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The Minister in Switzerland (Harrison) to the Secretary of State

5775. AmInterests Göteborg Exchange. Department’s 2917, August 24. Swiss note September 2 quotes note August 31 from German Legation Bern of which following substance translation.

German Government by German Legation notes dated July 21 and August 22 (corresponding Legation’s 4685, July 21 and 5501 August 23) pointed out to United States Government that repatriation approximately 1100 excess sanitary personnel calculated by German Government was made an assumption (Voraussetzung) of the exchange from the outset. Simultaneously it was communicated that German Government is not prepared to accept the United States proposal that excess sanitary personnel insofar as not now repatriated be included in a future exchange. In this connection the decision was left to the United States Government as to whether it would select the repatriable sanitary personnel from its custody in North America, Africa or Europe. Inasmuch as according to lists thus far available only 100 German sanitary personnel are returning from the United States, the earliest possible report is requested whether the American Government contemplates the inclusion of further sanitary personnel held in its custody in Africa or Europe.

It is also pointed out that American Government in its statements conveyed both in Swiss notes dated August 7 and August 28 (Department’s 2682, August 4 and 2917, August 24) declared with respect to point 5 that all available berthing space on Gripsholm not required for seriously wounded returning from North American continent would be filled with protected personnel. In Barcelona exchange, for [Page 810] example, Gripsholm had minimum capacity 800 seriously wounded and 200 or more able-bodied persons. However as it embarked, according to figures thus far available, only 523 seriously wounded and 150 sanitary personnel, it could have well taken aboard another 300 to 400 able-bodied sanitary personnel. German Government, in view above-mentioned American declaration, had therefore to expect that at least this number of sanitary personnel would still be added from American custody in Africa or possibly Europe, and awaits clarification this question.