345.1121 Benz, Heinrich/12: Telegram

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

Your despatches 1719 and 1720 of September 55 and your September 30, 5 p.m. Please inform the Government of India that you are instructed to state that its failure to comply with this Government’s request for a statement of the grounds on which Benz was arrested and interned, warrants the presumption that his arrest and internment did not result from any violation of the laws of India or anti-British activities on his part. In this situation it is hoped that the Indian Government will recognize the clear impropriety of requiring any recommendation or guarantee from a representative of the United States as a condition to permitting Benz to return to the United States.

You may point out, however, that his repatriation is feasible by a route which will not take him via the Far East. Also that the passports of American citizens are taken up upon arrival in this country and are subject to review if further foreign travel is contemplated.

If Benz is released, passport should be made valid only for the journey to the United States, and the passport when issued should be delivered to the purser of the ship upon which he sails for release only to the immigration authorities at American port of entry. The Indian Government authorities may be apprised informally of these instructions.

The Department should be notified by telegram of the date of sailing and the name of the vessel in order that the appropriate authorities in this country may be notified.

Referring to your despatch no. 1719, as Schilling’s case presents material differences, you should refrain from further representations for his release except on specific instructions from the Department.

  1. Despatch No. 1719 not printed.