390.1115A/1774: Telegram

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

1526. Am[erican] Interests—Hong Kong. Legation’s airmail 6493, November 6.25 Foreign Office note March 8 refers special situation Hong Kong created by Japanese authorities refusing Swiss Legation, Tokyo, have Hong Kong representative. Swiss Legation however able use services Intercross delegate especially payment financial assistance. Note points out Intercross feels important its delegate should not be considered by Japanese as representative protecting Power for action might be taken creating difficulties his fulfilment Intercross duties.

Owing foregoing and as Japanese appear have acquiesced to Intercross delegate according relief Swiss protected nationals Hong Kong, Foreign Office feels it preferable Swiss Legation, Tokyo, should no longer concern itself these matters and that Department’s and Legation’s decisions regarding relief Americans Hong Kong and necessary funds be transmitted Intercross delegate via Intercross Geneva.

In conclusion Swiss note states Gorgé recently telegraphed problem representation interests Hong Kong not yet settled and he constantly [Page 1024] examining with Japanese Foreign Office possibility have agent Hong Kong other than Intercross delegate.

In opinion of ranking Foreign Office official, Gorgé has small chance being permitted appoint agent Hong Kong. Japanese will probably not refuse request but will adopt dilatory tactics. To avoid jeopardizing Zindel’s valuable assistance as Intercross delegate to American POWs and civilian internees Hong Kong by Japanese objections his activities as agent Swiss Legation, Tokyo, Foreign Office official recommends communications be established via Intercross Geneva. Effect of the procedure might be temporary and, should Gorgé obtain Japanese authorization establish agency Hong Kong, communications could be resumed via Bern, Tokyo.

Legation concurs in this procedure. Please instruct.26

  1. Not printed.
  2. In telegram 892, March 18, 4 p.m., to Bern, the Department indicated its concurrence but without prejudice to continued effort for Swiss representation at Hong Kong (390.1115A/1732).