703.5492/8: Telegram

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

586. American interests—Thailand, treatment officials. Legation’s 400, February 4.31 Swiss Foreign Office advises Swiss Consul Bangkok telegraphs February 6 (translation from French):

“My visits with American and British Ministers32 took place in presence of representative of Thai Foreign Office. We were only permitted discuss points fixed in advance in conference with Foreign Office and representatives of Japanese Embassy and Japanese General Headquarters. Since then contact with American and British Ministers has been subjected to great delays. Several letters addressed to the Legations or emanating therefrom were not delivered to the Consulate. In certain cases Consulate was advised of this fact but in others not. Two Ministers and their staffs are not permitted to receive private visits and are isolated from outside world by police guards. They receive no daily paper. Radios taken out of two Legations. Servants not permitted leave Legation compounds. Food supplies assured. Settling of all questions concerning Legations undergo great delay because not only Japanese Embassy but also military authorities control relations with Ministers. Representative Japanese General Headquarters did not permit delivery instructions January 6 (contained Department’s 377 and 378, December 2333) because Department of State is mentioned therein and reference is made to numbers of previous instruction. Handed the two instructions January 29 to Foreign Office for transmission and have received report February 4 declaring that this transmission not yet opportune because departure American Legation personnel not yet foreseen. As opposed to conditions here, Swiss Legation Tokyo advises me, ‘As representative American interests you must have right to visit American Consul whenever you wish and to give him a few necessary verbal messages. In Japan we have no difficulty in this regard’. In my opinion I should have entire liberty in my visits to two Ministers in spite of objection expressed that restrictions are maintained for reasons [Page 925]of military nature. I should be interested to have your views in this regard.”

Swiss Foreign Office advises Swiss Minister Tokyo34 telegraphs February 10:

“It appears that Swiss Consul Bangkok always has trouble making contact American Minister. I have made representations to Foreign Office and to Thai Ambassador to put an end to this deplorable state of affairs.”

  1. Not printed.
  2. Sir Josiah Crosby was British Minister.
  3. Neither printed; the instructions were that wherever Switzerland assumed the representation of American interests, non-confidential archives useful in the representation be placed at the disposition of the Swiss and that it would be preferable to communicate with the Department solely through the Swiss (704.0065/12, 703.5400/11b).
  4. Camille Gorgé.