The Ambassador in Brazil ( Morgan ) to the Secretary of State

No. 3387

Sir: Referring to the Department’s instruction N° 1541, of June 12 last, concerning the subject of dual nationality in relation to United States citizens who are also considered to be Brazilian citizens, I have the honor to report that the basis of the policy requiring the use of Brazilian passports by the Brazilian-born children of foreigners and Brazilian-born citizens married to citizens of the United States previous to the recent alteration of our laws of citizenship, is based upon Art. 69, 1. of the Brazilian Constitution, which reads:

“Persons born in Brazil though of a foreign father, if the latter is not there resident in the service of his country, are Brazilian citizens.”

It is only recently, however, that the Brazilian police has attempted to compel the persons above referred to to secure a police visa upon a Brazilian passport and not upon a United States passport before leaving this country for abroad.

The Brazilian Foreign Office has instructed the Brazilian Ambassador [Page 483] to confer with the Department regarding a recognition of the status of the children born in Brazil of American citizens, which children under the Brazilian Constitution are Brazilian citizens, and also of Brazilian citizens married to United States citizens before the recent change in our citizenship laws by which nationality was not altered through marriage to such citizens.

Pending the solution of this matter, I recommend that American Consuls in Brazil do not resort to the police authorities in order to obtain permission from the local police for a person born in Brazil but bearing an American passport to leave the country. It will be more satisfactory and expeditious if such persons apply to the Embassy where, through diplomatic channels, their cases can usually be arranged. The case of Miss Mary A. Bevam, which the Consul General in Rio de Janeiro brought to my attention on July 22, was settled as soon as I conferred with the Foreign Office thereon.

I have the honor to report also that I have called the attention of the Brazilian Government to the fact that it has never been the policy of the United States Government to require that a person having American nationality and also the nationality of another country be in possession of an American passport in order to depart from the United States and it is desired that in all cases where persons having both American and Brazilian nationality have indicated their preference to travel on American passports they be permitted to depart from Brazil upon such passports.

I have [etc.]

Edwin V. Morgan