The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Eden) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Ed: The Prime Minister has now suggested the addition of the following words to the warning about United Nations prisoners of war in Germany to be issued over the names of the President, the Prime Minister and Marshal Stalin:

“On the other hand those who help to preserve the lives of prisoners of war, deported citizens and internees of the United Nations at risk to themselves may be sure that their services will be taken into full consideration by the Allied Powers.”

I think such an addition would be valuable and I should be grateful if you would have your people let the Embassy here know as soon as possible whether it is agreeable to the United States Government.16 We are putting the same proposal to the Soviet Government through our Embassy in Moscow.

I should make clear that owing to printing arrangements it will not in any case be possible to get this addition into the first and second [Page 709] editions of the leaflets being prepared in London for issue tonight and a third printing would be required.17

I enclose a fair text of the warning as it would read including the Soviet amendments and the Prime Minister’s addition.18

Anthony Eden
  1. In a reply overtaken by events, the Acting Secretary of State (Grew) wrote to the British Minister (Balfour) on April 28, 1945, as follows: “The Secretaries of War and the Navy have advised me that they and the Joint Chiefs of Staff approve the addition which the British Government wishes to make to the warning addressed to the Germans as to treatment of prisoners of war. They feel that it would be preferable to omit the words ‘at risk to themselves’.” (762.00114/4—2745)
  2. In a letter of April 26, Mr. D. D. Maclean of the British Embassy confirmed to Mr. Gufler that, according to a telegram just received from the Foreign Office, “the Prime Minister doubts whether, in view of the time which must now elapse before it will be possible to clear the matter with Moscow, Washington and Paris, it is still practicable to issue a further edition of the leaflet including General de Gaulle’s name and the additional sentence”. (762.00114/4–2645)
  3. Not printed. Except for the proposed additional paragraph, this text was substantially the same as the one actually used, printed infra.