711.94115 Exchange/7–1944: Telegram

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

2549. American Interests—Far East. Your 4606, July 19, noon. Department’s proposal for overland repatriation across Soviet-Manchurian [Page 1090] frontier was based upon possibility Japanese might agree to exchange of nationals by utilizing railroad transportation to and from points on Asiatic mainland to and from Manchouli or some other Siberian frontier point. Japanese to be repatriated could be delivered at a Siberian port by a vessel under neutral supervision and could be released onto Soviet territory simultaneously with release of American repatriates onto Soviet territory at a point to be agreed upon. Each exchanged group would then travel to its respective homeland via the reverse of the route traveled by the other to the exchange point.

Number of persons who could be accommodated at any time would presumably be limited. However the important element of the suggestion is that facilities be established so that exchanges, however limited in number, be able to take place on a continuing basis so as to give hope to those internees on both sides who seek repatriation. It would seem that such a development is essential for the maintenance of morale of the American and the Japanese internees held by the respective Governments. It is hoped that the Japanese in view of their traditional attitude should be particularly sensible of the grave predicament of so many young children who are now confined behind barbed wire on both sides.

It is hoped that the foregoing will assist Gorgé in clarifying to the Japanese the proposal in Department’s 2189 of June 27 which was intended to supplement not supplant its other repatriation proposals the study of which is apparently requiring considerable time in Tokyo.