740.00116 E.W./9–3044

The British Ambassador (Halifax) to the Secretary of State

No. 601
Ref. 3136/5/44

His Majesty’s Ambassador presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and with reference to Mr. Hull’s note of September 20th, 1944 in regard to the mistreatment of allied parachutists who fall into German hands, has the honour to state that he is informed by His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs that His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom have also received reports of such action by the German authorities and are ready to join the United States Government in addressing a strong protest to the German Government.

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The Earl of Halifax has the honour to add that Mr. Eden suggests that the proposed protest should set out all details so far available and should refer to the communications exchanged between the United Kingdom and German Governments on this subject in 1940. The communications in question were
Notes of May 13th and August 19th, 1940 addressed to the Foreign Office by the Swiss Legation in London, containing communications from the German Government and threatening reprisals if German airmen and parachutists were not treated as prisoners-of-war; and
Note of June 6th, 1940, addressed to the Swiss Legation by the Foreign Office, in which it is stated clearly that Germans landing in parachutes who are captured by British forces will be treated in conformity with International Law; i.e., that those wearing their national uniform will be treated as prisoners-of-war and will be dealt with in accordance with the laws governing war prisoners.
Lord Halifax has further the honour to state that he has been asked by Mr. Eden to telegraph to the Foreign Office the text of the United States Government’s proposed protest, and would therefore be grateful if Mr. Hull would be so good as to communicate a copy of the text to him as soon as it is available.