701.6266A/8–2344: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )

8153. In reference to the British proposal to exchange some of the German diplomats from the Vatican now at Taormina for 27 British officials in German custody (Reurtel 6848 August 23 and related correspondence) it is apparent that it would not now be feasible to consummate the exchange in Spain or Portugal. The Department is [Page 1329] informed, however, that AFHQ Caserta has suggested the possibility of direct repatriation of sick and wounded repatriables with Germany through Switzerland after October 1 be investigated. If this is feasible it should likewise be possible to carry out the exchange of German diplomats for British officials through Switzerland. The British authorities may therefore wish to explore this possibility and utilize the opportunity of suggesting a new situs for the exchange as a means of stimulating German interest in the British exchange proposal. It is suggested that this thought be brought to the attention of the Foreign Office. Please keep Department informed of developments.

Sent to London as Department 8153; repeated to Rome for Kirk and Myron Taylor as no. 245 and to Caserta as no. 214.