711.60 f 4/9

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

No. 457

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 1244 of March 28, 1927,9 in regard to the proposed naturalization treaty between the United States and Czechoslovakia.

Careful consideration has been given to the note from the Czechoslovak Foreign Office of April 30, 1926, a translation of which accompanied your despatch No. 1093 of August 20, 1926, and this Government is prepared to agree to most of the changes suggested therein. The proposed changes will be considered seriatim.

[Page 677]

Article I, Paragraph 3

This Government agrees in the main to the proposed change, but suggests a modification in the phraseology. The right of a national of either country to obtain naturalization abroad should not be denied merely because the other country happens to be at war.

Article I, Paragraph 4

No objection is seen to the omission of the phrase “owing permanent allegiance to”, since it is regarded as equivalent to the other phrase “having the nationality of”, in the same paragraph.

Article I, Paragraph 5


(First sentence of paragraph 5)

In order to make the meaning of this sentence clearer and more definite, it may be changed to read as follows:

“The word ‘naturalized’ refers to the naturalization of a person over twenty-one years of age, granted upon his own application, while he is permanently residing within the country of naturalization, and to the naturalization of a person under twenty-one years of age through the naturalization of a parent, provided such person has acquired a permanent residence within the country of naturalization”.

In this relation it may be pointed out that, under the law of this country (Section 5, Act of March 2, 190710), a minor does not acquire naturalization through the naturalization of a parent unless he is residing permanently in the United States at the time of his parent’s naturalization or takes up a permanent residence in this country after his parent’s naturalization and before he has reached the age of twenty-one years.

With regard to the use of the plural form, “parents”, in the original draft, it may be observed that the plural was used not for the purpose of including both father and mother, but merely to make the word correspond with the word “persons”. It is understood that the proposed paragraph would cover the case of children naturalized through the naturalization of either a father or a widowed mother. It would also cover the case of naturalization through the naturalization of a divorced mother having custody of the minor children, if the law of the country of naturalization should make provision for such naturalization.

[Page 678]

As to the proposal of the Czechoslovak Government that the certificate of naturalization of a parent should expressly mention the other persons naturalized through the naturalization of the bearer, you are informed that this does not seem to be practicable under the existing law of this country. While Section 4, Paragraph 2 of the Naturalization Act of June 29, 1906,11 provides that the petition of a person applying for naturalization shall state the name of his wife and, if he has children, the name, date and place of birth and place of residence of each child living at the time of the filing of the petition, and while the names of the wife and children are inserted in the naturalization certificate, such insertion cannot be regarded as proof of their naturalization. The effect of the naturalization of a husband upon his wife will be mentioned further on in this communication. As to the minor children, the statements inserted in the naturalization certificate, upon the strength of the statements contained in the petition, cannot be regarded as decisive of their citizenship. In this relation it may be pointed out that the names of minor children are inserted in the certificate whether or not they have taken up their residence in the United States and thus acquired naturalization through the naturalization of the parent.

The Wife

The provision of the treaty concerning married women was intended to indicate that the nationality of a married woman was in nowise to be affected by the treaty, but was to be determined solely by national legislation. This was made necessary by the provisions of the Act of September 22, 1922, to the effect that an American woman marrying an alien does not thereby lose her American nationality (unless her husband was [is?] ineligible to citizenship) and that an alien woman marrying an American citizen does not thereby acquire American citizenship. This should be pointed out to the Czechoslovak Government and the effect of marriage on a woman’s citizenship status under American law both before and after the Act of September 22, 1922, should be explained.

