The Secretary of State to the American Member, Advisory Council, Allied Control Commission for Italy (Murphy)

The Secretary of State transmits herewith for the guidance of the officer of the American Foreign Service in charge at Palermo a copy of a memorandum entitled “Steps to be Taken in Connection with the Relinquishment by Swiss Representatives to American Representatives of the Representation of American Interests in Areas Liberated from the Enemy”.27

Mr. Murphy is requested to forward to the Officer in charge at Palermo a copy of the memorandum and also to furnish copies of it to such other officers of the American Foreign Service as may be assigned to the liberated areas for the purpose of undertaking American Foreign Service representation.

Also transmitted herewith is a copy of the Department’s instruction to the Legation at Bern28 concerning the Department’s desire that the Swiss Government authorize Swiss consular officers in liberated areas to continue to perform upon a provisional basis certain consular services related to American interests, pending the reestablishment of American Foreign Service representation in liberated areas. A copy of the Department’s telegram of September 4, 1943 to the Legation at Bern, mentioned therein, is also enclosed.29

Mr. Murphy is requested to ascertain from the military authorities and to report to the Department by telegraph whether appropriate [Page 132] mail and telegraph facilities are being made available to Swiss consular representatives in liberated areas for the purpose of assuring communications between them and their Government.

The receipt of this instruction should be acknowledged by telegraph.


Memorandum Regarding Steps To Be Taken in Connection With the Relinguishment by Swiss Representatives to American Representatives of the Representation of American Interests in Areas Liberated From the Enemy

One. As American Foreign Service representation is reestablished in the liberated areas, Swiss representatives will relinquish to their American colleagues the representation of American interests. It is not required that the American representative assume such representation immediately upon arrival at the place concerned. That might be possible where a former American diplomatic or consular office has been maintained and used by the Swiss representative in connection with the representation of American interests. Otherwise the American representative may prefer to defer the assumption of representation until he has established the necessary quarters, et cetera, whereupon he should so inform the Swiss representative and proceed with the transfer of representation.

Two. A memorandum of transfer of representation (protocole de remise) should be drawn up and signed by the Swiss and American representatives. A sufficient number of copies of the memorandum and of the inventories, receipts, et cetera, that form a part of it should be prepared to permit the American representative to retain one for the files of his office and to transmit two to the Department of State at Washington for the archives of the United States Government and to permit the Swiss representative to retain or forward to his Government the number that he considers to be appropriate.

Three. The Swiss representative will turn over to the American representative, against receipt, such American property of the following categories as may remain in his custody:

Official United States Government property, including: archives; such official funds as may be in the possession of the Swiss representative for use in connection with the representation of American interests; et cetera.
Property of American diplomatic or consular personnel.
Private American property (to the limited extent that it may have been placed in the custody of the Swiss representative), including the assets of private American estates of which he may have served as provisional conservator. [Page 133] All property should be verified against previous inventories, when they are available, and any variations, either in content or condition, should be noted. To the extent that inventories do not exist, new inventories should be prepared and signed by both the Swiss and the American representatives. As indicated above, copies of all relevant inventories, receipts, et cetera, should form a part of the memorandum of transfer of representation.

Four. The archives transferred to the American representative should include such records of the former American diplomatic or consular office as still exist and are available and such current records concerning the representation by Switzerland of American interests as the Swiss representative may be authorized to relinquish. It is particularly hoped that the Swiss representative’s records of the following categories may be relinquished to the American representative:

Lists of or records pertaining to American nationals residing in the district;
Lists of or records pertaining to American nationals receiving financial assistance under the Department’s instruction no. 1202 of February 14, 1942 to the Legation at Bern;30
Records pertaining to special cases involving the protection of American nationals;
Records pertaining to the protection of private American property, including American estates.

If the Swiss representative does not feel free to relinquish the custody of certain original documents, such as official communications with the local authorities or true readings of telegrams from his own Government, it might be possible for him to furnish copies or paraphrases of them.

Five. The American representative should inform the Department by telegraph of the date on which the Swiss representative relinquishes the representation of American interests and of the date of the American representative’s notification to the local authorities of his assumption of such representation. Copies of all relevant communications should be forwarded to the Department by air mail as soon as feasible.

  1. A copy of this memorandum was also transmitted to the Minister in Switzerland in instruction No. 1999, December 27, not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Telegram No. 2179 to the Minister in Switzerland, September 4, p. 124.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, p. 262.