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Mr. Allen, Mrs. O'Day, Mr. Mason, Mr. Rees, Mr. Rockefeller, and Mr. Austin. This will immediately go before the Rules Committee today or tomorrow, and they will give us consideration.
Mr. Poage. Are they in session this afternoon?
The CHAIRMAN. They may be in session this afternoon, but I know they will be in session Thursday. Mr. Schulte and Mr. Kramer are not here, and you will be chairman pro tem and handle the delegation. I think we ought to discuss the time for this. How many hours debate will you want on this? The less the better.
Mr. PoAGE. I think 2 hours for debate would be sufficient, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. An hour on the rule and 2 hours on general debate? Mr. Mason. That ought to be enough to explain the changes.
Mr. MACIEJEWSKI. I think 2 hours is a little too much. Can you not reduce it to 1 hour?
The CHAIRMAN. I have been notified by a number of Members of Congress of some little amendments that ought to be made. I told them they would have to submit them to the Chair, and I will submit them to the committee, and if we can agree on them we will agree, and if not, we will pass them. In calling this to the attention of the Rules Committee for a rule on this I think it would be advisable to take the original mandate or proclamation by the President showing the urgency and showing that the Departments have worked on it all of this time. I also notified Mr. Warren to communicate with the State Department to advise the Rules Committee that it is most important that this bill have present consideration, and I am also arranging today to have the bill in the Senate, and I think they will be glad to get busy on it immediately to see if we can get it out.
Mr. MASON. I do not think the debate should be more than 2 hours, and it would be better if it were less because there will be Members of the House who will want to tighten up the restrictions more than the bill does. There will be others who will object to the amount of tightening that has been done in this bill as it comes from the committee, saying it is unnecessary. The bill does tighten up to some extent, but you cannot satisfy some of the people.
The CHAIRMAN. The Commissioner of Alaska has written me quite a letter in which he thinks we have discriminated against Alaska on some of the provisions. I said the committee was broad enough and patriotic enough that if he can show any discrimination, I thought we could correct it.
Mr. KING. Section 402 says a national of the United States born in any incorporated territory of the United States shall lose his citizenship under certain circumstances. It seems to me wholly unnecessary to restrict that to nationals born in any incorporated territory of the United States. If the purpose of section 402 is desirable it would apply to a national born in any part of the United States, and I would like to offer the chairman, by letter, a suggestion that that phrase, or the words, "born in any incorporated territory” be stricken out.
The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have you here and to listen to your suggestion. Why do you not put your amendment in form and let me, in advance, send it to the Department to study?
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. He has and the answer is prepared.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you waiting for the Secretary to sign it?
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. Mr. Dimond also has a letter down there waiting to be answered.
Mr. KING. There is also the question of whether that sort of a distinction between a national born in the United States and one born in an incorporated territory is constitutional.
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. The War Department wanted a certain thing accomplished, but it does affect Mr. King and Mr. Dimond; there is no question about it.
Mr. KING. Without disagreeing with the purpose of the War Department, why should it not apply to a national of the United States, one born in any part of the United States?
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. For this reason, Mr. King, that immigrant nationals of European countries are not yanked into the armed forces for short returns to their country of origin.
Mr. KING. They are in Italy.
(Thereupon, after discussion off the record, the committee adjourned at 12:25 p. m., subject to the call of the Chair.)
Washington, July 12, 1939. Hon. SAMUEL DICKSTEIN, Chairman, Committee on Immigration and Naturalization,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. DICKSTEIN: The Governor of the Panama Canal has called my attention to bill H. R. 6127, to revise and codify the nationality laws of the United States into a comprehensive nationality code.
The following is quoted from a statement of the Governor showing the necessity for amending the bill, which does not take into consideration conditions existing in the Panama Canal Zone:
"This bill has been given careful consideration and study in this office, particularly in respect to the following enumerated act and matters which are of direct concern here:
“(a) Act of August 4, 1937, 50 Stat. 558 (U. S. C., title 8, secs. 5d and 5e), entitled 'An act relating to the citizenship of certain classes of persons born in the Canal Zone or the Republic of Panama';
“(6) The definition of the term 'outlying possession' in such fashion as to include the Canal Zone;
“(c) The citizenship at birth of persons born in the Canal Zone of citizen parentage;
“(d) The citizenship at birth of persons born in the Republic of Panama of parents who are citizens employed by the United States or the Panama Railroad Company;
"(e) The effect of birth in the Canal Zone in the matter of conferring nationality, without citizenship, at birth;
"(f) Service on vessels of the Government of the United States in Canal Zone waters, as residence in the United States within the meaning of chapter III on Naturalization; and
“(9) Residence in Canal Zone, in service of armed forces or in employ of United States or Panama Railroad Company, as residence within the United States within the meaning of the naturalization chapter.
