The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland ( Harrison )
822. American Interests—Far East. It is hard for the Department to escape the conclusion that the difficulties at Shanghai referred to in the Department’s immediately preceding telegram,24 in your 1078, February 22, 12 a.m., and in associated messages are at least in part attributable to a misguided effort on Fontanel’ part to attempt to economize on our behalf by financing all of the expenses of our representation through black market operations. This is substantially confirmed by reports from repatriates with a knowledge of finance. It is the view of the Department that some of these difficulties might have been obviated had Fontanel been more judicious in purchasing at least a part of his requirements at the official rate. While this Government at this particular juncture does not want to interfere with the manner in which the Swiss acquire local currency, a discreetly planted suggestion that Fontanel might now act along these lines may yet lead to a solution of the difficulty.
- No. 821, not printed.↩