File No. 763.72114/3296

The Swiss Minister ( Sulzer) to the Secretary of State

Department of German
Interests IX Prinz. 6

Sir: Referring to Your Excellency’s note of December 1, 1917,1 wherein you advised this Legation that, in the future, representatives of the Legation of Switzerland in conducting inspections of camps or stations in the United States where German prisoners are interned, could not be allowed the privilege of speaking to prisoners except in the presence of American officers, until the German Government should have agreed to observe reciprocity in permitting such conversations without witnesses, I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that, having duly advised my Government of these facts, I am now in receipt of a reply.

The Swiss Foreign Office has transmitted to this Legation a note verbale of the German Foreign Office, and an order of the German War Office, copies of which are enclosed,2 in which Your Excellency will note that the privilege of conversation without witnesses with prisoners of war interned in Germany is accorded in the case of nationals of all countries, with the exception of those of France.

In view of this declaration of the German Government, I should esteem it a great courtesy if Your Excellency would have instructions issued whereby, in the future, representatives of this Legation, in conducting inspections of war prison camps, would have the privilege of speaking to prisoners without witnesses.

Accept [etc.]

For the Absent Minister of Switzerland
Carl P. Hübscher

Secretary of Legation
  1. Ante, p. 15.
  2. Not printed.