740.00115A PW/4–945: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland ( Harrison )
1736. Reurdes 11,379, April 9.40 The food situation at Hyogo Civilian Internment Camp where internees are reported to be on a starvation diet is a matter of deep concern to the Department. As the internees physical condition has deteriorated to the point where they have approached the limit of resistance, it is feared that the continuance of such an inadequate diet can only have tragic consequences.
It is difficult to reconcile the insufficiency of the rations at the Hyogo Camp with the reports of 3,400 calories being supplied to the prisoner of war camp at Omori (reurdes 11,335, April 4) and to the prisoner of war hospital Higashi Shinagawa (reurdes 11,336, April 4), to the report that the food has greatly improved at the Nagasaki Civilian Internment Camp (reurdes 11,361, April 6), to the report of 3,500 calories being supplied to the Mukden prisoner of war camp (reurdes 11,120, March 14) and to the report that the food is satisfactory at the Shanghai prisoner of war camp.[Page 334]
Request Swiss Government to have Gorgé make strong representations to the Japanese Government to bring the rations at the Hyogo Camp up to the standard of rations reported at the above camps.
If the standard of rations at the above camps has also deteriorated to starvation point since the time the reports were rendered request Swiss Government to have Gorgé inform Japanese Government that the United States Government solemnly warns the Japanese Government that failure to protect the lives and health of American citizens in Japanese custody will have the most serious consequences for the responsible Japanese authorities.
[In telegram 1739, May 7, to Bern, the Department requested that the Swiss Government make strong representations to the Japanese Government to permit representatives of the protecting Power and the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit and report at once upon all camps in Japan where American prisoners of war were held. In telegram 1741, the same day, the Department requested that the Swiss Government protest most emphatically to the Japanese Government concerning the welfare and whereabouts of officer prisoners of war supposed to have been transferred from Formosa to Mukden. The texts of these communications are printed in Department of State Bulletin, September 9, 1945, page 353.]
- Despatches referred to in this telegram not printed.↩