The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 2—4:25 p.m.]
4033. Your 3380, [August 25,] 9 p.m. was taken up along the lines requested with appropriate officials. I have been informed that instructions will be telegraphed tonight to the British Chargé d’Affaires at Washington accepting in principle the Department’s request but putting a time limit of December 31 on the guarantee of safe conduct. They likewise make the granting of the safe conduct contingent upon a satisfactory guarantee being finally obtained for departure of the British from Finland. They also reserve the right to withhold it in case of any particularly dangerous individual and will require that all the enemy nationals returning to their countries under the arrangement pass through Bermuda where their baggage and effects will be examined. They disclaim any intention of holding up anyone at Bermuda under these conditions.
The Foreign Office has I think shown good will in this matter but has had some difficulty in persuading other departments. We have objected to making the granting of the safe conduct contingent upon, a solution of the British problem in Finland but the Foreign Office states that without this provision they would not have been able to get the matter through other departments and say that they genuinely feel it not unreasonable to make this requirement of Axis powers.