362.4115/1: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Germany (Kirk)

463. Following from London.

“Following note (No. K11258/11258/218) dated September 5, just received from the Foreign Office:

‘It appears from appeals for assistance now being received in this Department that a number of British subjects remain stranded in Germany for various reasons such as ill-health, lack of transport, etc. It is urgently desired to ascertain what the attitude of the German Government is towards these persons and in particular whether and under what conditions they will be allowed to leave. I shall be most grateful to Your Excellency if you will be so good as to cause inquiries to be made through the United States Embassy in Berlin on these points.

I should indicate for your information the attitude of His Majesty’s Government towards German civilians who are still in this country and who desire to return to Germany. Such individuals are, generally speaking, permitted to leave freely through ports which have been designated. They will not be required to obtain any written permit to leave before September 9th and it is proposed after that date to issue permits freely so that normally no obstacle will be placed in the way of German citizens desiring to leave.

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In the meantime it would be greatly appreciated if the United States Embassy in Berlin would use their good offices to facilitate the departure of British subjects in distress in Germany. Should it appear that there are some who are free to leave but who lack the necessary funds I should be grateful if the United States Embassy in Berlin would defray against repayment by His Majesty’s Government the minimum cost of their journey, with hand luggage only, to the nearest town in neutral territory where a British Consul resides and obtain in respect of each in advance a receipt embodying an undertaking to repay on demand by His Majesty’s Government.

A list of British subjects known to be in Germany and desirous of leaving will be furnished in the near future but in the meantime it will enable progress to be made if the general attitude of the German Government can be ascertained. I should add that the attitude of the German Government as ascertained by the United States Ambassador in Berlin may be taken into consideration in determining the future policy of His Majesty’s Government towards German citizens in this country.

British subjects with relatives in Germany are being advised not to approach your Embassy direct and I take leave to suggest that any who may do so should be informed that their applications should in the first instance be addressed to this Department.’”

Charge expenditures to Contingent Expenses, Foreign Service, with reference to this telegram on each voucher in order that the Department may claim reimbursement from the British Government.