711.94115 Exchange/10–2444: Telegram

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

7047. American Interests—Far East—Repatriation. Foreign Office note October 20, referring Legation’s 679 [6790], October 11, states Gorgé again intervened personally October 10 Japanese Foreign Office to discuss American and British repatriation.

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Gorgé received from interview impression that this question still faces great difficulties particularly concerning transportation as Japanese authorities probably have no ship available for exchange. Under these conditions discussion made no progress. Furthermore during previous discussions Japanese Foreign Office officials had vaguely given to understand but without any obligation that problem might be solved if neutral vessel might be made available. This neutral vessel however should have Japanese crew for military authorities could not admit in Japanese-controlled waters vessel with neutral crew.

These suggestions were personal opinions but as matter being delayed Gorgé felt obliged present them American and British Governments and requests opinions. Gorgé thinks that if American and British Governments make available civilian exchange vessel which would have Japanese crew one or more exchanges might be effect[ed].

Foreign Office official telephoned this morning stating that view foregoing from Gorgé absolutely no purpose might be gained transmitting to Tokyo Department’s 3566, October 19, which is being held Bern pending instructions as only possibility further exchange appears based on availability neutral ship which might proceed neutral port where could take on Japanese crew.