855.001 Leopold/4–245: Telegram

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


428. Conferred today with Erskine and British Ambassador reference return of the King. Following meeting here the three of us conferred with Spaak.66 He was requested to inform us promptly if the Belgian Government had any requests or suggestions. He was told that, of course, there could be no duress or restraint upon the King’s person by military authorities and that responsibility for the program which would follow King’s release would be wholly in hands [Page 119] of Belgian Government. The British Ambassador stated that there had been discussed, but it was not offered as a suggestion, the possibility that King might remain in Germany until he could be contacted by a Belgian authority. Spaak seemed to think this might be something they would wish to suggest. Spaak’s reaction was one of great concern about the entire problem and a desire to be informed by military authorities immediately upon receiving any knowledge with reference to the King. I suggested this request be put into whatever suggestions or requests will be made to us tomorrow after he has consulted with Van Acker. Spaak also suggested that the military authorities keep secret the fact that the King had been found. This seemed to meet with some approval on part of British Ambassador and General Erskine. I pointed out, however, that in my opinion this was unwise and impossible and proper procedure would be to have a plan of action ready to be put into effect when King’s whereabouts are discovered and his person obtained. It was agreed finally by all that this was the desirable procedure. Spaak stated he would talk promptly with the Prime Minister and perhaps with Prince Regent and would have ready tomorrow whatever requests or suggestions the Belgian Government might care to make. I will cable again tomorrow after we have received suggestions of Government.

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  1. Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.