138 Emergency Program/9: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Harrison)

55. In view of the uncertain state of affairs in Europe, the Department deems it advisable to instruct its officers abroad to take every possible precaution to assure that the importance of American passports as definitely identifying and establishing the citizenship of the persons to whom they are issued must be in no way diminished or impaired. In addition to the function of identifying and establishing the citizenship of persons to whom they are issued, passports request on the part of this Government that officials of foreign governments permit persons holding them to travel or reside in their territories and give them all lawful aid and protection. By maintaining undiminished and unimpaired the prestige of American passports under any conditions, foreign officials will be less apt to molest or inconvenience persons bearing them and more apt to respect such documents and to extend to the bearers thereof the recognition and consideration which should be accorded to bona fide American citizens under international comity. You are therefore instructed that the existence of disturbed conditions in Europe must not be considered in any way as justification for the relaxation of existing practices in the matter of issuing passports, and the provisions of Chapter X, Part II of the Foreign Service Regulations are in no wise modified.

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