The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Switzerland (Huddle)6
338. Please request the Swiss Government to be good enough to communicate to the German and Italian Governments, respectively, through the Swiss missions at Berlin and Rome the following proposal of United States Government for the exchange of diplomatic, consular and other official personnel with their dependents, staff and personal effects:
- The United States Government will select a passenger vessel to carry to Lisbon the officials to be exchanged. It will proceed unarmed and will travel without convoy, under safe conduct of the belligerent governments. Arrangements will be made by this Government to embark at a suitable American port on the Atlantic seaboard all diplomatic personnel with their dependents, staff and personal effects of the German Government and of the Italian Government now within territory under the control of this Government. To the extent that may be desired by the other interested governments, there may be embarked on this vessel the diplomatic, consular, and the official personnel with their dependents, staff and personal effects, of the German and Italian governments now in territory under the control of any of the other American Republics which have now or may by that time have broken relations with the German Government and/or the Italian Government. The United States Government will provide at its own expense adequate transportation facilities for the travel of all such personnel with their dependents and staffs and the carriage of their personal effects from Washington or other places in the United States to the port of embarkation.
- The persons embarking on this vessel will be allowed to take with them all their personal belongings subject only to such limitations as may be imposed by availability of space on the vessel and the arrival of the belongings at the point of embarkation in time to be laden aboard the vessel.
- The persons embarked on the vessel by virtue of their diplomatic position as representatives of the German or Italian Governments in this country or elsewhere will not be subjected by the United States authorities to control or search of any kind and this shall likewise be true of their accompanying dependents and staffs and of their personal possessions being taken with them, except for anything that might endanger the safety of the vessel.
- The vessel, identifying characteristics of which will be communicated in due course through the Swiss Government to the German and Italian Governments will proceed direct to Lisbon, Portugal and return along a course, the details of which will later be communicated, without stopping at any port en route.
- The American diplomatic and other official personnel in Germany and Italy with their dependents and staffs will be given for their transportation to the Portuguese frontier with their personal effects adequate facilities and privileges identical with those described in paragraphs 1 through 4 above.
- Identical facilities and privileges will be afforded to the extent that the interested governments may desire for the transportation, with their personal effects, dependents and members of their staffs, to the Portuguese frontier with Spain of the diplomatic, consular and other official personnel of the other American Republics who have now or may by that time have broken off diplomatic relations with Germany, Italy, or associated powers.
- The Portuguese Government will be requested to be the guarantor for the exchange on Portuguese territory of all the official German and Italian personnel embarking from the United States against all the official American personnel whether of this Government or of the other American Republics departing from the territory under the control of the German and Italian Governments. The debarkation from the vessel at Lisbon of the personnel arriving from the United States and the entry into Portuguese territory of the personnel arriving from Continental Europe shall be simultaneous.
- On a basis of reciprocity there shall be included in the exchange the accredited representatives of the press including radio reporters and press photographers whose identity shall be suitably notified by the mission of the protecting power on the basis of information received from the former diplomatic mission or from the government in behalf of which it is acting.
- There may be included in the exchange on identical terms and to the extent that the interested governments may desire, the diplomatic, consular and other official personnel, with staffs, dependents and personal belongings formerly accredited to the United States of the European powers associated with Germany and Italy in the war against the United States and the United States diplomatic, consular and other official personnel with staffs, dependents and personal belongings formerly accredited to those powers as well as on equal terms the official representatives of those powers in any of the other American Republics and the official representatives of those other American Republics formerly accredited to those powers.
- The Government of the United States shall on its own behalf guarantee safe conduct for the vessel and shall obtain similar assurances of safe conduct from the other belligerents friendly to it for the [Page 291] voyage of the vessel from the United States to Lisbon and return. The German and Italian Governments shall likewise guarantee safe conduct for the round trip and shall obtain identical assurances of safe conducts from the belligerent powers associated with them.
- All assurances of safe conduct for the voyage of the vessel from the United States to Lisbon and return shall be communicated to the Swiss Government which shall at the proper time notify the United States Government that all necessary safe conducts have been received in order that the vessel may commence its voyage. The Swiss Government shall be requested to act as the guarantor to both parties of the observance of the arrangements.
- The expense of the operation of the vessel shall be divided among the governments concerned. The final determination of the respective shares of the interested governments shall be made by the Swiss Government.
- There may be accommodated on the vessel, traveling in either direction, properly accredited personnel of the International Red Cross Committee or other Red Cross societies.
- There shall travel on the vessel a representative of the Swiss Government as guarantor of the execution of the agreement and as the power protecting the interests of the principal interested governments whose official personnel is being exchanged. This representative shall have unrestricted use of the radio facilities of the vessel for communication with his Government in matters regarding the execution of the exchange agreement, and the voyage of the vessel. None of the passengers shall be permitted any use whatever of the radio facilities of the vessel.
The terms of the foregoing proposal are being communicated to the United States diplomatic missions in the other American Republics with the request that they be communicated where appropriate to the governments to which they are accredited with the offer to make any arrangement arising therefrom available for the return to Europe of German, Italian and associated diplomatic, consular and other official personnel with their dependents, staffs and personal belongings and the return similarly to this continent of corresponding official personnel of the American Republics in Germany, Italy, and associated countries. This Government will furthermore suggest that none of the American Republics adopt toward the German, Italian and associated personnel being returned an attitude less favorable than that which this Government is extending.
Please ask the Swiss Government in conveying the foregoing to the German and Italian Governments to state that the Department considers its proposal to include acceptance in principle of the German Government’s proposal received through the Swiss Legation at Washington in the latter’s note of December 13.7