703.5493/8–2545: Telegram

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

2640. Am[erican] interests—Far East. Re Fontanel’s query urtel 4000 Aug 2576 Dept anticipates early reopening Am consular offices in areas outside Japan proper and Korea formerly occupied by the Japanese, the first offices probably to be opened in China. Accordingly inform FonOff along following lines:

Swiss should anticipate liquidation representation Am interests and relinquishment those interests to Am consular officers appropriately identified. Reopening of Am consular offices will be progressive rather than simultaneous and details of transfer will of necessity be determined by local conditions on ad hoc basis.
Request Swiss representatives in Far East be instructed as were those in Europe to cooperate with Am representative returning to them protection of Am interests in respect of separate functions as may seem most convenient to Am and Swiss representatives in consultation. Dept, appreciative of Swiss services regarding protection Am interests in Far East, desires to capitalize so far as possible upon Swiss experience, records and personnel. Accordingly Dept deems it desirable that Swiss continue to handle routine matters in protection of Am interests Far East to extent their facilities permit until such time as Dept’s representatives are able to take over such functions in specified geographical areas and along clearly delimited functional lines. Such transfer of interests should be carefully integrated with the Dept’s representatives’ ability to take over and Swiss ability to continue handling such interests.
Pending ability of American representatives to accept transfer of services involving disbursement of funds Dept will continue to make funds available to Swiss through Bern.
Dept will endeavor to assure Swiss in Far East of a means of communication re Am interests.

Presumably foregoing procedure would meet Fontanel’s needs and at same time accomplish Dept’s ends.

Repeated to Manila, Chungking and New Delhi for information of appropriate military authorities.

[Page 1017]

[The relinquishment by the Swiss Government of representation of American interests in the Far East was effected by various formal and informal measures after the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945.

The process began at Tokyo where the American Embassy Building and annexes and their contents were turned over to American authorities on September 5. A similar transfer of physical properties at Yokohama was effected on November 27. Complete assumption of protective functions in Japan was completed by January 10, 1946.

The Consul General at Shanghai resumed protection of American interests on November 1, 1945. American authorities took over the official premises at Tsingtao, as well as furniture and archives, on November 27. Representation functions at Hankow were relinquished by Swiss authorities on or just prior to December 6 and at Canton on December 19. At Dairen, where there was no Swiss representative then present, the Consul General made a determination that May 20, 1946, was the date of relinquishment of protective functions by the Swiss.

The Consul General at Batavia began protection of the interests of local Americans with his arrival on October 21, 1945, for there were then no Swiss consular representatives in the Netherlands Indies exercising protective functions.

The protocol transferring the compound of the American Consulate General at Seoul, together with furniture and equipment, was signed November 19.

The Chargé at Bangkok notified the Swiss Consul on January 5, 1946, that he was taking over the protection of American interests in Siam.

The Consul General at Singapore reported on February 12, 1946, that he was now able to assume full responsibility for protection of American interests in his jurisdiction.

Memoranda of transfers of representation at Saigon and Hanoi were signed by American and Swiss representatives on March 30 and April 27, 1946, respectively.]

  1. Not printed; it stated that Emile Fontanel, Swiss Consul General at Shanghai, desired information as to whether, effective with the signature of peace, he was automatically relieved of representation of United States interests (703.5493/8–2545).