The Secretary of State to the Chargé in France (Armour)

No. 4089

Sir: The Department has received the Embassy’s despatch No. 9435 of March 19, 1929, in reply to its instruction No. 2993 of December 1, 1928, concerning the proposed agreement between the Governments of the United States and France in regard to the status of naturalized citizens and persons born with dual nationality, and their liability for performance of military service and other acts of allegiance.

With reference to the meaning of the phrase “other act of allegiance” in the Department’s instruction of December 1, 1928, attention is called to the fact that this phrase is taken from the Joint Resolution of Congress approved by the President May 28, 1928. It is the Department’s understanding that this phrase relates to any act the performance of which is required by the Government of a country upon the ground that the person of whom it is required has the nationality of such country under its law.

As it appears from the despatch under acknowledgment that it is not practicable at the present time to conclude a formal treaty upon the subject in question, you are instructed to endeavor to obtain a unilateral agreement under which the French authorities, in the case of a person born in the United States of French parents and visiting France for a temporary purpose, will not require the certificate, mentioned in Article 99 of the French Recruitment Law of March 31, 1928, to the effect that the law of the United States does not provide for obligatory military service. It would seem that, if the Embassy should furnish the French Government with a general statement to this effect, there would be no practical necessity for each person concerned to submit a separate statement. Moreover, such general statement would seem to render unnecessary a reciprocal agreement on the part of this Government.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
J. Reuben Clark, Jr.