Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 56 Part 2.djvu/803

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56 STAT.] BELGIUM-MILITARY SERVICE- Mar. 31, Julyl 1942 Oct. 10. 16, 1942 Agreement between the United States of America and Belgium respecting military service. Effected by exchanges of notes signed at Washington March 31, July 31, and October 10 and 16, 19,2; effective August 4, 1942. The Acting Secretary of State to the Belgian Ambassador DEPARTMENT OF STATE WASHINGTON EXCELLENCY: March 31, 1942 With reference to your Excellency's note no. 1685 and previous correspondence with respect to the enlistment of residents of the United States in the armed forces of Belgium, I have the honor to inform you that special consideration has been given to the views of your Government in the discussions which have taken place between officers of this Department, the War and Navy Departments, and the Selective Service System on the general problem of the application of the United States Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, as amended, [1] to nationals of co-belligerent countries residing in the United States. As you are aware the Act provides that with certain exceptions every male citizen of the United States and every male person residing in the United States between the ages of eighteen and sixty-five shall register. The Act further provides that, with certain exceptions, registrants within specified age limits are liable for active military service in the United States armed forces. This Government recognizes that from the standpoint of morale of the individuals concerned and the over-all military effort of the countries at war with the Axis Powers, it would be desirable to permit certain classes of individuals who have registered or who may register under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, as amended, to enlist in the armed forces of a co-belligerent country, should they desire to do so. It will be recalled that during the World War this Government signed conventions with certain associated powers on this subject. The United States Government believes, however, that under existing circumstances the same ends may now be accomplished through administrative action, thus obviating the delays incident to the signing and ratification of conventions. This Government is prepared, therefore, to initiate a procedure which will permit aliens who have registered under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, as amended, who are nationals of co-belligerent countries and who have not declared their intention of becoming American citizens to elect to serve in the forces of their respective countries, in lieu of service in the armed forces of the United States, at any time prior to their induction into the armed forces of this country. Individuals who so elect will be physically examined by the armed forces of the United States, and if found [54 Stat. 885; 50 U.S .C. app. §§ 301-318, Supp. II §§ 302-305, 308-310, 312 ,315 .] 1889 March 31, July 31, and October 10, 16, 1942 [E. A. S. 304] Nationals of co-bel- ligerent countries. Induction proce- dure.