File No. 763.72114/1065

The Ambassador in Russia (Marye) to the Secretary of State


379. Replying to Department’s 661, December 17, 12 noon, relative to American Red Cross unit now in Russia.2 The situation is: The German Government commissioned the American Red Cross surgeons and nurses sent from Germany to do work which was not [Page 1049] requested nor contemplated by the President’s letter to the Tsar, not granted nor considered in the Tsar’s letter in reply, namely, the rendering of surgical and medical assistance to German prisoners of war in Russia. The Russian Government has twice formally refused to extend field of usefulness of American Red Cross unit from Germany so as to include surgical and medical inspectors, giving reasons. The American Red Cross unit from Germany finds itself limited strictly to work specified in grant of permission. Permission was granted on principle of reciprocity agreement, and as no similar work is now being done by American Red Cross among Russian prisoners of war in Germany, withdrawal of permission altogether was under consideration. Now am informed that American Red Cross unit can stay and continue work now being done, but no other work. None among American Red Cross unit would be suitable for investigation of prison camps in place of American diplomatic officers engaged in the work.

  1. Not printed.