121.67/8–2544: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Harrison)40

3021. American Interests—France. Reurtel 5550, August 25, 8 a.m., and thirteenth paragraph your 5367, August 18.41 In view of fact that Swiss Government is apparently out of touch with its representatives in liberated areas of France, U. S. Government is willing to offer all possible assistance in Swiss effort to resume communications [Page 1202] and would be pleased to consider specific suggestions by Swiss Foreign Office on this subject.

It is hoped to reopen American diplomatic and consular offices in France at the earliest opportunity but in the present circumstances it is unlikely that the diplomatic and consular staffs at the various posts will be adequate at first to carry on all the functions of the representation of American interests. It would therefore be appreciated if Swiss Government would implement in France the arrangement outlined in the Department’s instruction 1999, December 27, 194342 and its telegram 2179 September 443 whereby Swiss officers in Italy continued to render consular services for the United States Government upon a provisional basis.

The American staff returning to Paris44 will be unable immediately to undertake consular duties but will wish immediately to take over the physical properties of the United States Government. It would be appreciated if specific instructions to that effect could be urgently issued to the Swiss Consul at Paris. The exact nature of initial activities at other posts in France is not yet determined.

In the Department’s opinion the needs of the circumstances at each place can best be met by close and effective liaison between the Swiss and American representatives who should take each step in the transfer of the representation of American interests to American hands only after appropriate consultation. It would therefore be appreciated if Swiss representatives in France could be instructed to turn over to American Foreign Service Officers the representation of American interests when and to the extent requested by such officers.

Please inform Department of Swiss reaction and of instructions on this subject being sent to Swiss representatives in France. As stated above Department will be glad to facilitate transmission of such instructions.

  1. Repeated (in paraphrase) on the same date to London and Algiers, and on September 12 to Caserta, as telegrams 7086, 2545, and 130, respectively.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 124.
  5. Paris was liberated August 23, 1944.