740.00115 European War 1939/158: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State

2474. My 2454, November 25, 1 p.m. As the Department will doubtless have observed, the Foreign Office note of November 24 [Page 652] does not specifically answer the Department’s original suggestion as to mutual release for repatriation through neutral countries of adult males under parole not to bear arms. This point was discussed informally today with a responsible official of the Foreign Office who emphasized that the British Government is prepared to release all interned enemy subjects except individuals who might be dangerous to it if freed and individuals possessing special qualifications which might assist Germany in prosecuting the war; and that they would be only too happy if the German Government would adopt the same procedure. They are willing to release ablebodied men of military age in all cases where other reasons for their detention do not exist. The official mentioned a War Office opinion to the effect that they were indifferent as to whether men so released were subsequently placed in the German Army. In any event the number would be small. The official said that the Foreign Office would send us another note supplementary to the one of November 24, clearing up these points.