130 Hagiperos, Vasilios

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Athens (Morris)

Sir: The Department has received the passport renewal application and affidavit on Form No. 213 which were executed at your office on May 24, 1935, by Vasilios Hagiperos.

It is noted that the officer before whom Mr. Hagiperos executed the above application is satisfied that he complied with the provisions of Article 141 of Law No. 4324 in September, 1934 because he was aware that he would be obliged to do so before he could leave Greece and he desired to be prepared to leave the country without delay. It is also noted that Mr. Hagiperos has a wife and child in the United States and stated that he intended to return to this country within three months.

The Department has been unable to find in its files the text of Article 141 of Law No. 4324 but it understands from comment in the confidential report concerning compulsory military service in Greece, prepared in your office and mailed to the Department on November 19, 1932,26 that it provides for the registration locally of refugees who are deemed to have acquired Greek nationality basically under the terms of treaties or conventions between Greece and other countries and who had not registered theretofore. However, as it seems evident that an individual of the class referred to is not considered by the Greek authorities as entitled to the rights and privileges of a Greek citizen until his registration pursuant to the law has been accomplished, the Department is of the opinion that an American citizen who voluntarily registers as a Greek citizen may properly be considered to have expatriated himself under the provisions of the first paragraph of Section 2 of the Act of March 2, 1907. The Department would not regard as voluntary the registration of an individual who while making an obviously temporary sojourn in Greece acts to avoid further harassment by local [Page 319] Greek officials or who, understanding that he will be obliged to register before he will be permitted to depart from Greece, takes timely action to avoid inconvenience and delay when he is ready to return to this country. On the other hand, one who registers in order to enjoy benefits of Greek citizenship while residing in Greece as, for example, to engage in or to continue to carry on business, to practice a profession or to secure rights of franchise, would be considered to have taken the action voluntarily.

Since Mr. Hagiperos apparently had no other motive for registering as a Greek national than to facilitate his departure from Greece when ready to return to this country, the Department is of the opinion that his action in registering in advance of the time when he undoubtedly would have been obliged to do so may be regarded as involuntary and as not resulting in his expatriation. You are hereby authorized to renew Mr. Hagiperos’ passport, making it valid only for travel to the United States.

You will please transmit to the Department the complete text of Article 141 of the Greek Law No. 4324.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Wilbur J. Carr
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