The Chargé in Yugoslavia ( Abbott ) to the Secretary of State

No. 170

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 59 of June 11, 1934, relative to the administration by the Yugoslav military authorities of Article 45 of the Law of September 6, 1929, regarding the organization of the Army and Navy, as amended by Article 28 of the Law of October 28, 1931, and a statement in connection with the law made in a letter of the Yugoslav Consulate General at New York.

As will be noted from the reply of the Royal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, No. P. No. 19508–Am 40 of July 18, to the Legation’s note No. 114 of July 11 (copies of which with translations are transmitted herewith),5 the interpretation of the law that persons of Yugoslav origin naturalized in foreign countries have the right to return to Yugoslavia for a period not exceeding six months every three years, if they have complied with the provisions of Article 45 of the law referred to, is confirmed, and the attention of the Yugoslav Legation in Washington and the Consulate Generals at New York and Chicago directed to these provisions.

With regard as to whether the Yugoslav military authorities administer the law in accordance with the above interpretation, a point [Page 746] raised in the Legation’s note under reference, but to which the Royal Ministry’s reply made no mention, I took occasion again to raise the point during a conversation at the Foreign Office and I was orally given positive assurance that they did so. In the face of such an assurance and inasmuch as I was unable to point out any instance of the disregard of the provisions of Article 45 by the military authorities I did not feel justified in pressing for confirmation in writing.

In my opinion it is safe to assume that no naturalized American citizen of Yugoslav origin need fear induction into the Military service of the Kingdom if he has strictly complied with the provisions of Article 45 of the law in question.

Respectfully yours,

Wainwright Abbott
  1. Neither printed.