It is further pointed out by the Czechoslovak Government that if the clause relating to married women is to be interpreted as indicating that the wife does not lose her former nationality by marrying a citizen of the other contracting country, which provision is apparently based on the law of September 22, 1922, then the provisions of this law are in conflict with Czechoslovak legislation and an American woman by reason of her marriage with a Czech does not lose her American citizenship, although through such marriage she acquires Czechoslovak nationality. That there is such a conflict is, of course, evident, but the [Page 679] only means of removing it would be by a change in the law of one of the countries. In this connection, the Czechoslovak Government asks to be informed whether in case of marriage of a Czechoslovak woman to an American citizen she would be able to establish herself in the United States for the purpose of fulfilling the conditions requisite for the acquisition of American nationality. In this relation it should be answered that such women would apparently be entitled to a non-quota status under Section 4 (a) of the Immigration Act of 192412 if their husbands were residing in the United States, and that after taking up a permanent residence in the United States or certain of its possessions they might be naturalized after a residence of one year therein as provided for in Section 2 of the married women’s citizenship act of September 22, 1922,13 which is as follows:

“That any woman who marries a citizen of the United States after the passage of this Act, or any woman whose husband is naturalized after the passage of this Act, shall not become a citizen of the United States by reason of such marriage or naturalization; but, if eligible to citizenship, she may be naturalized upon full and complete compliance with all requirements of the naturalization laws, with the following exceptions:

  • “(a) No declaration of intention shall be required;
  • “(b) In lieu of the five-year period of residence within the United States and the one-year period of residence within the State or Territory where the naturalization court is held, she shall have resided continuously in the United States, Hawaii, Alaska, or Porto Rico for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the petition.”

The objection advanced by the Czechoslovak Government to the inclusion of the phrase, “but not by the act of emigration itself” in Article II of the draft treaty is appreciated, and this Government is willing to agree to its omission. As to the second change proposed in this Article, while this Government would prefer the original provision, it is willing to agree to the change proposed by the Czechoslovak Government, according to which former Czechoslovak citizens who have obtained naturalization as citizens of the United States shall not be liable to punishment for offenses committed within a period of five years immediately preceding their naturalization. Accordingly, this Government agrees entirely to Article II, as amended by the Czechoslovak Government.

Article III

This Government agrees in the main to the change proposed by the Czechoslovak Government, but suggests that instead of the expression “lose naturalization” the idea be expressed more definitely [Page 680] by using the words, “to have lost the nationality acquired through naturalization”.

This Government agrees entirely to the proposal to have the treaty drawn up in both the English and Czech languages, and to extend the period for the notice of denunciation from six months to one year.

As to the suggestion of the Czechoslovak Government that this Government agree to inform it concerning the naturalization of Czechs in this country, I may say that, while no objection to this proposal is seen in principle, this Department has been informed by the Department of Labor, which has supervision of naturalization, that it is not practicable to carry it out.

In the latter part of its memorandum the Czechoslovak Government suggests the inclusion in the proposed treaty of a provision for the settlement of conflicts in cases of persons born in either country of parents who are nationals of the other and who are themselves nationals of the one country “jure soli” and nationals of the other country “jure sanguinis”. This Government has been concerned for many years with the question of the settlement of cases of dual nationality, and is in full sympathy with the desire of the Czechoslovak Government to find a way of settling conflicts of this nature. However, the problem involves difficult questions of a practical as well as legal character, and requires very careful consideration. For the settlement of these cases special legislation will probably be required. Moreover, this Government, if it is to enter into agreements with foreign countries for the settlement of cases of dual nationality would prefer that such agreements, if possible, should be uniform in character, or at least based upon uniform principles. This subject has been receiving especial consideration by the Department in recent years, with a view to deciding upon a satisfactory principle for the settlement of these cases, and any suggestions which the Czechoslovak Government may see fit to make concerning this subject will be appreciated. However, it does not seem desirable to postpone the conclusion of a naturalization treaty until it may become possible to reach an agreement in regard to the solution of cases of dual nationality.

Enclosed herewith is a re-draft of the proposed treaty of naturalization embodying the amendments proposed by the Czechoslovak Government in so far as this Government is able to agree to them.14

I am [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg
  1. Not printed.
  2. 34 Stat. 1228, 1229.
  3. 34 Stat. 596, 597.
  4. 43 Stat. 153, 155.
  5. 42 Stat. 1021, 1022.
  6. Not printed.