340.1115A/2138: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

3021. Your 3394 August 4, 7 p.m. Pending consideration of plans for general repatriation Department suggests that you (1) support with the British authorities requests for priority on London-Lisbon plane for those nurses, doctors and technicians numbering about 17 now held up in Great Britain owing to failure to receive consideration from British officials for return transportation. These are persons who went over to aid Britain in hospital and nursing work at the request of the British whose limited period of service has long since expired and who are suffering permanent financial injury through inability to keep prearranged professional engagements in this country. In this connection the Department has considered your paragraph 1 of 3394 but it has also considered the requests being received almost daily for priority from Lisbon to New York for wives of British officials. There is an obvious unfairness in this situation. (2) Support priority requests reasonable number American businessmen whose services at this time would materially aid American defense effort such as Percy Sears of Anderson-Clayton Company.

Department would be willing to authorize the validation of passports for immediate direct return to the United States by flying boat for any persons in the categories mentioned in (1) and (2) as well as by any other reasonably safe transportation which these persons would be willing to take at their own risk.

Please consider the foregoing and cable your opinion to Department making any suggestions which would tend to relieve this situation which is a source of embarrassment.