130 Howe, Audrey Marie

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Canada (Boal)

No. 727

Enclosed herewith is a copy of a letter of September 1, 1932,64 from the American Consul General at Winnipeg, Canada, concerning the question of the citizenship of Miss Audrey M. Howe, who was born in this country and is temporarily residing in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where she is engaged as a school teacher. It appears that as a preliminary to taking this position she took the oath of temporary allegiance required of aliens who teach in Canadian schools. It further appears that this Department, in an instruction of July 25, 1932,64 authorized the Consul General at Winnipeg to register Miss Howe as a citizen of the United States, upon the ground that the school teacher’s oath which she took was not to be regarded as an oath of allegiance within the meaning of the first paragraph of Section 2 of the Citizenship Act of March 2, 1907.65 However, it also appears that she has been denied admission into the United States as a citizen thereof by the immigration authorities upon the ground that she expatriated herself by taking the oath mentioned.

In a letter of July 23, 1932,64 from the Honorable Edmund F. Erk, a Representative in the Congress of the United States from the State of Pennsylvania, the Department’s attention was called to the case of Brother Michael Schleich, in which the same question as that mentioned above was involved. In connection with that case the Department was informed that the form of oath required of persons entering the schools of Manitoba is as follows:

“I, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hereby swear that, while holding any office as teacher in the public schools in the Province of Manitoba, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty, King George the Fifth, his heirs and successors, according to the law. So help me God.”

It is hardly necessary to add that the form of oath just quoted differs from the usual oath of allegiance required in Canada.

In order that the Department may give further consideration to the question whether the teacher’s oath mentioned above is to be regarded as an “oath of allegiance”, within the meaning of the first paragraph of Section 2 of the Citizenship Act of March 2, 1907, the Department desires that the Legation endeavor to obtain and forward to it a statement [Page 105] from the appropriate authorities as to the meaning and effect of the teacher’s oath, and, in particular, whether it requires complete subjection to the British Sovereign during the period when it is in effect, that is, while the person taking it is occupied as a teacher in the public schools of the Province of Manitoba. In this connection the Department desires to be informed as to the law of Canada under which teachers’ oaths are required.

[File copy not signed]
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  3. 34 Stat. 1228.
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