740.00115 PW/6–1945: Telegram

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

3227. Am[erican] Interests—Shanghai. Swiss note June 15 transmits following from Fontanel re hospitalization six internees civilian assembly centers.

Pursuant earlier arrangements camp sick were treated city hospital and Country Hospital at expense Swiss Cons. Jap military requisitioned latter April 1945. Since Feb. Jap Cons agreed with Jap Medical Association treat patients from civilian assembly centers exclusively at Saint Luke’s Hospital, 219 Kinkiang Road, and place them under strict control this organization. Admission general hospital now restricted special cases. As not previously consulted and all contact with sick refused, Fontanel rejected Jap request pay hospitalization costs Saint Luke. Following negotiations reimbursement these charges during which Jap threatened close hospital, Fontanel concluded arrangement indicated below with Jap Cons:

Swiss rep. agrees pay hospitalization costs procuring necessary funds on free market and sick signing promises repay.
Jap authorities transfer Am or Brit doctor from one of camps to give necessary medical care under supervision Jap chief physician.
Fontanel authorized have regular contact with hospital.

Fontanel considers foregoing very satisfactory permitting substantial reduction hospitalization costs. Inspected Saint Luke May 22, ascertaining urgent need hospital disinfection and improvement certain sanitary facilities especially baths. General conditions for treating all ordinary medical and surgical cases, however, satisfactory. On day visit 76 Am, Brit, Dutch, from camps at Saint Luke all complained inadequate diet, medicaments and presence bugs. Fontanel hopes arrangement concluded hospitalization costs will bring rapid improvement conditions Saint Luke.63

  1. In telegram 2132, June 25, 5 p.m., to Bern, the Department requested that its appreciation of the efforts of Mr. Fontanel on behalf of hospitalized internees at Shanghai be transmitted to him and that, if conditions did not improve, the Department be informed urgently (740.00115 PW/6–1945).