X. Protection by the United States of interests of belligerent powers

[With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939, the United States acceded to the request of France, the United Kingdom, and the British Dominions to assume the protection of their interests in Germany. As the war extended in 1940, the protection of the interests of other Allied Powers was assumed and the field of protection was extended to other countries and areas under Axis control. The duties performed by the United States on behalf of the Allied belligerents were those normally assumed by a protecting government, the most important as the war developed coming to be in connection with the welfare of prisoners of war. The protection of French prisoners in Germany was assumed by the Vichy Government in November 1940, and when the United States entered the war in December 1941, the protection of belligerent interests by the United States was for the most part turned over to the Swiss Government.

Since the activity of the United States as a protecting power was that of an agent of the countries whose interests it represented and involved only to a slight degree the foreign policy of the United States itself, the correspondence regarding protection of interests is not here printed. Information on this subject may be found in Department of State Publication No. 2693, Protection of Foreign Interests, a Study in Diplomatic and Consular Practice, by William McHenry Franklin (Washington Government Printing Office, 1946). For a list of belligerent interests protected by the United States in World War II, see ibid., appendix IV, page 261.]