The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador ( Halifax )
The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the British Ambassador and has the honor again to refer to the Ambassador’s notes nos. 446 and 447 of July 10, 1943, with reference to the proposals made by the German and Italian Governments for the exchange of seriously sick and seriously wounded prisoners of war.
The various agencies of the American Government concerned with the matter treated in the British Embassy’s notes under reference have given careful consideration to the notes and have come to the conclusion that the Government of the United States can agree to concerted action with the British Government only on the basis of an early and unqualified acceptance of the following policy:
Seriously sick and seriously wounded prisoners shall be promptly mutually repatriated, regardless of the operation in which taker or of rank and number, as required by the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1929, without demands for safeguards or the inclusion of protected personnel in the projected agreement.
At the earliest feasible date after an agreement for the repatriation of the sick and wounded is actually in operation, the Government of the United States will join the British Government in concerted proposals for action on the repatriation of protected personnel.
The Government of the United States will agree to a small central’ organization as proposed by the British Government provided the [Page 62] charter of the organization will not allow deviation from the basic policy set forth above but will limit the actions of the organization to the making of administrative arrangements for the carrying out of this policy.