340.1115A/7–2944: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Consul General at Palermo (Nester)

47. You are authorized to extend financial assistance to destitute American nationals in the Island of Sicily without reference to Algiers or any other office. American Consul Naples has been similarly authorized24 to extend financial assistance in liberated areas on the mainland of Italy without reference to Algiers. You will be governed by the provisions of Department’s instruction 1202, February 14, 1942, as amended (copy of which was enclosed with Foreign Service Serial 109 January 22, 1944) but as modified by the provisions of this telegram and the omission of all references to Swiss authorities or American Legation, Bern. So far as the situation or the context of instruction 1202 permits with respect to financial assistance you will perform functions such as are performed by Swiss in enemy and enemy-occupied territory and the duties performed by American Legation, Bern, in connection therewith. Your decisions on financial assistance should be reported promptly by airmail to Department which will inform you only in case of reversal.

To such extent as relief by the United Nations or other general relief measures applicable in Sicily provide for the needs of American nationals there, financial assistance shall be reduced or discontinued.

Liberated Italian areas are provisionally classified as Class VI, maximum $90, under Department’s 1202. As indicated in paragraph eight that instruction, it is expected that whenever possible actual sums advanced will be less than permitted maximum, and such advances should never be more than enough to provide for minimum essential needs. Please investigate whether present maximum for Sicily is excessive or inadequate and submit recommendation if you believe it should be increased or decreased. Submit estimate of amount [Page 1199] required for financial assistance in your Consular District for first 6 months fiscal year 1945 with expected number recipients and estimated amount required monthly for each. Upon receipt your estimate Department will make allotment funds to you with instructions regarding accounting therefor. No expenditures should be made by you for financial assistance during fiscal year 1945 except after the receipt of an allotment of funds for the purpose from the Department.

Telegraph whether records regarding financial assistance to American nationals in Sicily have been turned over to you in connection with the relinquishment by Swiss of American interests (see Department’s memorandum December 15, 1943 transmitted under cover of Department’s instruction number 3, February 26, to Algiers25 for distribution to Italy).

United States Government funds are not to be used in cases where there is any other available source of funds for financial assistance. Each applicant should be required to show that he has endeavored to obtain funds from friends, relatives, attorneys, banks, or other organizations in the United States and should give the names and addresses of such persons or organizations so that they may be requested to furnish funds for his financial assistance.

Keep Department informed of developments respecting financial assistance and continued necessity such assistance.

  1. Telegram 304, July 4, 1944, to Naples, not printed.
  2. Not printed.