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264.11/5: Telegram The Minister in Hungary (Brentano) to the Secretary of State

BUDAPEST, May 29, 1922—1 p.m.

[Received May 30–9:10 a.m.] 29. Your 24 May 19, 3 p.m. Note relative to treaties dated and delivered May 27th.

BRENTANO

ITALY

PROTESTS BY THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT AGAINST RESTRICTIONS

UPON ITALIAN IMMIGRATION INTO THE UNITED STATES

811.111 Quota/118

The Italian Ambassador (Ricci) to the Secretary of State

WASHINGTON, January 24, 1922. MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: It is rumored that the new legislation on immigration on which the Special Committees of the House and Senate are working, while being more or less a repetition of the actual three-per-cent law, will continue to base the national quotas on the Census of 1910.

Your Excellency will allow me to observe that now that the results of the 1920 Census are not only known, but published, the establishing of the quotas on the 1910 Census would result in an open discrimination between peoples of different nationalities, a course which would be in violation of existing treaties which provide the equality of rights and of treatment.

Your Excellency knows, of course, that Italy would be particularly affected by such a decision of the Congress as its greater flood of emigration to this Country happened between 1910 and 1914.

Furthermore, Your Excellency will allow me to state that any other system, at the arrival of the immigrants as to the assignment of the respective quotas, other than their passport, would occasion the repetition of the difficulties and hardships we had the honor to indicate to Your Excellency when Italian citizens of Rhodes were assigned to the exhausted quota of Other Asia.

That is why I take the liberty of suggesting that the passport be the only element for determining the nationality of the alien and his assignment to a quota, that is, the quota of the nation which has granted the passport.

Such a system, while harmful to no one, is the simplest of all and the only one which would avoid the difficulties and confusion and, furthermore, would have, it seems to me, a legal and sound, and politically indisputable basis.

My suggestion, Excellency, aims to avoid the great [apparent omission] which is being met by some aliens, who, being citizens of a nation, though born within the confines of another, are able to

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secure passports only from the nation which has given them citizenship, and are, therefore, in the impossibility of knowing in advance, while leaving the country of adoption, if the quota of the nation of their birth has been exhausted, especially when the latter is geographically remote.

Finally the nationality based on the passport will permit a nation to take the responsibility of adhering strictly to its quota and to protect its own citizens while observing the American Law.

Your Excellency will pardon my seeming interference in a legislative matter when considering that the friendly suggestions offered above aim only to avoid in time the complications that are likely to arise during the course of future immigration, complications that, I know, all of us are willing to eliminate. And I trust that, in such a spirit, Your Excellency will take what precedes into careful and favorable consideration. I avail [etc.]

V. ROLANDI RICCI

811.111 Quota/135

The Italian Ambassador (Ricci) to the Secretary of State

[Translation']

WASHINGTON, February 25, 1922. MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: Now that the House of Representatives has decided purely and simply to extend to the 30th of June, 1923, the present 3 percent immigration law, I take the liberty of urging the recommendations which I had the honor to make to Your Excellency in my note of the 24th of January last.

In the said note, prompted by the desire to have the procedure of the law freed from the doubts that might arise in the course of its practical operation, considering the two-fold duty incumbent upon the Royal Government scrupulously to observe the American regulations and to forestall in the interest of the immigrants any danger of being denied admission, I pointed out the expediency of letting the passport determine both the nationality of the foreigner and also his or her assignment to the national quota, thus fulfillingeven in the case of nationals born out of their own country—the provision which was inserted in another bill previously introduced in the Committee on Immigration of the House, before the extension of the present provisional law was approved, to the effect that those born in the colonies and dependencies of European nations should, for the purposes of the quota, be considered as included in the quota ascribed to the mother country.

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There is no attempt, therefore, on our part to meddle with the legislative and administrative action of the Republic, but a desire to tender sincere cooperation for the better success of a service which in practice is carried on in common by the two countries.

But it is the other recommendation upon which I wish more earnestly to insist: the one relating to the computation of the quota, which, with the extension of the 3 percent law without any amendment, must continue to be made on the basis of the census of foreigners taken in 1910.

It is on this point that I wish to make my most earnest appeal to the well-tested sense of justice of Your Excellency. The question is one of so much importance, is so delicate, and is moreover so clear in its bearing and its incalculable moral consequences, that I believe it unnecessary to dwell upon it at further length. Your Excellency has given unmistakable evidence of your discernment and your willingness to make clear other delicate situations to the legislators; for such action on your part we are deeply grateful to you; but we feel confident of your continuing interest in this case, so that, even if circumstances determine the country to continue a policy of restriction, it may confirm in the provisions of law on the subject those traditions of equity that have been and are now the pride of the policy of this Republic. Be pleased [etc.]

V. ROLANDI RICCI

811.111 Quota/118

The Secretary of State to the Italian Ambassador (Ricci)

WASHINGTON, April 1, 1922. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your notes of January 24 and February 25, 1922, in which you make certain suggestions as to the Legislation on immigration under consideration by the Committees of the United States Senate and of the United States House of Representatives.

The contents of the two notes mentioned above have received attentive consideration, particularly the following passage in your note of January 24:

“Your Excellency will allow me to observe that now that the results of the 1920 Census are not only known, but published, the establishing of the quotas, on the 1910 Census would result in an open discrimination between peoples of different nationalities, a course which would be in violation of existing treaties which provide the equality of rights and of treatment.”

Since you do not state what treaty stipulations you consider would be contravened by the proposed law, the Department is not in a position at this time to enter into a discussion of this matter. However, it may be observed that the effect of the proposed law on the existing treaty stipulations has been considered by the Department, which reached the opinion that it would contravene no provisions of existing treaties. The restrictions imposed by the proposed law are of a general character and, therefore, do not appear to be discriminatory against Italy or any other country.

Copies of your notes are being sent, for their consideration, to the Chairman of the Committee on Immigration of the United States Senate and to the Chairman of the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization of the United States House of Representatives. Accept [etc.]

CHARLES E. HUGHES

811.111 Quota/106

The Italian Ambassador (Ricci) to the Secretary of State

(Translation']

WASHINGTON, April 11, 1922. MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: Your Excellency will permit me to answer your note of the first of this month.

In that note Your Excellency, after saying that as I had not declared which treaty stipulations I consider to have been violated by the 3 percent bill, the Department is not in position to enter upon a discussion of the question, remarks:

That the Department, having considered the effects of the bill upon the existing treaties, finds that it does not conflict in any of its clauses with the existing treaties:

And that the restrictions imposed by the bill above referred to are of a general character, and therefore there is no discrimination against Italy or any other nation.

Your Excellency will permit me to remark that in my notes to which you reply I did not make any allusion to the restrictive effect of the bill; but only to the purpose, confirmed by the vote of the House of Representatives, of basing the quota of immigration to be assigned to the several nations on the census of 1910.

By placing the quota on the basis of the census of 1910, the law that is now being made for the future intentionally ignores the real facts—facts which for the sake of exactness for purposes of law can only be determined by the last census at the disposal of the nation, that of 1920—and ignoring the present facts arbitrarily adopts as a basis of fact a situation which prevailed twelve years ago and the result of which is to alter to the detriment of Italian

* File translation revised.

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