740.00115A P.W./1–2245: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Switzerland (Huddle)

586. American Interests—China. The Japanese action described in your 453, January 22, 11 a.m., appears to the Department to be an unprecedented and unwarranted interference in the routine functions of the protecting Power. The United States Government has not undertaken to influence in any way the extent of financial payments made to enemy nationals in this country by the protecting Powers.

Department satisfied that amounts of payments established by Swiss are necessary to maintenance of health and life of Americans whether or not interned and that arbitrary action of Japanese is incompatible with humanitarian obligations of Japanese Government and with established facts regarding cost of living in Shanghai area. It is requested that the Swiss Government bring this matter to the attention of the appropriate authorities at Tokyo with the request that remedial measures be taken. Telegraph Department results reported by Gorgé58 in order that further steps may be considered if necessary.

If Gorgé considers it useful he may point out to the Japanese that while the Spanish in charge of Japanese interests in the United States have not received complete directives from the Japanese Government regarding the disbursement of funds provided by the Japanese for the relief of their destitute nationals in this country, the attitude of United States Government toward the execution of such directives as may eventually be issued must necessarily be colored by such situations as that which has arisen at Shanghai.

  1. Camille Gorgé, Swiss Minister in Japan.