390D.11/78

Memorandum by the Assistant to the Legal Adviser (Flournoy) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

With reference to the attached letters left with me by Mr. Alling,23 and Miss Holland24 and to my oral discussions with them, I may say that naturalized citizens of the United States of Syrian origin, who inquire concerning the desirability of their opting for Syrian nationality, for the protection of their property, should be advised that the exercise of such option would be inconsistent with the oaths which they took when obtaining naturalization as citizens of the United States, in which they declared allegiance to the United States and renounced allegiance to the state of which they were formerly nationals; also that, by exercising such option, they would endanger their status as citizens of the United States. A similar statement should be made to natives of Lebanon.

While the exercise of the proposed option might not be regarded as having the effect of expatriating the persons in question, under the provision of the first paragraph of section 2 of the act of March 2, 1907, so long as such persons continue to reside in the United States, such would probably not be the case if they should leave the United States and take up their residence in Syria or Lebanon.

R. W. Flournoy
  1. October 4, p. 931.
  2. Apparently the memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs, supra.