The Minister in Afghanistan (Engert) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 2—8:23 p.m.]
137. My 120, June 17, 11 a.m. Under instructions from his Foreign Office the British Minister will tomorrow say to the Afghan Foreign Minister substantially the following and will leave an aide-mémoire with him.
- The British Government “expects” to hear of the arrest of at least two of the three conspirators “in the next few days”, and the spirit of Afghanistan’s response will be judged by the speed with which these arrests are effected.
- British Government would be glad to learn in the near future more than a mere warning had been issued to the other 33 and that their movements will be strictly controlled. Afghan Government [Page 46] must expect that if subversive activities continue further urgent representations will be made.
- Afghan Government’s fear that a reduction in surplus staff of Axis Legations might lead to rupture of relations is “palpably baseless” in view of the interest Axis Governments have in maintaining legations in Kabul to obtain information. Surplus staffs have obviously no diplomatic functions and their intrigues should be as objectionable to the Afghan Government as they are to the British and Soviets. Neutrals have a clear obligation to prevent their territories being used by the Axis for conspiracies and espionage against the Allies, and the British Government has a right to see that effective steps will be taken to fulfill this obligation.
- With regard to the four Japanese engineers the British Government desires to know the precise dates when their contracts expire and “expects to learn in the course of the next 2 months or so” that they have returned to Japan and that they will naturally not be replaced by others of Axis nationality.
- The Afghan promise re control of Axis consecrated [sic] funds is accepted but if enemies of the British Government such as the Faqir of Ipi continue to receive money the Afghan Government may expect to hear further from the British Government because it will imply a leak in the exchange control.