711.62114 Sick/12–544: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Sweden (Johnson)

2437. Reurtel 4919, December 1, 7 p.m.56 This Government and the British Commonwealth are negotiating with the German Government for a further exchange of sick and wounded prisoners of war and civilians. It has been proposed to the German Government that such an exchange take place on January 17 at Göteborg, Sweden, subject of course to the agreement of the Swedish Government. It is proposed to repatriate from the United States in this exchange 850 civilians and 1100 sick and wounded prisoners of war. It is anticipated that the Canadian Government will repatriate approximately 100 sick and wounded, and the British Government 1000. It is therefore expected that the exchange at Göteborg will involve 3050 German nationals and a number of Allied nationals yet to be determined.

This Government expects to use the Gripsholm and such other supplementary shipping as may be necessary to transport the repatriates from the United States. As soon as details have been worked out in regard to additional shipping necessary for this operation, you will be advised.

You should inform the Swedish Government in the above sense and inquire whether that Government is agreeable to the use of Goteborg as an exchange point on the date indicated. In discussing this question, you should again refer to the great appreciation of this Government for the splendid cooperation of the Swedish Government in the two previous exchanges and express the hope of the United States Government that the Swedish Government will find it possible to participate in this humanitarian endeavor. In discussing this question with the Swedish Government, you should stress our desire to avoid any publicity whatsoever, pending an agreement with the German Government in regard to such an exchange.

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The Department will furnish you with further details as early as possible and will keep you informed of all developments.

You should repeat your reply to Bern and to London for the information of the Combined Repatriation Committee.

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