Lot 52 M64

Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, to the Secretary of State 60

My Dear Mr. Secretary: At the request of the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, the Combined Chiefs of Staff have considered the question of a policy with respect to enemy diplomatic and consular property captured within the territory of third powers.

The following statement of policy has been approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff and is understood to have the concurrence of the British Foreign Office:

“The bona fide diplomatic and consular property of enemy governments (including their diplomatic and consular archives) and the property of enemy diplomatic and consular personnel, found in the territory of third Powers occupied in the course of hostilities, will be accorded the following treatment:

a.
If such property is in the custody of the protecting Power, that custody will be respected in every way.
b.
If any such property is not in the custody of the protecting Power, it will be safeguarded until such time as the governments represented by the occupying forces may give specific instructions as to its disposition. In such cases important diplomatic and consular archives may be copied, pending disposition, but not confiscated.

“This policy with respect to bona fide diplomatic and consular establishments does not preclude the theater commander at his discretion and on his responsibility from entry and search of premises allegedly diplomatic or consular in character, which he has substantial reason to believe to be or to have been recently used for clandestine warlike operations against his own forces or examination of which he believes to be essential to the security of his own forces, communications and operations. In the case of property in the custody of the protecting power, the theater commander will request the representatives of that power for permission to search the premises. If such permission is refused or unreasonably delayed, however, entry and search by the [Page 1496]theater commander is not precluded. In all such cases a full report must be rendered to the governments to which he is responsible justifying the entry and search.”

The concurrence of the Department of State in the above statement of policy is requested,62 in order that all United States and British theater commanders may be promptly informed of this policy.63

Attention is invited to the fact that the second paragraph of the above policy differs in some respects from that previously forwarded to you in a letter from the Secretary of War dated 29 August 1944.64

Sincerely yours,

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
William D. Leahy

Admiral, U.S. Navy
  1. Enclosure A to JCS 1011/2, September 30, 1944: “A Policy with respect to enemy diplomatic and consular property captured within the territory of Third Powers.”
  2. The Secretary of State informed Admiral Leahy on September 29, 1944, that “the Department perceives no objection to the statement of policy quoted in your letter of September 26 and concurs in your informing United States and British theater commanders of the policy stated therein.” (Enclosure B to J.C.S. 1011/2, September 30, 1944, not printed.)
  3. After approval by the Department of State and the Foreign Office, this recommendation was dispatched to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, as Fan 433 on September 30, 1944; not printed.
  4. Letter not printed.