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

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of May 5, 1938, referring to the Department’s note to Mr. Jules Henry, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the French Republic, of March 3, 1938, concerning the citizenship status of a child born in the United States of a father who at the time of the child’s birth was a French consular officer.

[Page 352]

I have examined with care the question whether it would be possible to formulate a practicable solution under which children born in the United States to French consular officers of career may not be considered as acquiring at birth the citizenship of the United States but I regret to say that there does not seem to be any practicable solution of the problem since citizenship is acquired by such children under a provision of the Constitution of the United States. I may add that under the provisions of the first paragraph of Section 2 of the Act of March 2, 1907,18 an American citizen may expatriate himself after attaining majority by taking an oath of allegiance to a foreign state. For your convenience this paragraph of law is quoted:

“That any American citizen shall be deemed to have expatriated himself when he has been naturalized in any foreign state in conformity with its laws, or when he has taken an oath of allegiance to any foreign state.”

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
G. S. Messersmith
  1. 34 Stat. 1228.