504.418A2/237: Telegram

The Minister in the Netherlands (Diekema) to the Acting Secretary of State


46. [From Miller.] Conference No. 13. In my 12 of this date6 I have sent you the text of seventeen articles of the proposed convention on nationality which are now before the commission on nationality. These seventeen articles represent almost exactly the definitive text adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the commission on each [Page 212] article.7 In addition to these seventeen articles there is now a proposed preamble and there are also various general articles which are or will be proposed and the text of which I do not now transmit.

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The major question of policy is our attitude toward the prestige [protocol?] of convention containing the seventeen substantive articles above mentioned as well as the other general articles.… Of course it would be possible for the United States to sign this convention and by preferring reservations to cut out, so far as we are concerned, all the objectionable features. I do not favor that course.

The proposed convention does little toward the removal of dual nationality or the prevention of statelessness. Our policy of expatriation receives no recognition at all. I think that we should refuse to sign the convention and make a statement to the effect that while the discussions have been very valuable and helpful, the convention as proposed contains a number of features which the United States could not accept and while it contains certain clauses to which we have no objection an acceptance of these by the United States would involve such extensive reservations to the agreement as a whole that we consider it better to await a further and more progressive agreement which we hoped the discussion of the present Conference would facilitate.

Hackworth, Risley, and Mrs. Shipley concur. Flournoy asked me to add this expression of his views with which the rest of us do not agree.

Flournoy thinks that article 1 is useful and that, with reference to statements in articles 3 and 4 and other articles concerning double nationality, a reservation to the effect that the United States cannot admit that a person who obtains naturalization in the United States retains his former allegiance, would sufficiently safeguard the position of our Government. He believes that as the articles of the convention so far agreed to are inadequate it would be desirable to recommend that the signing of any convention be postponed until further consideration shall have been given by all concerned. However, if it is decided that a convention shall be signed, he thinks that it would be preferable for us to sign with reservations thus getting the advantage of the articles of which we approve. Miller.

  1. Not printed.
  2. League of Nations, Acts of the Conference for the Codification of International Law, vol. ii, Minutes of the First Committee, annex iii, p. 298.