740.00115 European War 1939/289: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Murphy) to the Secretary of State

Following telegram has been sent to Berlin:

9, February 23, 5 p.m. In reply to the German note of January 26th11 the Foreign Office in a note dated February 22d states that the German and French points of view are so little divergent that there are no serious obstacles to an agreement and communicates its willingness to accept a general exchange of boys 15 and 16 years old and men over 60 the former to be subject to no special restrictions when they reach military age.

It is requested therein that you convey the following points to the German Foreign Office.

1.
German nationals in France will be allowed to draw from their own funds sufficient to enable them to return home and the [Page 196]French Government will help those who are destitute to reach the German frontier.
2.
No difficulty should arise concerning the return of German nationals in French overseas possessions and mandates since the French Government has agreed to their repatriation and proposes that they travel to Europe on French or neutral ships under the same financial arrangements as contemplated for German nationals in France.
3.
Boys who have reached their 17th birthday since the 3d of September last should be included in the exchange.

The note adds that the competent French authorities are drawing up lists of German nationals who wish to return home and expresses the desire that this mission cooperate with the French authorities and the Swedish Legation on the practical aspects of the exchanges.

It was stated orally at the Foreign Office that the lists would probably be completed next week and it would be helpful in this were you to inform us of the procedure to be adopted in Germany for the return of French citizens eligible for repatriation.

Text of note going forward by courier tonight.

Murphy
  1. See undated telegram from the Chargé in France, p. 191.