740.00115 Pacific War/153: Telegram

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

446. Please request the Swiss Government to inform the Japanese Government (1) that this Government has received disquieting reports that there is being imposed upon American civilians in areas in the Philippines occupied by the Japanese forces an extremely rigid and harsh regime involving abuse and humiliation; (2) that this Government desires to receive from the Japanese Government assurances either that a thorough investigation by the appropriate Japanese authorities has disclosed the incorrectness of these reports or that immediate and effective steps have been taken to remedy the situation and to accord to Americans in the Philippines moderate treatment similar to that being extended by this Government to Japanese nationals in its territory; (3) that this Government expects that the same general principles with regard to the treatment of enemy aliens, both detained and at liberty, which are set forth in its telegrams no. 331, December 18th83 and no. 219, January 26th,84 and which this Government is applying in its treatment of Japanese nationals on American territory, will be applied by the Japanese to American nationals on Japanese and Japanese-occupied territory; (4) that if assurances cannot be given by the Japanese Government that these principles will be applied in the treatment of American nationals, not only on Japanese occupied territory in the Philippines but throughout Japanese and Japanese-occupied territories, it may be necessary for this [Page 846] Government to reconsider its policy of according to Japanese nationals on its territory the most liberal treatment consistent with the national safety.

Please ask the Swiss Government, if it is in a position to send a representative to the Philippines or has a representative available in the Philippines, to request permission for a Swiss representative to visit Japanese-occupied territory in the Philippines in order to investigate the situation of American nationals there.

Please inform the International Committee of the Red Cross of the reports which this Government has received regarding the harsh treatment of American civilians in Japanese-occupied Philippine territory and request it to endeavor to investigate the situation in that territory. Mr. Marc Peter, representative in Washington of the International Committee of the Red Cross, has been informed of this matter and has stated his intention of communicating with the Committee by cable with regard to it.

  1. Ante, p. 792.
  2. See footnote 6, p. 246.