711.93114A/51: Telegram

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

1386. American Interests—China. Department’s 538, February 17, my 1349, March 6. Foreign Office note March 4, received March 6 subsequent to delivery contents Department’s 730, March 4, states Swiss Consulate, Shanghai, reports:

POWs receive no relief of any sort from Swiss Consulate. As Japanese object payment assistance from official funds, relief granted 877 American POWs detained Kiangwan exclusively by Intercross delegate who sends each month relief in kind financed Red Cross funds. Due this aid conditions rather satisfactory.
760 interned Americans (530 Shanghai region and 230 outports especially Weihsien) received until suspension relief 1200 CRB monthly each. Upon resumption payments, relief should be increased to at least 2500 CRB due increase cost living. Internees also received special assistance, rice, medical care. To replace suspended comfort allotments, Fontanel is endeavoring send necessary collective foodstuffs, medicine, clothing, shoes as donation via Intercross. He estimates 2500 CRB necessary per person monthly for only foodstuffs but not sure Jap authorities will permit such increase in deliveries made camps by Intercross. During February considerable deliveries effected but still insufficient. Fontanel studying possibility send via Intercross monthly individual packages to internees not receiving gifts in kind from neutral friends. Packages might be 15 pounds costing 2000 CRB.22
506 Americans uninterned China including alien dependents benefiting relief. 220 Filipinos assisted. 5500 CRB accorded in February per person not including medical hospital and special assistance food and clothing. If payments resumed, relief should be increased to at least 7500 CRB due increase cost living.23

  1. Telegram 1826, March 24, 10 p.m., from Bern, advised of a report from Mr. Fontanel that “Japanese authorities refuse [to] forward foodstuffs he had given Intercross delegate for American, British and Dutch civilian internees [and] therefore no assistance in kind can be granted them.” (711.93114A/59)
  2. In telegram 1009, March 25, 10 p.m., the Department requested the Minister in Switzerland to “Discuss with Swiss Government the possibility that Fontanel might be able to meet his CRB dollar needs in part by transactions at official rate and in part otherwise.” (711.93114A/51)