845.1121 Benz, Heinrich/4: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Consul at Calcutta (Groth)

Your July 20, 6 p.m. and July 24, 11 a.m. in regard to arrest of Heinrich Benz. If there is reasonable ground to warrant belief that Benz has engaged in anti-British activities, this Government could not properly question the propriety of his arrest and would not be warranted in making representations for his release based on Benz’s assertion of innocence and Bombay’s acceptance of his assertion.

However, this Government has a right to be informed of the grounds and supporting evidence on which the arrest was made and you are instructed to request the appropriate authorities to furnish that information, pointing out that while this Government has no desire to intervene in behalf of any American citizen who may have violated the laws of India, it has the duty of protecting American citizens who may, through no fault of their own, be unjustly suspected of engaging in improper activities. You may add that if Benz has engaged in subversive activities it is desirable that adequate information concerning those activities be in the possession of this Government.

Mrs. Benz notified in accordance with request in Bombay’s telegram to you.