855.001 Leopold/3–2645: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Belgium (Sawyer)

239. Redeptel 229. We have seen the British Foreign Office telegram of March 29 (repeated to Embassy here as No. 3029) and are in general agreement with its terms. You are authorized to use as the basis of discussion with the Belgian authorities the suggestion contained in paragraph four thereof, provided that SHAEF62 agrees. If you have not yet established the liaison with SHAEF contemplated in Deptel 215, March 23,63 you may request the assistance of Reber,64 to whom this message has been repeated.

Your guiding principles should be: (1) that no recommendation as to the disposal of the king should be made except at the express request of the Belgian Government, (2) that no recommendation for action on the part of the Allied military authorities involve duress or restraint upon the king’s person and (3) that the responsibility as to the king’s future rests squarely on the shoulders of the Belgian Government.

We are not presently in favor of the Swiss solution until after members of the Government have seen the king and agreement has been reached on this point.

Please cable such plan of action as you are able to agree on so that recommendation may be made to the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Code Room: Please repeat to Paris65 with following opening paragraph:

For Reber: This cable to Brussels concerns suggestions that the return of Leopold to Belgium after his liberation be delayed until his Government has had a chance to confer with him. SHAEF’s existing directive is contained in Facs 92, October 6, 1944. Please render such assistance as Ambassador Sawyer may request.

  1. Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Samuel Reber, United States Political Officer at SHAEF.
  4. Repeated to Paris as No. 1261.