“This study of the bill has led to the conclusion that, while the bill appears to be excellently designed and constructed, it fails in several material respects to take cognizance of certain special and peculiar conditions and circumstances which exist here by reason of the nature of the Panama Canal enterprise, and the manner in which the Canal Zone is used, occupied, and controlled by the United States. Of these special conditions, the two principal ones are as follows:
“(a) Residence in the Canal Zone is restricted, as a matter of policy as well as in contemplation of pending treaty provisions, to persons and the families of persons connected either directly or indirectly with the Canal enterprise. The persons residing in the zone include the citizens of the United States employed by the Panama Canal and the Panama Railroad Company, the citizens constituting the personnel of the Army and Navy units stationed in the Canal Zone, a negligible number of citizens employed by steamship, oil, and cable companies which are fairly closely allied with the Canal enterprise, the families of the classes of citizens hereinbefore referred to, and a considerable number, although by no means all, of the alien employees of the enumerated agencies and companies and the members of their families. These alien employees are of diverse nationality; some were born in the Canal Zone; a large majority are colored tropical laborers of West Indian origin or descent. The foregoing classes of persons, whether citizen or alien, reside in the Canal Zone only during their term of employment; do not continue their residence thereafter; and are not permitted to own dwellings or quarters in the Canal Zone,
"(6) A considerable number of employees of the Panama Canal and Panama Railroad Company on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus are employed in the Canal Zone but reside in an area (New Cristobal) adjacent to the Canal Zone but actually within the city of Colon, which is under the political jurisdiction of the Republic of Panama. Living quarters in that area are owned by the Panama Canal and rented to its employees. The Panama Canal hospital (Colon Hospital), wherein the children of these persons are usually born, is likewise located within the area outside the Canal Zone and subject to the jurisdiction of Panama.
"In view of the peculiar circumstances hereinbefore outlined, a number of amendments to this bill are urged. It is proposed, first, to state herein the desired alterations and amendments to the bill and, thereafter, to state the reasons underlying the said amendments and the respects wherein the bill in its present form is deemed unsatisfactory.
"Section 101, subsection (e), of the bill provides that for the purposes of the bill the term outlying possession' means all territory, other than as specified in subsection (d), over which the United States exercises rights of sovereignty. It is urged that there be added, at the end of subsection (e), a comma and the words 'except the Canal Zone.'
"In chapter II of the bill, either preceding or following section 202 of the bill, it is urged that there be added the provisions of the act of August 4, 1937, 50 Stat. 558 (U. S. C., title 8, secs. 5d and 5e). These provisions read as follows:
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person born in the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this Act, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States,
" "SEC. 2. Any person born in the Republic of Panama on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this Act, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States employed by the Government of the United States or by the Panama Railroad Company, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.'
"Section 307, subsection (d), subdivision (1), provides that there shall be regarded as residence within the United States within the meaning of the chapter on naturalization:
“*(1) Honorable service on vessels owned directly by the Government of the United States, whether or not rendered at any time prior to the applicant's lawful entry into the United States.'
"It is urged that this subdivision be amended in a manner substantially as follows, by adding at the end thereof a colon and the words: 'Provided, That this subdivision shall not apply to service on vessels operating in and about the Canal Zone in connection with the maintenance, operation, protection, and civil government of the Panama Canal and Canal Zone.'
"Section 307, subsection (d), subdivision (3), provides that there shall be regarded as residence within the United States within the meaning of the chapter on naturalization:
".(3) Residence in the Panama Canal Zone, either while in the service of the armed forces of the United States, or while otherwise in the employ of the United States or of the Panama Railroad Company: Provided, That the applicant shall have entered the United States lawfully for permanent residence prior to such residence in the Panama Canal Zone,
"It is urged that this subdivision be entirely deleted from the bill.
