The Chargé in France ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State

No. 422

Sir: In continuation of my despatch No. 345 of February 10, 1937, regarding questions arising out of dual nationality, with particular reference to liability to French military service of American citizens of French origin, I have the honor to advert to the conversation reported in despatch No. 243 of December 30, 1936 (Section III),52a at which time the competent Foreign Office official stated that any French citizen naturalized abroad after the running of the ten-year period mentioned in Article 9 (1) of the Nationality Law of August 10, 1927, if in good standing with the military authorities, automatically loses French citizenship under French law, as a result of such naturalization.

There is now transmitted herewith a copy and translation of a further note from the Foreign Office, dated March 2,53 confirming the above interpretation that such loss does not take place in the case of one who failed to answer his call to the colors. The note states that such a person is not included in either of the two categories mentioned [Page 314] in Article 9 (1) of the law of 1927; that therefore the ten-year period referred to therein does not commence to run for him so long as his delinquency continues; and that he can not lose French nationality until he is fifty-three years of age, at which time military defaulters may return to France without encountering difficulties.

It also appears from the note that the ten-year period in question does not begin to expire for a person who may have been omitted from the recruiting lists (presumably through error or fraud), until such omission has been rectified, since neither induction into the army nor exemption from service can take place as long as the omission lasts.

Respectfully yours,

Edwin C. Wilson
  1. Foreign Relations, 1936, vol. ii, p. 138, paragraph beginning, “Referring to the partial interpretation.”
  2. Not printed.