856.48/5–245: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State

2279. From Murphy. Generals Smith and Strong of SHAEF returned today after their meeting yesterday with Seyss-Inquart and a [Page 24] delegation, of 26 Germans. Despite threats Seyss-Inquart yielded nothing on the matter of negotiations for a surrender or truce stating that as Civil Administrator he was competent only to discuss the supplying of Holland with food. He said western Holland was a fortress area for whose defense the German military commander was responsible. When a telegram from Swiss was read to the Germans stating that the Swiss had been informed by German officials that a central administration had ceased in practice to exist the Germans said they were in full touch with the German Government and High Command. In contrast to their attitude on military affairs the Germans were willing to facilitate arrangements for the supply of food. They opposed dropping by air which they said was wasteful as so many of the drops were misdirected and fell in canals. Agreement was reached on the transport of food by rail at one point through the lines and also through the port of Amsterdam to which first ship will proceed on Friday. Drops by air may, however, be continued to assure distribution to outlying regions. [Murphy.]