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United States Department of State / The executive documents of the House of Representatives for the first session of the fiftieth Congress. 1887-'88

Germany,   pp. 369-423 PDF (27.4 MB)

Page 370

Petersen, Christian N. Ilansen, and Lars Hoeck, and deferred on account
of your protest. As these appear to be fair examples of the numerous
expulsions which ha ve occurred of late, I propose now to give you the
views of this Department on the question of the interpretation of the
Bancroft treaty of 1868, as applied to naturalized Americans returning
on a visit to Germany.
  The decisions of the foreign office given in your No. 191 do not appear
to be consistent with those rendered in previous years in similar cases,
although, as far as this Department is advised, the aspect of the cases
of returning Americans has not essentially varied during the last two
years ;, and it would seem as if there could be no more necessity of ex-
pulsion now than existed two years ago. The doctrine now laid down
by" the foreign office seems to embody two propositions. The German
Government appears to claim, first, that any American, whether he be
native or naturalized, may be expelled from Germany whenever, in the
opinion of the authorities, the welfare of the state demands it; and, sec-
ond, that a good and sufficient ground for such expulsion is to. be found
in the purpose on the part of an emigrant to avoid military duty by emi-
gration, the sufficient proof of which purpose for the German Govern-
ment is the fact that the emigrant demanded an official permit to leave
his native land.
  I will now examine these two points in turn.
  The claim made by the German Government of a general right of
expulsion raises the question of what rights of sojourn naturalized
Americans have under the treaty of 1868. Article I of that treaty reads
as follows:
  Citizens of the North German Confederation, who have become naturalized
of the United States of America, and shall have resided uninterruptedly within
United States five years, shall be held by the North German Confederation
to be
American citizens, and shall be treated as such.
  This appears to be the only sentence in the treaty relating to the
status of naturalized American citizens pending the two-years? stay
which is referred to in the fourth article of the treaty, and we must,
therefore, turn to our treaty with Prussia of 1828, which is still opera-
tive, for a definition of the status and treatment 'of American citizens.
Article I of that treaty says:
  There shall be between the territories of the high contracting parties
a reciprocal
liberty of commerce and navigation.
  The inhabitants of their respective states shall mutually have liberty
to enter the
ports, places, and rivers of the territories of each party wherever foreign
is permitted. They shall be at liberty to sojourn and reside in all parts
of said territories in order to attend to their affairs; and they shall enjoy,
to that
effect, the same security and protection as natives of the country wherein
reside, on condition of their submitting to the laws and ordinances there
  There would seem to be no question that under the concurrent effect
of these two treaties, Americans, both native and naturalized, should
have a free and equal right of peaceable sojourn in Germany if they
submit to the laws.
  I notice the statement of Count Bismarck in his note to you of the Gth
of last January, inclosed in your No. 154, of January 18, 1886, and iii
reply to your note to him of December 24, 1885, that the provisions of
the treaty of 1828 do not conflict with-the right ofevery independent
state to expel foreigners from its territory when such course is consid-
ered requisiteupon grounds of the welfare of the state, or of the pub-
lic order, and that the treaties of 1868 regulating nationality do not

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