The Minister in Sweden (Morehead) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 23.]
Sir: In compliance with the Department’s instruction No. 73, dated September 2, 1931, the Legation addressed a note to the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, No. 128 of November 27, 1931,22 concerning the proposed convention on nationality and military service between the United States and Sweden, which was the subject of the Department’s instruction No. 86 of December 1, 1928, and the Legation’s despatch No. 458 of January 10, 1929, stating that in view of the conditions contained in Article 1, relating to termination of dual nationality, of the draft convention submitted by the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs and transmitted in the Legation’s despatch under reference,23 that article is not regarded as acceptable to the American Government, and suggesting certain changes in the phraseology of Articles 2 and 3 of the Swedish draft. A copy of the Legation’s note under reference is transmitted herewith.
The Legation is now in receipt of a reply thereto from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, dated November 29, 1932, a copy and translation of which are also enclosed, in which the Swedish Government explains its inability to adopt the suggestions of the American Government to substitute for the phrase “military obligations” the phrase “military or [Page 762]other obligations incident to permanent allegiance”, and expressing the hope that the American Government will limit the purpose of the convention to the “single exemption from military obligations”.
The suggestions concerning the preamble of the text of the proposed arrangement are acceptable to the Swedish Government.
Referring to the unwillingness of the Swedish Government to expand the phrase “military obligations” to “other obligations incident to permanent allegiance”, I wish to state that this question has been the subject of several and rather lengthy informal conversations between Mr. Crocker24 and the competent official in the Legal Section of the Foreign Office, but that in spite of every effort to explain the Department’s interpretation of the phrase, the Foreign Office still adhered to its original feeling that the new phrase would unquestionably lead to many divergencies of opinion. In the hopes that the matter might be clarified, Mr. Crocker invited the attention of the Foreign Office to the fact that the unmodified phrase “any other act of allegiance” appeared in the similar treaty concluded with Norway in 193025 and suggested that possibly a translation of the Norwegian text of the pertinent article might be of assistance. This will explain the reference in the reply of the Foreign Office, dated November 29, 1932, to the Norwegian term “troskap”, which appears in the treaty referred to.