The Secretary of State to the Minister in Finland (Albright)

Sir: The receipt is acknowledged of the Legation’s despatch No. 990 of July 3, 1933, transmitting the counter proposals of the Finnish Government on the proposed treaty relating to military service.

The Department regrets to inform you that this Government is unable to enter into a convention on the basis of the draft submitted. The wording of the first three lines of Article 1 would still appear to admit of the construction that a naturalized American of Finnish origin may have Finnish nationality. Such a proviso would be directly contrary to the Act of Congress of July 27, 1868 (15 Stat. 223, 224) which reads in part as follows:

“… any declaration, instruction, opinion, order, or decision of any officers of this government which denies, restricts, impairs, or questions the right of expatriation, is hereby declared inconsistent with the fundamental principles of this government.”

As the Legation has been informed in previous instructions, this Government is desirous of obtaining a convention with Finland covering the nationality and military obligations of persons of Finnish origin naturalized in the United States and also those of persons born with the nationality of Finland as well as that of the United States, provided such convention, as is the case with those concluded by the United States with various other states, definitely recognizes naturalization as having the effect of terminating the prior nationality. You will please inform the Finnish Government to that effect. You may also avail yourself of a suitable opportunity to discuss this subject informally with the Foreign Minister. You will find the Department’s position set forth in previous instructions. With reference to the objection of the Finnish officials to the inclusion in the convention of the provision mentioned above concerning termination of nationality because such a provision would not coincide with the present law of Finland, you may call attention to the fact that the United States has concluded naturalization conventions similar to the proposed convention with Finland, [Page 153]with a number of European countries whose laws concerning expatriation were substantially similar to the present law of Finland.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Wilbur J. Carr