The Secretary of State to the Spanish Ambassador (Cárdenas)
Excellency: Reference is made to your note no. 26 of March 18, 1942 concerning the status of aliens in the United States under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, as amended. You state that it has been reported in the press that all aliens in the United States will have to register and serve with the armed forces unless they have applied for and obtained a certificate of non-residence in this connection. You call attention to Article V of the Treaty of Friendship between the United States and Spain, concluded on July 3, 1902.
Section 3 (a) of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 provides in part:
That any citizen or subject of a neutral country shall be relieved from liability for training and service under this Act if, prior to his induction into the land or naval forces, he has made application to be relieved from such liability in the manner prescribed by and in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the President, but any person who makes such application shall thereafter be debarred from becoming a citizen of the United States.
It will thus be seen that Spanish citizens in the United States may be exempted from military service if they so desire. Moreover, Spanish citizens temporarily in the United States who obtain certificates of non-residence in accordance with regulations of the Selective Service System which can be found on page 855 of the Federal Register for February 10, 1942 are exempt from registration and service under the Act.