130–Goiran de Trans, Jean Roger

The French Chargé (Henry) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to advise Your Excellency that the Embassy of the United States at Paris has recently communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that it considered the son of Mr. Goiran, Minister of France to Mexico, as possessing American nationality because he was born at New York.

More detailed information having been requested on this subject by the Ministry, the United States Embassy communicated, in substance, that at the time of Mr. Roger Goiran’s birth, on March 12, 1909, his father was not yet a minister plenipotentiary, but only a consul. Now the United States law, from the point of view of the acquisition of American nationality by the jus soli, was said to treat the children of foreign consuls as private individuals.

However, that interpretation appears to be in contradiction with the one which is given in the treatise on American law, Corpus Juris, [Page 349]volume 11, page 780, paragraph 10, on the subject of nationality of children of ambassadors, consuls and army officers, the text of which I have the honor to reproduce below:

“Foreign born children of Ambassadors and Consuls are in theory born within the allegiance of the sovereign power which their father represents and hence take the nationality of the father; but this rule has no application to children, born abroad, of officers in the military service of the Government.”

By reason of this interpretation, I should be very grateful to Your Excellency if you would be good enough to communicate to me the text of the American law which governs the matter.

Please accept [etc.]

J. Henry