711.60 f 4/19

The Chargé in Czechoslovakia (Gittings) to the Secretary of State

No. 1660

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Instruction under date of May 7, 1928, No. 536, regarding the Naturalization Treaty and with particular reference to the second paragraph, in which it is stated that the Department of Labor has advised the Department of State “that the Commissioner of Naturalization is preparing an instruction to his field officers to notify Czechoslovak nationals who obtain naturalization that in their own interest they should make known to the Legation or Consulate of their former country the fact of a change in their nationality. You may so advise the Czechoslovak Government.”

The Legation at once communicated the above information to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and is now in receipt of a Note from the Foreign Office (a copy of which together with a translation is herewith enclosed)22 in which the Czechoslovak Government feels it will be more advantageous to all parties concerned if the Commissioner of Naturalization were to notify the Czechoslovak Legation at Washington when a Czechoslovak citizen becomes a citizen of the United States. The Legation believes this would be a more direct and certain manner of advising the Czechoslovak Government of the change of status of its citizens than leaving the duty of notification to the individual himself. If the naturalized citizen should fail to notify [Page 686] the nearest Czechoslovak Consul or Legation, and should visit Czechoslovakia, then the military authorities of this country would be ignorant of the change of citizenship and the same old difficulties of having the man arrested, his passport taken from him, and being drafted into the service of the Czechoslovak Army would occur.

The suggestion offered by the Foreign Office therefore appears to be the one which would give the Czechoslovak officials current and certain information as to each case where naturalization takes place and would obviate the difficulties affecting American citizens that now almost invariably occur.

I have [etc.]

John Sterett Gittings
  1. Not printed.