File No. 341.622a/296

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page ) to the Secretary of State


5761. Your 4476, February 23, 6 p.m. I have gathered from my conversations and [at?] the Foreign Office on this matter that the British Government do not question or dispute the principle we contend for. But their argument I understand will turn on facts in each case. They contend that German military system differs radically from British or American system and that a German reservist is not parallel to an American militiaman. Every such reservist is part of armed forces of enemy, he has an assignment in a definite military unit, he is at call of military authority. Officer reservist’s pay begins wherever officers are as soon as they are called. The reservist now detained in Great Britain regards himself I am told as in German army, therefore, the long British argument now in preparation will try to prove that case of reservists is wholly different in German army from reservists in any other army and that they are in fact part of trained and organized force of enemy.

As to continuance of detaining reservists it is increasingly improbable that more will be detained because of physical difficulty of travel, but only for this reason and not because the British Government are likely to change their views. I do not believe they will yield main contention in this respect. I await further instructions.