701.6211/1497: Telegram

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

156. American interests—Germany. Swiss Foreign Office note January 14 communicates following text of German Government’s reply to Department’s proposal for exchange of officials (translation from German):

“Ministry Foreign Affairs has the honor to answer the proposals of Government of United States regarding exchange of diplomatic, consular and business personnel which Swiss Government transmitted in its note verbale December 26. German Government agrees with following modifications:

1. German Government takes as basis that the free passage agreed to in the note also included exemption of the ship from being stopped and searched. German forces will be instructed accordingly not to molest the ship on its voyage and to allow it to pass freely. This will be allowed in addition to the conditions already stated in note December 26 that ship will be unarmed and not in convoy under following additional conditions: (a) Details regarding name (if necessary former names), appearance, size and speed of ship must be communicated German Government in suitable time; (b) ship must have painted plainly visible both sides its name and name its country as well as its flag also flag painted fore and after decks; it would also be desirable have word ‘diplomat’ painted both sides ship; (c) [Page 305] ship at night must travel fully lighted and identifying marks specified under paragraph b especially must be distinctly lighted; (d) ship must not enter zone of operations fixed by Germans around British Isles and Iceland. Information regarding course of ship as well as its schedule and especially time of departure and arrival in ports must be received Berlin at least 3 days in advance.

2. Regarding extent of persons to be exchanged, German Government proposes that there also be included representatives film companies, leading employees or representatives of companies, leading employees or [of] Chambers of Commerce. Furthermore persons who for study, teaching or other scientific reasons including members of their families have temporarily been living in territory of the other country.

3. German Government express expectation that Government of United States will make every effort that the Germans in groups to be exchanged from other American countries which have broken off relations with Germany can make voyage to Europe with exchange group of Germans in United States.

German Government on its part is prepared to facilitate to wide extent the transit of exchange groups of Americans from other European countries through German territory.

4. The members of exchange groups of Americans will be allowed take with them personal possessions as far as transport possibilities permit and in the taking of baggage there will be no limitation.”