862.20290H/8: Telegram

The Minister in Afghanistan (Engert) to the Secretary of State

113. My 110, May 27.

Before the expiration of the week the Minister for Foreign Affairs sent for German Ambassador [British Minister] and told him on behalf of the Prime Minister that the Afghan Government had ordered the arrest of the 3 individuals in question and that the movements of the 33 others would be carefully controlled. He added, however, that it had not been possible to make any arrests as yet and that Ghaizal, the agent of the Faqir of Ipi in Kabul and considered the most dangerous of the three, had disappeared. Sir Francis replied that he expected to be informed very shortly that the arrests had been effected.
With regard to paragraph 3 of my telegram 10745 the Foreign Minister said that the reductions in Axis Legation personnel was under consideration by the Afghan Government, as was also a British suggestion that the foreign exchange and other financial transactions of the Axis representatives be closely scrutinized and controlled and that the four Japanese engineers employed in Afghanistan be sent away. See in this connection my telegram 58, March 17, 10 a.m.46
The Foreign Minister in discussing the above points, was extremely friendly and conciliatory. He stated that as soon as they discovered the Bokharan plot they found evidence that the German Legation was implicated. He at once sent for Pilger,47 the German Minister, and confronted him with the documents. Pilger could not deny them but promised that it would not happen again! The Foreign Minister then demanded immediate and most formal assurances from the German Government itself that such improper activities would cease. These assurances were received by telegraph a week later but the Department can judge for itself what such pledges from the German Government are worth.
The Soviet Ambassador48 has just returned from Moscow after an absence of nearly 5 months. He tells me that his instructions are to demand the arrest of a considerable number of persons known to be engaged in subversive activities against Russia. He is also to suggest the reduction in Axis personnel but he cannot, of course, include the Japanese. He will see the Prime Minister in a few days.
Referring to paragraph 7 of my telegram 107 I now learn that individual in question was not the Chief of the Secretariat but only a translator in that office who was also a teacher of Arabic to some members of Royal Family.
It is now, of course, apparent that there is a direct connection between these recent developments and my telegram 10 [101], May 1649 and paragraph 6 and 7 of my 80, April 12.50
  1. May 24, noon, p. 35.
  2. Post, p. 54.
  3. Hans Pilger.
  4. Constantin Mikhailov.
  5. Ante, p. 24.
  6. See footnote 7, p. 24.