130 Hagiperos, Vasilios

The Consul at Athens ( Shantz ) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction of January 16, 1936 (File No. 130 Hagiperos, Vasilios), concerning the passport renewal and affidavit on Form 213 which, were executed at this office on May 24, 1935, by Vasilios Hagiperos. The Department requested this Consulate General to transmit a complete text of Article 141 of Greek Law 4324.

An accurate translation of the article of law in question is transmitted herewith.

In this connection it is respectfully drawn to the Department’s attention that the law of which this article forms a part is one concerned exclusively with the recruitment of the army in Greece, and is in fact the basic law now in force here for military recruitment. As it will be observed, Article 141 concerns registration, in special and regular military registers for refugees, of persons who are deemed to have acquired Greek nationality under the terms of treaties and conventions between Greece and other countries, and who had not been registered theretofore. Mr. Hagiperos, as well as practically all other similar citizenship applicants at this Consulate General, is deemed to have acquired Greek nationality by virtue of Articles 3 and [Page 320] 7 of the Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations, signed at Lausanne on January 30, 1923.27

Extensive questioning of numerous applicants at the Consulate General reveals that it is in most cases impossible to determine from official sources whether their actual registration as Greek citizens was effected voluntarily or not. Formal replies to inquiries addressed to Greek authorities in specific cases invariably state that each registration was effected on the basis of an application. It would appear, however, that the persons concerned were in many cases under compulsion to make the application in question, and thus the official statements obtainable bear little weight.

Furthermore, the process of registration evidently varies greatly from one Greek province to another, the principal difference being that in many cases the registration is stated to be based upon the Greek Legal Decree of August 25, 1923, ratifying the Treaty of Lausanne, and in other cases to be based upon Greek Law No. 4324 of February 22, 1930, the basic law at present concerning military recruitment in Greece.

This Consulate General will, of course, carefully follow the Department’s opinion as expressed in the last half of the third paragraph of its instruction of January 16, 1936, in determining whether citizenship applicants of this class became registered as Greek citizens voluntarily or involuntarily.

Copies of the Department’s instruction of January 16, 1936, have been forwarded to the Consulates at Salonika and Patras for their guidance.

Respectfully yours,

Harold Shantz
[Enclosure]

Translation of Article 141 of Greek Law 4324 Entitled “Regarding the Recruitment of the Army” of February 22, 1930

All registrations which have already been made in the registers of male refugees since the present Act came into force are hereby cancelled, and those so registered under the years of birth 1883 and previously and 1908 and subsequently shall be transferred by the respective Prefect to the regular register for males and under the same years of birth; and those registrations under the years of birth 1884 to 1907 inclusive shall be omitted from the regular registers.

All those persons who did not appear before the boards and councils charged with the compilation of recruiting registers of refugees, because they were serving in the Army during that period, shall be registered by the military recruiting offices, after decisions by the respective Prefects in the regular registers for males of the municipality [Page 321] or community of the place of their settlement, under the years of birth according to which they performed military service.

Any of the refugees who have already acquired Greek nationality by virtue of the conventions and laws provided for in Article 1 of this Act have no right to be included in the registers for males according to the foregoing provisions, either because they had not been registered in the registers of refugees or because they failed to appear before the board set up by the Legal Decree of September 13, 1925, or because they were not serving in the Army. They are obliged to register in the regular registers of the municipality or community of the place of their settlement, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 22 and 23 of Law 3328 regarding the recruitment of soldiers, and the decision then made as to their age is to remain definite.

Those who acquire Greek citizenship in the future by virtue of these same provisions shall be registered in the same regular registers and in the same manner.

  1. League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxxii, p. 75.