701.6200/35: Airgram

The United States Political Adviser, Allied Force Headquarters (Murphy), to the Secretary of State

A–78. On August 31, 1943, a communication1 was addressed to the Chief of the Military Government Section,2 Allied Force Headquarters, pointing out that the treatment of American Foreign Service establishments in Germany and Japan might depend upon the way in which German and Japanese diplomatic and consular establishments are safeguarded in European countries that may be occupied by Allied forces. It was suggested specifically that orders should be issued to field commanders that when, during the course of operations on the European continent, Allied troops occupy places where German and Japanese embassies, legations and consulates are located, the premises of such embassies, legations and consulates, as well as the private residences of the members of their staffs,3 should be placed under military guard, the contents of such premises left intact, and such premises, except under extreme military necessity, should not be requisitioned and occupied by Allied troops, until the further disposition of such premises and their contents could be passed on by the Department.

I am now informed by the Chief of the Military Government Section that the following directive on the subject has been issued by the Chief, General Staff, 15 Army Group:

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Subject: Enemy Embassies, Legations and Consulates HQ. 15 Army Group C.M.F.
A.C. of S., G–2, Fifth Army
G.S.I.(b), Eighth Army 15 AG/1401/6/G(Ib)
The Allied foreign service establishments in Germany may depend to some extent on the treatment accorded to German establishments in countries occupied by our forces.
Steps should be taken therefore to ensure that premises occupied by German embassies, legations or consulates, or by their staffs as private residences, are preserved from wanton damage, and that the contents, apart from material of value for operations and intelligence, are preserved intact in the premises.
Such premises should not be requisitioned for military occupants and they should be placed under guard until such time as arrangements can be made for the disposal of their contents by the Department of State and the Foreign Office.

[A. A. Ricardson]
Major General Chief of the General Staff, 15 Army Group

AG 336.01—X 1st Ind. EBH/MFG/jrr

Headquarters Fifth Army, A.P.O. #464, U.S. Army, 13 October 1943

To: Commanders of all Units, Fifth Army.

For compliance with requirements of basic letter.
Units having territorial responsibility where consulates are located will be responsible for placing the required guard over such establishments and for notifying this Headquarters, through channels, of the action taken.
AMG4 will have the responsibility for coordinating with the State Department and Foreign Office for the disposal of the contents of the establishments, except for documents and other intelligence material which will be handled by the G–2 Section, Fifth Army.

By command of Lieutenant General Clark:

M. F. Grant5
M. G. Grant [sic]
Colonel, A.G.D., Adjutant General




I am not informed as to the Department’s policy in respect to the protection of enemy diplomatic and consular establishments in countries that are or may be occupied by Allied forces, and would welcome detailed instructions on this subject for guidance in dealing with such questions if and when they arise.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Col. Julius C. Holmes was appointed to this position on June 18, 1943; he was promoted to Brigadier General on July 4.
  3. On April 19, 1943, the Secretary of State had sent a formal protest to the Swiss Government for transmission to the German Government concerning the occupation by German authorities during September 1942 of the private residences of three former clerks of the Embassy at Paris. Each of these persons was an American national. (124.513/1817)
  4. Allied Military Government.
  5. Col. Melville F. Grant.