The Consul at Paris ( Murphy ) to the Secretary of State

No. 3855

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s instruction No. 1170 of November 14, 1938,2 transmitting for examination a copy of its revised paragraph3 regarding French nationality laws to be used in the pamphlet entitled Notice to Bearers of Passports. The Embassy’s reply has been delayed by the recent appearance of the new French decrees modifying the law of August 10, 1927, relative to French nationality, which were reported in the Embassy’s despatch No. 130 [3853] of February 16, 1939.3

It is believed, after a careful examination of the Department’s revised paragraph, that the facts assembled therein are as reported by the Embassy in its previous communications in this regard. Due to the modification of Article 9 of the law of August 10, 1927, however, those sections of the Department’s memorandum entitled “Renunciation of French Citizenship by Persons Born in the United States of French Parents”, and “Persons Naturalized Through the Naturalization of Parents Subsequent to August 10, 1927”, must be revised.

With reference to the Embassy’s despatch No. 130 of February 16, 1939, it will be observed from an examination of Article 22 of the Decrees reported therein, that Article 9, Paragraph 3 of the law of August 10, 1927, which formerly provided a possible means of renouncing French nationality for any person, even a minor, who possessed a foreign nationality without manifestation of will on his part, has been amended to extend that benefit to every person who possesses a foreign nationality, whether or not through his own volition. As stated in the report enclosed in the above-mentioned despatch, however, this change seems to be without particular significance. The Foreign Office has explained that release from French nationality may not be demanded as a right under that paragraph of Article 9, but it [Page 480] may be granted as a favor. The first paragraph of Article 9 of the law of August 10, 1927, has not been modified materially, and if a Frenchman, naturalized in the United States upon his own request or through his parent’s naturalization, should apply for release from French nationality under Article 9, Paragraph 3, as amended, his release would undoubtedly be subject to the same conditions as heretofore set forth and as outlined in that section of the Department’s memorandum referring to the loss of French nationality by French citizens naturalized as citizens of the United States.

Respectfully yours,

Robert D. Murphy
  1. Ibid., p. 330.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.