701.0065/25: Telegram

The American Representative to the French Committee of National Liberation at Algiers (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

271. HQAF6 have submitted for comment a draft outlining measures to be observed by Allied intelligence personnel in treatment of diplomatic and consular personnel and premises in Rome. Substance of this draft transmitted herewith for Department’s comment and instructions.

Begin substance of draft:

A. Axis and satellite powers.

1.
Diplomatic and consular officials of Germany, Japan, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria and Finland should be detained. While treatment should be courteous necessary measures should be taken to prevent escape. AFHQ should be informed immediately of their apprehension and will then issue instructions for their disposal.
2.
Embassy and Legation premises belonging to Germany, Japan, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria and Finland should not be searched or entered unless there is strong reason to believe (note: Office of British Resident Minister7 recommends substitution of word “proof” for words “strong reason to believe”) that diplomatic privilege is being abused. Abuse of diplomatic privilege would include such actions as hostile acts committed from Embassy or Legation premises, the use of W/T8 transmitters, the storing of war material other than the recognized mission armor, or the laying of explosive charge.
3.
Consular premises belonging to Germany, Japan, Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland should be entered and searched and all papers impounded.
4.
Private residences of German, Japanese, Hungarian, Rumanian, Bulgarian and Finnish diplomatic and consular officials should be entered and searched and any papers likely to be of interest impounded. Other effects should not be removed and such residences should not be requisitioned or inhabited but should be sealed and left until taken over by the protecting powers.
5.
In case of Embassy and Legation premises and private residences of officials of Embassy Legations and consular staffs every effort should be made to protect them from wanton damage. If other considerations permit, guards should be provided for them until they are taken over by the protecting power.
6.
In the case of Finland the action indicated in the above subparagraphs should be undertaken by British rather than American troops as no state of war exists between the USA and Finland.

B. Countries overrun by Axis.

1. In the case of Vichy France or the puppet Danish government it is held that the diplomatic privilege is not operative. Official should [Page 1474]be accorded treatment indicated in sub-paragraph (A) 1 and all premises may be searched and requisitioned.

C. Neutral countries.

Representative of neutral countries enjoy full diplomatic and consular privileges and should always be treated with greatest courtesy. Premises either official or personal belonging to officials of neutral countries should not be entered unless there is strong reason to believe (note: Office of British Resident Minister recommends substitution of word “proof” for words “strong reason to believe”) that an abuse of privilege has taken place. End of substance of draft.

With inspection of the above indicated substitutions the office of the British Resident Minister has expressed concurrence in substance of above draft.

Wilson
  1. Allied Force Headquarters.
  2. Harold Macmillan, British Resident Minister, Allied Force Headquarters.
  3. Wireless Telegraphy.