740.60114A Pacific War/551a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Standley )81

578. Death rate amongst our prisoners of war in Far East makes it imperative that all possible steps be taken to expedite the shipment of medical and concentrated food supplies for their relief.

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As Japanese Government has stated its willingness to give consideration to United States Government’s proposal that such supplies be sent to Japan via the Soviet Union and as the Soviet Government has kindly expressed its readiness to render assistance provided a suitable understanding in the matter were reached between Japanese and United States Governments, we feel justified in asking the Soviet Government to be good enough to discuss urgently with the Japanese Government ways and means mutually satisfactory to those Governments by which supplies furnished by the United States Government might be speedily shipped to Japan. The United States Government is willing to lay those supplies down on Soviet territory wherever the Soviet Government, after discussion with the Japanese Government, considers they could best be transshipped to Japan. The United States Government is prepared to use air or sea transport, whichever is most feasible in the circumstances.

The Swiss Government representing American interests in Japan is being requested to inform the Japanese Government of this approach to the Soviet Government with the request that the Japanese Government concert with the Soviet Government in working out a mutually satisfactory route and means of shipment of such supplies.

In view of the evident urgent need of our prisoners of war for medicines which Japan may not be in a position promptly to supply, Department would be grateful if Soviet Government would find it possible to handle this request on an urgent basis.

  1. Since this telegram was sent uncoded, telegram No. 579, July 17, 10 p.m. (740.00114A Pacific War/496), contained the initial references to previous communications, which were to the Department’s telegrams No. 41, January 18, 6 p.m. (p. 799), and No. 365, May 26, 9 p.m. (p. 803); the Ambassador’s telegram No. 630, June 9, 2 p.m. (p. 804); and the Department’s telegram No. 531, July 7, 6 p.m., supra.