The Chargé in Greece (Fisher) to the Secretary of State

No. 1899

Sir: I have the honor to refer to despatch No. 1840, dated August 28, 1931, in which the Department was informed that reduced military service would be required from those Greeks that have resided continuously abroad for a period of ten years. The Division of Near Eastern Affairs, in its informal comment upon despatches received during the month of September, stated that it did not have a clear understanding of one part of the despatch. The obscure sentence read as follows:

“For those who belong to classes already called to the colors, the ten-year period terminates with the date of publication of this Act; while for those who belong to classes which have not yet been called to the colors this period terminates with the date upon which they shall be called upon for enlistment.”

The significance of the above is the following: To secure the benefits of the law, those persons who have already been called upon for military service must have resided abroad for a period of ten years prior to August 14, 1931; those persons that are called to the colors in the future, must have resided abroad continuously for ten years immediately preceding the time that their military obligation accrues,—that is, at the time they are summoned to serve.

Respectfully yours,

Carl A. Fisher

[On February 12, 1932, the Department issued to the press the following statement:21

“The Department is informed that the exemption from alleged military obligations accorded by the Greek Government to American citizens of Greek origin who visited Greece during 1930 and 1931 has not been extended to cover the year 1932.

“It is understood that the persons affected by this ruling are American citizens of Greek origin and naturalized American citizens born in territory now forming part of Greece. It is accordingly suggested that any American citizens in these categories who contemplate visiting Greece in 1932 should apply, before departure from this country, to a Greek consular officer in the United States for information as to their exact status with respect to alleged Greek military obligations.”]

  1. Department of State, Press Releases, February 13, 1982, p. 155.