701.0065/25: Telegram

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

137. For L’Heureux.9 Department’s comments on AFHQ draft contained in your 271, December 28, 6 p.m., follow:

A. Axis and satellite powers.

Department concurs. It is understood, however, that all Axis and satellite diplomatic missions, with the exception of Finland, have already withdrawn from Rome and established themselves in Brescia or Venice. Our forces will probably find no officials of these countries in Rome except possibly some consular officers left behind as custodians. The Finnish Government has thus far refused to recognize the so-called Italian Socialist Republic Government10 and has instructed its mission to remain in Rome to await the return of the Italian King.11
Department concurs if the substitution recommended by the British Resident Minister is adopted.
Department cannot concur. It is considered desirable to respect the consular premises of enemy nations unless there is good reason for search such as indicated in paragraph 2 above. United States consular premises in Rome have not been violated and generally speaking the immunity of our consular premises in enemy and enemy-occupied territories of Europe has been respected. In any event, it will be [Page 1475]found that the consular offices of enemy countries in Rome in most cases form part of the premises of the diplomatic mission and, consequently, could not be violated without violating the immunity of the mission itself.
Department does not concur. While it is recognized that the diplomatic and consular officials of enemy powers in third countries have no rights to immunity, vis-à-vis the occupying powers, it is contrary to practice and not desirable to enter and search the private residences of enemy diplomatic and consular officials. In any event, the private residence of the Ambassador or principal diplomatic officer of the enemy country, if separate from the chancery, should under no circumstances be violated. It is almost certain, however, that the enemy officials in Rome will have turned over their countries’ interests, including their residences and personal effects, to the representatives of the protecting power before the arrival of Allied forces in the capital. Under no circumstances, of course, should premises be entered and searched once they have passed into the custody of the protecting power.
Department concurs.
Department concurs.

B. Countries overrun by the Axis.

B1. Department concurs with respect to proposed treatment of Vichy officials. As indicated above, if French premises are already in the custody of the protecting power, that arrangement should not be disturbed. If the premises are not already in the custody of the protecting power, provisional steps should be taken to safeguard the fundamental diplomatic character of the premises pending instructions from the interested Governments.

With respect to Denmark, Department does not consider that the Danish representative is an appropriate example of the representation of a “puppet” government. The Danish Government has been suppressed and Denmark is occupied by the Germans. The Danish Minister in Rome, Mr. Otto Wadsted, is believed to have pro-Allied sympathies and would probably renounce, if given the opportunity, his relationship with any Danish administration under German occupation as have done his colleagues in Washington12 and London.13

C. Neutral countries.

Department concurs in this Section if recommendations of British Resident Minister are adopted.

  1. Hervé Joseph L’Heureux, Administrative Officer, Civil Affairs Section, Allied Force Headquarters.
  2. The neo-fascist Italian Social Republic was formed in northern Italy after the German invasion in mid-September 1943 and the rescue of Mussolini from the Gran Sasso on September 12.
  3. Victor Emmanuel III.
  4. For correspondence relative to the recall by the Danish Government of the Minister to the United States, Henrik de Kauffmann, in April 1941, his refusal to accept recall on the ground that the Danish Government was acting under duress, and his continued recognition toy the United States as Danish Minister, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. ii, pp. 47 ff.
  5. Count Eduard Reventlow.