention of permanently avoiding his military obligation. By the terms of Article II of the proposed Convention, it is established that a national of the Czechoslovak State when naturalized in the United States shall not be prosecuted for desertion should he fail to obey the order to enter military service, according to Czechoslovak law, if the said crime or misdemeanor is committed after he is bona fide established in the United States, and this even though he might not be an American citizen at the moment of violating the law and would, therefore, still be, according to the proposed Convention, a Czechoslovak citizen in every sense.

While, therefore, the Czechoslovak Government admits, in the two instances cited, that the naturalization of its nationals in the United States may have a retroactive effect and from a penal point of view may exempt such persons from Czechoslovak laws in force, it nevertheless does not conceal its belief that this point seems to it the chief practical effect of the projected Convention. As a result, Czechoslovak legislation to begin with is thereby affected; and the application of Article II, from a practical point of view and because of conditions existing in the legislation of the two High Contracting Parties, imposes obligations on the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic alone.

The Czechoslovak Government has decided to modify its legislation in important ways in order to maintain good relations between the United States and Czechoslovakia. This concession proves how desirous it is that application of Article II of the Convention should not be the source of any difficulty. It is in this spirit that the Czechoslovak Government takes the liberty of reminding the United States Government of the following facts:

The application of the Convention will, in Czechoslovakia, have a primary effect on the minor authorities. It is, therefore, necessary that, as soon as the two stipulations of the Convention are agreed to, those authorities should have the most precise instructions. From the point of view of this executive administration, the Czechoslovak Government wonders whether the text, now in preparation, of the stipulations of Article II does not leave a measure of uncertainty as to exactly when the naturalized Czechoslovak citizen shall have in good faith established his residence in America.

The Czechoslovak officials who must in the first instance decide the moment at which the nationals are established bona fide in America obviously cannot ascertain this accurately except after special inquiries more or less drawn-out and detailed.

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Bearing in mind this uncertainty, if the proposed text of Article II of the projected Convention is to define, in a way efficacious for the needs of the officials in question, the period when (from the penal point of view) the exemption in stipulations aforementioned of Czechoslovak legislation begins being effective, the Czechoslovak Government ventures to propose that, in Article II of the projected Convention, this period be clearly fixed and that a stated number of years be mentioned.

Inasmuch as for naturalization the United States requires five years, and Conventions now in force between the United States and other nations (similar to that being prepared with Czechoslovakia) have taken five years as a basis, the Czechoslovak Government proposes that a period of five years be likewise established in Article II here in question, and that, from the beginning of this period, the Czechoslovak national naturalized in the United States be, in these respects, exempted from the operation of Czechoslovak laws. The content of Article II would, therefore, read somewhat as follows:

“Nationals of either of the two (Contracting) States, as defined in Article I, shall not, upon their return to the territory of the State of which they were formerly nationals, be prosecuted or punished for expatriation or for having failed, prior to their naturalization, to answer summonses to military service which had been served upon them during five years preceding their naturalization.”

Regarding Article II of the proposed Convention, the Czechoslovak Government takes the liberty of remarking that it is well aware that as a consequence of the present text of Article II as drawn up by the United States Government it would be possible to reduce the time-period after which the naturalized former Czechoslovak national should be exempt from the Czechoslovak statutes mentioned earlier.

This would also be the case should his or her bona fide residence be established in the United States before the lapse of the five years directly preceding naturalization. The Czechoslovak Government has the honor to assure the United States Government that it will make every effort, in conformity with Article II, to proceed as liberally as possible in regard to such former nationals as have violated the aforesaid regulations before the time-period in question of five years but whose bona fide residence can be proved. In such event it is obvious that the Czechoslovak authorities should have indisputable proofs of such residence. On the other hand, in cases where the five-year period immediately preceding naturalization is applicable, no attestation will be required and every former Czechoslovak national naturalized in the United States will be exempt from enforcement of the Czechoslovak laws bearing on the points above mentioned, without the necessity of furnishing any other proof of naturalization.

[Page 674]

Article III of the Project

The purpose of this article, in the opinion of the Czechoslovak Government, is primarily to prevent the naturalization of persons who have not sufficient cause for emigration.

The Czechoslovak Government suggests that the expression “renoncer à la naturalisation” be supplemented by “perdre la naturalisation.”

The Czechoslovak Government has the honor to communicate to the United States Government, in regard to the dispositions of this article, that a former Czechoslovak national naturalized in the United States may never, if he should lose his American citizenship for any cause whatsoever, re-acquire Czechoslovak nationality.

