File No. 763.72115/3277

The British Embassy to the Department of State

No. 209


The British Embassy present their compliments to the Department of State and have the honour to inform them that a telegram has been received from the Foreign Office from which it appears that it is understood that a telegram has been addressed by the United States Minister at Pekin to the Department of State, recommending that the United States Government should accept their share of the cost of transporting to Australia the enemy subjects who are to be deported from China and also the cost of their internment. The total number of enemy subjects in question is about 3,390 of whom 1,724 are women and children. The approximate cost of transportation has been calculated on a commercial basis at £55 and £25 respectively for saloon and steerage passengers. The cost of internment in Australia has, moreover, been estimated as follows:—

The probable cost of guard, maintenance, clothing, etc., 3/6d a day all round. The cost of erecting temporary buildings would be about £100,000, but it is possible that accommodation could be found in unused buildings in several country towns, and in this case the expenditure on quarters for single men, say to the number of 1,000, would be about £7,000 only.

The British Embassy are instructed to ask the State Department to be so good as to inform them at as early a date as possible, whether the United States Government are prepared to share the above expenses.