740.00115A Pacific War/922: Telegram

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

187. American Interests—Philippines.

Express gratitude of Department for progress made by Swiss as set forth your telegram 54, January 493 in developing channels of contact with Philippines and the hope that situation may soon make possible an extension of financial aid to prisoners of war detained there.94
Detailed reports of Internee Executive Committee concerning utilization of funds thus far distributed awaited with interest here.
For the present and until otherwise informed inclusion of British in distribution of funds may continue. Department assumes this arrangement does not presently work hardship on Americans and wishes to be informed if this assumption incorrect or if subsequent developments impose hardship as result of this arrangement.
Department assumes that 100,000 yen requested are military yen with conversion rate approximately 4 to 1 and therefore present financial authorization sufficient to cover stated need. Please confirm this assumption giving details if otherwise.95
  1. Not printed; it stated relief funds had been “proportionally distributed all camps according Department’s 1979”, August 18, 1943 (740.0015A Pacific War/922). See Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iii, p. 1030. By January 4, the Japanese had closed all internment camps in the Philippines except Santo Tomas, Los Banos, Baguio, and Davao. The Santo Tomas Executive Committee administered relief measures in all four camps.
  2. In telegram 725, March 4, to Bern, the Department stated: “In view of the situation outlined in Department’s 275 of January 27, it is considered highly desirable to get financial assistance to prisoners of war in the Philippines on the same basis as is being done for civilian internees.” (711.94114A/366a) For text of telegram 275, see p. 925.
  3. Telegram 983, February 17, 11 a.m., from Bern, advised of a report from the Swiss Legation in Japan that regular yen, with a value approximately equal to that of Swiss francs, was intended and that it would be desirable to increase monthly relief to 150,000 yen because of the rising cost of living (740.00115A Pacific War/1038).