711.93114A/3–945: Telegram

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

1512. American Interests, China. Legation’s airgram 753, December 5.25 Intercross informed Legation March 7 that Shanghai delegate Egle with assistant just visited Haiphong Road camp February 10 and gives following report which requests be treated confidentially and in no circumstances published:

Two days prior to visit Egle received underground report from internees’ representative that no bread received for 3 days and food supplies very bad. Commandant previously informed Egle camp caused much trouble because internees lack discipline, refusal cooperate in administration, and complaints elderly internees accustomed luxuries, particularly concerning separation from families now interned assembly centers.

Interview of representative held commandant’s office before visit where uncordial relations observed and constraint on part representative. During inspection internee, who obliged stand attention, showed bitterness, discontent, refused talk. Even British medical officer refused reply Egle’s questions and delegates unable obtain information concerning health, food. Delegates verified internees forbidden talk under threats sanctions, and representative whispered he had many things discuss but warned not to speak. Camp contains 315 internees, 17 hospitalized, canteen empty, kitchens contained only supplies furnished by Swiss Consulate, no heating, electric light 2 hours daily, dormitories lugubrious.

Egle unable account for contrast with POW camps run by same commandant where conditions satisfactory, but will endeavor obtain explanation from commandant who also appears unsatisfied and may accept offer collaboration in obtaining improvement.

  1. Not printed.