504.418A2/249: Telegram

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

55. From Miller. Conference number 23. The commission on nationality has adopted a protocol to be annexed to the general convention and consisting of the following three articles:

Article 1.
A person possessing two or more nationalities who habitually resides in one of the countries whose nationality he possesses, and [who] is in fact most closely connected with that country, will be exempt from all military obligations in the other country or countries.
This exemption may involve the loss of allegiance to the other country or countries.
Article 2.
Without prejudice to the provisions of article 1, if a person possesses the nationality of two states and under the law of either state has the right to renounce or decline the nationality of that state on attaining his majority, he shall be exempt from military service in that state during his minority.
Article 3.
Similarly the individual who has lost the nationality of a state according to the law of that state and has acquired another nationality, will be exempt from military obligations in the country whose nationality he has lost.

The said commission also adopted another protocol to be annexed to the general convention and consisting of one article as follows:

Article. In a state whose nationality is not conferred by the mere fact of birth in its territory, a child born in its territory of a mother possessing the nationality of that state and of a father without nationality or of unknown nationality shall have the nationality of the said state.

The said commission also adopted a special separate protocol of one article as follows:

Article. If a person after entering a foreign country loses his nationality without acquiring another nationality, the state whose nationality he last possessed remains bound to admit him at the request of the country where he is residing;

(1)
If he is permanently indigent either as a result of an incurable disease or for any other reason; [or]
(2)
If he has been sentenced in the country where he is residing to not less than one month’s imprisonment and has served his sentence or obtained total or partial remission thereof.

In the first case the State whose nationality he last possessed may refuse to receive him, on undertaking to meet the cost of relief in [Page 218] the country where he is residing as from the thirtieth day from the date on which the request was made. In the second case the person must be sent back to the territory of the State whose nationality he last possessed at the expense of the country where he is residing.

I make the following comments on foregoing protocols:

Annexed protocol of three articles. So far as these provide for exemption from military service they are desirable. But there are two serious objections to them: (1) Article 1 and 2 by implication, and article 3, expressly admit dual nationality of naturalized citizens which we strongly oppose; (2) an annexed protocol is closely bound up with the general convention. It is possible to meet at least the first objection and perhaps the second by appropriate reservations. I think that we should take the course here of not signing the protocol but saying that it will be considered by our Government.

Flournoy thinks it preferable to sign here with reservations as he believes article 1 of great practical value.

Annexed protocol of one article. This is of no particular interest to us although there is a conceivable case where it might apply to an American mother in another country who had two nationalities. However, the objection that it is an annexed protocol and so connected with the general convention seems to me conclusive.

A special separate protocol. I oppose this as I think we would be worse off with such qualifications in returning undesirable aliens than we are now. All our delegates concur.

Diekema