The Secretary of State to the Minister in Finland ( Schoenfeld )
Sir: The receipt is acknowledged of your despatch no. 214 of January 11, 1938,2 stating that the Finnish Government is now considering a revision of the law of Finland relating to laws of nationality, and inquiring whether this Government would be disposed to enter into a limited type of military service convention similar to the convention between the United States of America and Sweden signed January 31, 1933.3
There is enclosed herewith a confidential print of a treaty between the United States and Lithuania relating to liability for military service and other acts of allegiance signed October 18, 1937.4 The treaty with Lithuania is broad in scope since it relates not only to the military service of persons born with double nationality, but also to nationals of one country who become naturalized in the other country. The limited type of treaty, such as the convention between the United States and Sweden signed January 31, 1933, relates only to the first class of persons.
The Department would very much prefer a treaty with Finland similar to the one concluded with Lithuania. If, notwithstanding the unwillingness of the Finnish Government to conclude at this time a treaty on the basis of the draft sent to the Legation with the Department’s instruction no. 95 of August 2, 1932,5 it appears to the Legation not to be inappropriate to renew proposals along lines previously discussed, the Department would be glad to have you ask the Finnish Government to consider a treaty of the scope of the treaty between [Page 474] the United States and Lithuania. A draft of such a treaty is enclosed.6
You will observe that Article II of this draft embodies the formula which served as a basis of the convention between the United States and Sweden rather than Article II of the treaty between the United States and Lithuania. The Department believes that the formula in the convention between the United States and Sweden while almost identical with Article II of the treaty between the United States and Lithuania is somewhat more precisely worded, and has the added advantage of being the same as the first paragraph of Article I of the protocol relating to military service in certain cases of double nationality signed at the Hague April 12, 1930.7
Should the Legation deem it appropriate to submit the above-mentioned draft treaty to the Finnish Government, it is suggested that it be brought to the attention of that Government that at the time the treaty with Lithuania was signed there was no naturalization treaty in force between the United States and Lithuania but, as previously pointed out to the Finnish Government, that at the time the Swedish convention was signed, a naturalization treaty was in force between the United States and Sweden.8 This similarity in the treaty relations between the United States and Finland to that between the United States and Lithuania at the time of the signing of the Lithuanian treaty, suggests that the treaty concluded with Lithuania might well serve as a useful basis in concluding a similar convention with Finland.
However, in the event the Finnish Government is not disposed to agree to a treaty upon the basis of the treaty between the United States and Lithuania, and pending the revision of the Finnish nationality laws which, it is hoped, will provide a basis for the broader type of naturalization treaty, you are authorized to propose a convention similar to the convention between the United States and Sweden, signed January 31, 1933. The latter convention, a copy of which is enclosed, is similar to Article I of the draft treaty enclosed with the Department’s instruction of August 2, 1932. While the provisions of the two documents with reference to persons born with dual nationality are quite similar in scope, the Department prefers to use the phraseology of the convention with Sweden of 1933. A draft of a convention with Finland similar to the convention with Sweden is also enclosed.6
Very truly yours,
- Not printed.↩
- Foreign Relations, 1933, vol. ii, p. 763.↩
- For correspondence, see ibid., 1937, vol. ii, pp. 514 ff; for text, see Department of State Treaty Series No. 936, or 53 Stat. 1569.↩
- Neither printed.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Foreign Relations, 1930, vol. i, p. 224.↩
- Naturalization convention and protocol, signed at Stockholm May 26, 1869; William M. Malloy (ed.), Treaties, Conventions, etc., Between the United States of America and Other Powers, 1776–1909 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1910), vol. ii, p. 1758.↩
- Not printed.↩