The Minister in Switzerland (Harrison) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10:21 p.m.]
1349. American Interests, China. Legation’s 1078, February 22. Foreign Office note March 2 states Swiss Consul, Shanghai, reported following prior to receipt contents Department’s 538, February 17; arrangements made with Intercross18 delegate for regular expedition gifts in kind and money to internees to ameliorate their situation. Fontanel organized service send internees packages containing essential foodstuffs. Japanese authorities seem disposed accept this indirect procedure which permits Fontanel finance assistance from CRB dollars available. Nevertheless such procedure excludes obtention promise repay.
Payment pocket money for Haiphong road camp continues but only as donations via Intercross.
Fontanel has been informed indirectly that situation camps seems difficult due lack foodstuffs necessary aged and children and defective equipment especially internment camp Chapei recently established (see Legation’s 81, January 519) where many aged and infirm suffering from privations and winter.
View foregoing and assistance now furnished internees via Intercross, Fontanel inquires whether Russian [United States?] Government disposed approve transmission funds China at official rate permitting payment pocket money especially as food is most important problem. At present free exchange rate 100 CRB dollars worth less one Swiss franc and official Japanese rate increases cost relief 20 times. Fontanel refers Legation’s 1078 and confirms relief non-interned mostly Asiatics suspended since February 15. He nevertheless will examine possibility assistance such persons via Intercross.