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

No. 5064

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s instruction No. 1672 of August 11, 1939, enclosing for examination a copy of its revised Notice regarding French nationality laws and military service, to be used in the pamphlet entitled Notice to Bearers of Passports.

The Department’s enclosure has been carefully studied and it is believed that the facts assembled therein are as reported by the Embassy in its previous communications in this regard.

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With reference, however, to the paragraph entitled, “Documentation of American Citizens who are liable to military service in France”, it obviously would be unlikely that the individuals whose cases are described in that paragraph could obtain at present certificates or safe conducts insuring their freedom from seizure for military service in France, as the provisions set forth therein, only apply in time of peace. If it should be found possible to obtain certificates or safe conducts, in exceptional cases, it is inadvisable for persons having dual nationality to visit this country at present in view of the possibility of new decrees being issued with regard to recruitment for the French army. It has come to the Embassy’s attention that youths under twenty-one years of age, having dual nationality, who have the right to repudiate French nationality upon arrival at majority, under articles 2 and 4 of the law of August 10, 1927, and who, under the French recruitment law of 1928, cannot be compelled to do military service until or unless they have failed to exercise that right within the year following their arrival at majority, are finding it difficult to obtain permission to leave France, notwithstanding the fact that the Embassy has been informed of no change to article 12 of the above mentioned recruitment law of 1928, which assures them of freedom from seizure for military service until the age of twenty-two.

Respectfully yours,

Robert D. Murphy