As regards the language in which the Convention shall be drawn up, the Czechoslovak Government takes the liberty of offering the following:

“The present Convention, drawn up in English and in Czech, both texts being authoritative, shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties in conformity with their respective constitutions and shall come into force on the day of ratification, which shall take place at Washington as soon as possible.

“The present Convention shall remain in force for 10 years. If neither of the High Contracting Parties states its intention of denouncing it one year before the end of the above-mentioned period, it will remain in force and will not terminate until a year after one or the other of the High Contracting Parties shall have denounced it.”


1. The Czechoslovak Government, after having made in (I) all its remarks regarding the stipulations of the Convention in question, has the further honor to propose to the United States Government that there should be reciprocally reported the names of persons who have become naturalized in each of the two States. This suggestion, although somewhat outside the scope of the questions of nationality covered by the proposed Convention, has nevertheless a direct bearing on the stipulations of Article III for the following reasons:

As has been already said, the burden of putting this Convention into effect will fall, in Czechoslovakia, on the lower officials and—with regard to males liable to Czechoslovak military service—on the military authorities. Inasmuch as these keep the registers of persons of Czechoslovak nationality subject to military service, they will play a very important role in the carrying out of this Convention. In connection with the proposed Convention, Czechoslovak nationals will remain there registered as long as they have not proved, as set [Page 675] forth in the Convention stipulations, that they have acquired American nationality.

Experience has sufficiently shown that it is not always easy to prove that one has acquired nationality in another State; and, as a result of the time necessary for this, the person concerned may in the meanwhile be exposed to numerous hardships.

The Czechoslovak Government, therefore, believes, due to its past experience, that troubles of this nature could be largely avoided if it were to be promptly informed of the naturalization in another State of its nationals. The appropriate lower authorities who keep the registry of Czechoslovak male nationals thus could, without difficulty and without awaiting a moment of urgent need, take the necessary steps regarding the military obligations of such persons. The mere fact of the authorities being notified at the time of naturalization in another State would eliminate on the one hand inevitable misunderstandings among subordinate officials and on the other hand any unpleasant experiences for the persons having acquired a foreign nationality.

The Czechoslovak Government begs to say that, to this end, it caused to be included in the Nationality Conventions made between Austria and Czechoslovakia (No. 107 of the Compilation of Laws and Decrees of 1921, Art. 16) and between Germany and Czechoslovakia (No. 308 of the Compilation of Laws and Decrees of 1922, Art. 13) a paragraph according to which the two parties agree that thereafter before either grants its nationality to nationals of another State and as long as such action is not based on provisions of the Peace Treaties, such naturalization will not take place until the other State shall have released its nationals from all bonds or liens to itself.

Bearing in mind the stipulations so different in principle, in the existing state of things, of the Convention in question, the Czechoslovak Government has the honor to communicate to the United States Government that in its opinion, as regards relations with the United States, both these principles would be satisfactorily provided for if each Contracting Party should engage itself to notify the other State of the names of naturalized persons as soon as naturalization has been effected. As concerns naturalization of American nationals in Czechoslovakia, the Czechoslovak Government would be pleased if the United States Government should agree that the competent Czechoslovak authorities might send direct to the United States Legation in Prague copies of the pertinent decrees. If the United States Government for its part has not much interest in being accurately informed as to the naturalization of its nationals in Czechoslovakia and does not request that such a list be supplied from time to time, the Czechoslovak Government begs to say, for [Page 676] itself, that in view of its legislation it is deeply interested in the naturalization of its nationals in the United States. It would, therefore, be grateful if the United States Government would furnish it such a list, even though that country should not care for reciprocal treatment.

In regard to the technical carrying out of this plan, the object would, in the opinion of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, be attained without the least difficulty if the Czechoslovak Legation in Washington should be authorized to establish direct contact with the “Board [Bureau?] of Naturalization” there.

2. With direct bearing on the questions here discussed, the Czechoslovak Government, before concluding, would like to state that even after conclusion of the Convention, conflicts resulting from juris soli and juris sanguinis will remain unsolved. According to its legislation, the Czechoslovak Government considers under jure sanguinis that the children born in United States territory of Czechoslovak nationals are Czechoslovak nationals and does not, therefore, recognize their American-acquired jure soli nationality.

The Czechoslovak Government takes advantage of these exchanges for the adjustment of the naturalization question here at issue to say to the United States Government that it would be happy if means could be found at the same time to settle the conflicts due to jure soli and jure sanguinis.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs takes this occasion to renew to the Legation of the United States of America the assurance of its high consideration.

  1. File translation revised.