345.1121 Benz, Heinrich/10

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

No. 1720

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegrams of July 24, 11 a.m. and July 20, 6 p.m. and to the Department’s reply thereto of July 27th regarding the arrest and internment of Heinrich Benz by the [Page 157] Government of India, and in connection therewith to report that although this office has on several occasions since the receipt of the Department’s instructions endeavored to ascertain the cause for his arrest, the Government of India has thus far failed to inform this office as to the offences committed by Mr. Benz—other than to state that he is understood to be pro-Nazi—under the Defence of India Act or any other law of this country, which fact seems to confirm the opinion originally held by the Consulate at Bombay, viz., that the suspicions held against him are groundless. Were this not so there would be no reason for the Government of India so long to withhold an explanation regarding Mr. Benz’ arrest and internment.

As there seems to be no prospect of a reply being forthcoming from the Government of India, it is respectfully suggested that the matter be referred to London so that the necessary instructions may be given which will result in Benz’ release and in this office receiving a reply from the Government of India.

The Department’s attention is invited to my despatch No. 1719 of September 5, 1940,2 regarding Hans Richard Schilling, who is being detained under similar circumstances by the Government of India.3

Respectfully yours,

Edward M. Groth
  1. Not printed.
  2. In a telegram of October 16, 1940, 9 p.m., the Department instructed the Consulate General at Calcutta that since Mr. Schilling was unable to overcome presumption of expatriation he was not entitled to the protection of the United States, but that if released he could be issued a passport for return to the United States. Mr. Schilling was retained in a concentration camp. (130 Schilling, Hans Richard)