362.115/383: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Germany (Gilbert)

2. Your no. 6, January 3, 5 p.m. Please deliver the following first-person note to the Foreign Minister:

“I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note signed by Mr. Weizsacker of December 30, 1938 concerning the treatment in Germany of American citizens, and under instructions of my Government to reply as follows:

“My Government, maintaining the position set forth in the note of December 14, 193839a reiterates its fundamental position that it declines to recognize the right of other nations to apply on their part to American citizens measures which would have the effect of arbitrarily dividing them into special classes and subjecting them to differential treatment on the basis of such classification, irrespective of measures applied by other nations to their own citizens on the basis of differential classification of their own citizens.

“The treatment accorded in Germany to American citizens, however, is governed not only by the principles of international law, but by the prevailing treaties between Germany and the United States, and in this respect my Government has been gratified to note in Your Excellency’s declaration that the rights to which American citizens are entitled by virtue of treaties between the two countries would be respected, and that the German Government for its part is prepared [Page 577] to examine and settle on the basis of prevailing treaty provisions cases which in the opinion of my Government are violations of such treaty rights and of which the German Foreign Office is informed by this Embassy.

“My Government has accordingly instructed me to present to Your Excellency as they arise such cases of American citizens which heretofore it has been the practice to take up with the competent local authorities and with regard to which formal assurances in general form have repeatedly been sought from Your Excellency’s Government that the measures in question would not be applied to American citizens.

“I am therefore presenting for examination and settlement certain specific cases of the nature referred to which have already been brought to my attention and I shall pursue this practice should similar cases be brought to my attention in the future.”

You should add as an annex to this note a detailed statement of the cases listed in your no. 1, January 1, 2 p.m.40 and present to the Foreign Office in future communications such cases of the nature mentioned as may arise. Please cable date of your note to the Foreign Minister, mailing copies thereof. Also cable whether Foreign Office agrees to publication of its note of December 30, We expect to publish your note without the added details of specific cases on receipt of your telegraphic report of its delivery.

  1. See telegram No. 228, December 10, 1938, 1 p.m., to the Chargé in Germany, Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. ii, p. 410.
  2. Not printed.