"Referring to my recommendation that the Canal Zone be excepted from the term 'outlying possessions' as defined in section 101, subsection (e) of the bill, it is noted that the term 'outlying possessions' is used only in chapter II of the bill, which relates to citizenship at birth and to nationality, without citizenship, at birth. In view of the above recommendation that there be inserted in this bill the provisions of the act of August 4, 1937, it is unnecessary, insofar as concerns citizenship at birth, to make the Canal Zone an 'outlying possession,' because the provisions of the 1937 act cover fully and satisfactorily the matter of citizenship at birth. This phase of the matter is hereinafter more fully discussed. Insofar as concerns nationality, without citizenship, at birth, it is the definite purpose of the recommendation under discussion to take the Canal Zone out of the category of outlying possessions as the term is used in section 203 of the bill. Section 203 is, of course, not specific as to how United States nationality, without citizenship, is originally acquired. Under subsections (a) and
(b) of that section, however, nationality descends more readily in the cases of persons born in an 'outlying possession. Under subsection (c) a child of unknown parentage found in the Canal Zone would be a national of the United States until shown not to have been born in the Canal Zone. This subsection appears, in view of subsection (a), to be based upon a presumption that at least one of the parents of such person is a national of the United States. That presumption cannot properly be indulged in reference to birth in the Canal Zone. Subsection (c), but for subsection (a), would suggest or imply that United States nationality is acquired merely by birth in an outlying possession, without regard to parents' nationality. If this recommendation, to take the Canal Zone out of the category of outlying possessions, is adopted, then nationality at birth in the Canal Zone will be acquired only, as provided in subsection (b), in the event both parents are nationals and have resided in the United States or an outlying possession prior to the birth of the child. This I consider to be the proper and desirable rule as applied to the Canal Zone, Birth in the Canal Zone should not confer nationality. Residence in the Canal Zone is restricted and temporary. There does not exist here a normal economic community such as exists in other ‘outlying possessions.' The Panama Canal and Panama Railroad Company do not, of course, undertake to supply employment for persons born in the Canal Zone. As a consequence of these conditions, persons born in the Canal Zone of alien parentage can have no assurance whatsoever of being permitted to reside here permanently. It seems clear that persons born in the Canal Zone of alien parentage do not become 'nationals of the United States' within the meaning of this bill, which by section 101, subsection (b), defines the term to include persons who, though not citizens, owe permanent allegiance to the United States. These persons can and do acquire other nationality. Many of them acquire Panamanian citizenship. As a matter of fact, the United States Consular Regulations provide for treatment in an exceptional manner of applications for passports in cases of persons born in the Canal Zone of alien parents, by requiring that each case be referred to the Department (U. S. Cons. Reg., sec. 150, note 39 [f]).
"It is feared that unless the provisions of the act of August 4, 1937, are incorporated in this bill, as recommended above, that act will be repealed either expressly or by implication. Chapter II of the bill begins: "The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.' It appears rather clearly to be the intent of the chapter to cover its subject fully and exclusively, just as chapter III intends fully and exclusively to cover the matter of nationality through naturalization, by providing (sec. 301, subsec. [d]) that a person may become a citizen in the manner provided in chapter III and not otherwise. It is true that the repealer section of the bill (sec. 503) does not specifically repeal the 1937 act, but on the other hand it does not repeal any act later than June 1936, and it may be that the bill was prepared prior to approval of the 1937 act, and it may further be that the repealer section of the bill will be amended, in committee or otherwise, to include the intervening acts. In any event the repealer section repeals conflicting acts, and the only practical way to be certain of the continued effectiveness of the 1937 act is to include its provisions in the bill.
"The purposes of, and necessity for, the provisions of act of August 4, 1937, are set forth rather fully in the House Report on the bill (H, Rept. No. 1303, 75th Cong., 1st sess.), which report includes as a part thereof the report of the Senate committee containing letters of endorsement from the Secretary of War, Secretary of Labor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State.
“The provisions of the bill in its present form in reference to citizenship at birth, are inadequate and do not satisfactorily cover the provisions of the 1937 act. The respects in which the foregoing is true can best be pointed out by consideration of the pertinent subsections of the bill in their order:
“Section 201, subsection (c): Confers citizenship at birth upon a person born outside the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens and one of whom has resided in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to birth of such person. In the case of a person born in the Republic of Panama of parents who are citizens of the United States employed by the Government of the United States or by the Panama Railroad Company, this subsection is adequate and satisfactory in application only if one of the citizen parents has lived in the United States or the Canal Zone or other outlying possession prior to the birth of the child. Cases will arise not infrequently of persons born in a Panama Canal hospital in the Republic of Panama