The French Ambassador (Saint-Quentin) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: By its letter of March 3, 1938, the Department of State was good enough to advise this Embassy of the texts which the American Government takes as a basis for considering, from the standpoint of acquisition of American nationality by the jus soli, the children of foreign consuls as private citizens.

It results from these texts that the American authorities have a sound basis in considering as being their national any Frenchman born in the United States to one of our consuls exercising his duties there even when the person concerned does not possess any domicile in America and without regard to any manifestation of will on his part.

This possibility, nevertheless, is certain to present disadvantages and might, in the future, cause difficulties which it would be well to avoid.

It would furthermore appear to be equitable to assimilate, in this regard, career consuls to the members of the diplomatic corps, since both receive official functions for which they assume exclusively the obligation of residing abroad.

I would be very grateful to Your Excellency if you would have the goodness to examine the question and, taking account of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, let me know whether a practical solution could not be contemplated to the end that the children born in the United States to career agents of the French Consular List, on duty in this country, may not be considered as American citizens, at least if there is no express manifestation of desire on their part.

Please accept [etc.]

R. de Saint-Quentin