740.00115A Pacific War/88a: Telegram

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

666. American interests—Thailand and Indochina.

1.
Please request Swiss Foreign Office to confirm that Swiss representative at Bangkok has been kept fully and currently informed by telegraph of progress of negotiations for exchange and has kept Thai Government fully informed of details. Please request also that he inform Thai Government that Department is unable to understand reason why Swiss representative has not been facilitated in communicating these details also to Department’s officers formerly accredited to Thailand (your 675, February 2036).
2.
If this has not already been done, attention of Thai Government should be invited to fact that the exchange arrangement with Japan as now constituted covers non-official persons as well as officials. It is assumed from Thai Government’s communication dated February 12 (your 62637) that Thai Government is also agreeable to such a repatriation of non-officials in Thailand.
3.
The Thai Government should be further informed that the Japanese Government has officially communicated to the United States Government its willingness to afford the Thai Government every cooperation toward the repatriation of American officials in Thailand38 and it is assumed that such cooperation will also be extended in the case of American non-officials. It is accordingly expected that the Thai Government will take prompt steps to seek cooperation of Japanese authorities and make the necessary arrangements.
4.
It is requested that the Swiss representative inform the Thai Government that any Thai officials in the United States or other Thai nationals who may be included in the exchange under the terms of the agreement of this Government with the Japanese Government will be freely permitted to embark upon the exchange vessel on terms of equality with the Japanese nationals who are being repatriated. This applies to the persons named under (a) in your 826, March 139 in so far as these persons desire to embark on the vessel. Steps are being taken to inform them of the fact that the Thai Government has requested their repatriation and the Thai Government may communicate with them upon this subject through Swiss channels or through other means at its disposal. The Thai Government should be further informed that the United States Government will give to all Thai nationals desiring to embark on the exchange vessel all possible facilities to ensure their embarkation without inconvenience. It is expected that the Thai Government will be similarly guided in respect of Americans in Thailand, in particular that it will grant the Swiss representative free access to them in order that they may make necessary preparation for leaving Thailand.
5.
It is expected that some definite statement of the position of the Thai Government in this matter will be received promptly.
6.
It is expected that the Thai Government will immediately cease the deplorable practice of preventing the Swiss representative from [Page 927]discussing with the Department’s officers the question of their impending repatriation.
7.
In connection with the foregoing it is requested that Swiss representative at Tokyo be informed of substance of your 914, March 6,40 and that he state to Japanese Government that United States Government is aware that on February 27, 1942 Japanese officials at Bangkok forbade the Swiss representative to discuss with the American Minister the question of his repatriation, that on the same date an interview between the Swiss representative and the American Minister was broken off at the end of 10 minutes upon the order of a Japanese official, that upon command of Japanese authorities without any justification the personnel of the American Legation at Bangkok have been deprived of competent dental treatment which is needed for their welfare and have not been allowed to retain sufficient domestic servants to meet their needs.
8.
Please request that Swiss representative at Tokyo be asked to inform Japanese Foreign Minister41 that unexplainable and deplorable attitude adopted in Thailand in this matter is likely, if not terminated, to cause delay of exchange since Thai Government has not permitted Swiss representative even to inform Department’s officers that their repatriation is contemplated and accordingly it has been impossible to make preliminary arrangements necessary for their departure. It is accordingly expected that Japanese Government will, if necessary, urge the Thai Government to take immediately the necessary action in this matter in order to facilitate the execution of the exchange.
9.
It is requested that Swiss representative at Tokyo be informed of the sense of paragraphs 1 through 6 above in order that he may, if necessary, make use of the information therein in discussing the matter with the Japanese authorities. It is desired that he stress the fact that the United States Government is doing everything possible to facilitate the preparations for departure of Japanese official and non-official persons and will do the same for nationals of Thailand and that it is naturally expected that the other parties to the exchange will take a similar attitude.

[Here follow three paragraphs dealing with exchange of Americans in Indochina.]

Welles
  1. Not printed.
  2. Dated February 17, not printed.
  3. See telegram No. 604, March 5, to the Chargé in Switzerland, paragraph numbered (2), p. 401.
  4. Not printed; it contained lists of Thai and American personnel to be exchanged; the persons named under (a) were Thai diplomatic personnel and their families (703.5492/10).
  5. Not printed.
  6. Shigenori Togo.