The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Germany (Gerard)


1020. The British Government have now formally requested this Government to lend its good offices in visiting prisoners’ camps in Germany and supervising the provision and distribution of money and necessities and minor comforts for British officers and men prisoners of war, and interned civilians in Germany.

This Government is willing to undertake this work in accordance with the plan outlined in the Department’s 1007 yesterday,1 if acceptable to the German Government.

The British Government have also expressed their willingness to have this Government undertake similar work on behalf of German prisoners in Great Britain if the German Government so desires.

You may communicate to the German Government the position of this Government as indicated in the Department’s 1007 and the plan outlined therein, and inform them of the request of the British Government as above stated, and discuss the subject fully with them with a view to ascertaining their views.

[Page 1007]

You may also inform the German Government that the British Government wish to arrange for the expenditure at once of a sum up to £20,000 in providing money, clothing, extra food, and other things which may seem necessary on behalf of British prisoners in Germany without waiting until the proposed arrangement can be put into operation. This amount will be provided as soon as you report that there is no objection on the part of the German Government.

For your information: In carrying out the general plan proposed the British Government are ready to place at your disposal the necessary funds up to a maximum amount calculated at the rate of one pound per prisoner quarterly, estimated roughly at £20,000 per quarter, from the time when the scheme can be put into operation, and wish in addition to bear the cost of the salaries of the officials to be employed, as well as the necessary expenses of the mission.

  1. See footnote 1, ante, p. 1004.