701.6590H/6: Telegram

The Chargé in Afghanistan ( Thayer ) to the Secretary of State

170. Legation’s 154, July 30, 10 a.m.

The Foreign Ministry has requested an American safe conduct for the members of the Axis Legations who are returning to Europe. As they are traveling from Karachi by troop ship to Basra and thence through Iraq and Syria to Turkey, I have told the Afghan authorities that so far as I am aware they will at no time in their journey be within the territorial jurisdiction of the American authorities military or otherwise. Consequently an American safe conduct appears to be unnecessary. This seems to have satisfied both Afghans and Axis as the request has not been repeated.
Four Axis nationals now plan to leave on September 5 though it is doubtful whether negotiations over the details of the journey will be concluded by that date. The four are: Enrico Anzilotti, Secretary of the Italian Legation; Drash Witzel, diplomatic courier of the German Legation, Doh, clerk of the German Legation and Fraulein Irene Gallein typist of German Legation who is marrying Witzel and will travel as his wife.
The Political Director of the Foreign Ministry informs me that the decision to expel the three men who were implicated in intrigues was taken 10 days before and communicated to the Italian and German Ministers 2 days before the British Minister asked for his interview with the Prime Minister to put before him the proposal to reduce the Axis Legation staffs (see paragraph 3 of Engert’s 107, May 24, noon). My informant added that in view of the tone of the British démarche the Afghans had deliberately postponed action in the matter until after the departure of the British Minister himself. While I cannot vouchsafe for the accuracy of this statement I believe it to be substantially true.