125.0040/87b: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Switzerland ( Huddle )

392. The Minister at Sofia and the Chargé d’Affaires at Rome and Budapest have sought information concerning the Department’s attitude towards the willingness of the Governments to which they were formerly accredited to have them, their staffs, and dependents proceed to Lisbon to await the completion of arrangements now being considered for their repatriation in exchange for the Missions of those countries in the United States.

Please request the Swiss Government to inform these officers as well as any others that may make similar inquiries that the Department has no objection to the departure of official parties to Lisbon to await repatriation if the Governments to which they were formerly accredited are willing to permit them to do so.

With respect to the departure of non-official American nationals with any official party, the Department desires that such nationals understand that it must be their own responsibility to arrange onward transportation from Lisbon to the United States via clipper or other commercial means such as neutral flag vessels. While it may be possible at a later date to arrange for the exchange of non-official nationals in enemy countries, no action to this end is contemplated at the present time. It is abundantly of record that Americans throughout the dangerous areas in Europe have repeatedly been warned both before and since the outbreak of war in September, 1939 to return to the United States while regular transportation facilities were available. At great expense to this Government several special vessels were sent to Europe during the past 2 years to repatriate Americans willing to heed this Government’s advice, and public funds in the [Page 293] form of loans were made available to assist those unable otherwise to pay for their transportation. The provision of further special facilities at this time is not contemplated.

It is considered advisable that the Swiss Government endeavor to make a communication in the sense of this entire telegram to the Chiefs of Mission awaiting repatriation in the various enemy countries in Europe, and also endeavor to inform American citizens in those countries in respect to the last preceding paragraph.