711.62114 Sick/9–244: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Harrison)50

3048. American Interests Germany—Göteborg Exchange. Reurtel 5775, September 2. Please request Swiss to inform German Government as follows:

The Government of the United States which received the substance of the German Legation’s note of August 3151 on September 3, refers to its communication of August 4 (Department’s 2682) which informed the German Government that the United States Government would return in the Göteborg exchange “all surplus German protected personnel, whose status can be satisfactorily established in time, and who can be accommodated without reducing the number of spaces required for German seriously sick and seriously wounded being returned from the North American continent”. The United States embarked 100 protected personnel as an earnest of its good faith, despite the fact that the survey mentioned in paragraph 5 of Department’s 2682 had not at that time been completed and therefore an actual excess had not yet been ascertained.

Furthermore, no additional space could have been available on the Gripsholm in any case, because the large number of litter and mental cases who were being embarked unavoidably reduced the total numbers which could be safely and humanely transported.

The survey of German personnel claiming protected status is expected to be concluded about the middle of September. The Government of the United States, recognizing the obligation imposed by Article 12 of the Geneva Red Cross Convention, assures the German Government that it will return all surplus protected personnel as soon as possible after the completion of the survey referred to irrespective of further exchange operations.

  1. Repeated to London as telegram 7143, with heading “For Combined Repatriation Committee”.
  2. See supra.