740.00119 European War/12–2944

The Department of State to the British Embassy


The Department of State refers to the aide-mémoire of the British Embassy (reference 3132/18/44) dated December 29, 1944 on the subject of the proposed démarche to be made to the governments of neutral countries by the representatives of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the United States accredited to such governments, with regard to the internment and safeguarding of German vessels and aircraft that may seek refuge in the countries in question.

The Department of State sees no objection to the making of the proposed démarche on January 20, 1945 and is instructing its representatives accordingly.91 It is also instructing its representative at Asunción to join with the British representative in Asunción in requesting the Government of Paraguay to bring the matter to the attention [Page 162] of the Government of Argentina.92 In that instruction it is pointed out that because of the landlocked character of Paraguayan territory, it is unlikely that any German vessel or aircraft would seek refuge in such territory and that for that reason the making of formal representations to that Government would not seem to be necessary. However, the representative of the United States has been informed that, if agreeable to the British representative in Asunción, there would be no objection to bringing informally to the attention of the Government of Paraguay its own obligations in the matter in the unlikely event that German vessels or aircraft should seek refuge in Paraguay.

The Department has noted that the Government of the United Kingdom will advise the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of the proposed action. It has also noted that the Government of the United Kingdom does not desire to make a similar démarche to the Government of Eire. It is understood, however, on the basis of oral information furnished by the British Embassy that the Government of the United Kingdom has already unofficially advised the Government of Eire of its position in the matter and that it has no objections to the Government of the United States making a unilateral representation in the same sense to the Government of Eire.93

  1. A circular instruction was sent on January 13, 1945, to diplomatic representatives in Turkey, Portugal, Spain, Venezuela, Peru, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile, Switzerland, Sweden, and Saudi Arabia for the démarche to be made. These Governments were requested to recognize their responsibility to intern and preserve intact pending ultimate disposition all vessels and aircraft of Germany seeking refuge within their boundaries. Early responses were received from most of the nations acknowledging their responsibility.
  2. Argentina in reply expressed willingness to take the action suggested by the Department.
  3. A favorable attitude was manifested by the Government of Eire but no written reply was made to representations made by the American Minister.