The Minister in Switzerland (Harrison) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 22—7:30 p.m.]
1078. American Interests—China. Department’s 538 transmitted Swiss Foreign Office February 19. Foreign Office note February 18 received February 21, refers contents Legation’s 822, February 10, and states Swiss Consul, Shanghai, reports Japanese Consulate, Shanghai, decided immediate suspension all payment financial assistance Swiss protected nationals. This decision attributable failure Yokohama Specie Bank receive Swiss francs.[Page 1018]
Fontanel notes suspension relief affects approximately 432 Americans and 209 Filipinos. 1452 British and Dutch likewise deprived. During January 1, 828,000 CEB dollars paid Americans and 338,000 CRB dollars Filipinos.
Notwithstanding precarious situation recipients Fontanel feels obliged cease relief payments to avoid greater difficulties Japanese authorities.
Transmitting foregoing Fontanel again invites attention situation resulting constant depreciation CRB dollar which would have necessitated increase approximately 50% relief February total, low [for] recipients’ minimum existence. Fontanel observes that at rate proposed by Japanese believes doubtful interest Governments to be disposed bear high cost which minimum relief to Swiss protected nationals would entail.
Fontanel desires urgent indication relief he permitted accord.