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711.94114A/11-1844: Telegram The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland

(Harrison)

WASHINGTON, November 18, 1944—midnight. 3933. American Interests-Far East-Repatriation. Please request Swiss Government to communicate with Gorgé in a secret code giving him the information in next following paragraph and asking that he take up with Japanese Government at the highest level feasible and on a confidential basis the proposal contained in the paragraphs ensuing thereafter.

The United States Government is aware that there are on the islands of Nauru, Jaluit, Maloelap, Wake, Mille, Wotje and Ocean Japanese garrisons in some numbers which are isolated and thus deprived of normal means of relief evacuation or supply. It is presumed that the condition of these Japanese garrisons is approaching that of the American defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and that they are a military liability to the Japanese.

The United States Government is willing to grant safe-conduct evacuation to the Japanese garrisons on Mille, Wotje, Jaluit, Ocean, Wake, Nauru and Maloelap, in exchange on a rank for rank basis for the return by the Japanese Government of a substantially equal number of United States, British Commonwealth (i. e. British and British Dominion) and Netherlands nationals who are held by the Japanese Government as prisoners of war.

The evacuation of the Japanese garrisons would occur upon or after the delivery of the United States and Allied prisoners of war to the point agreed upon, which delivery should be effected under appropriate assurances and safe conduct.

If the Japanese are willing to consider the above proposal, more detailed discussion may follow as to the means of accomplishing the proposed exchange.

If the Japanese raise either of the following questions either directly or by implication Gorgé may inform them:

(a) In regard to publicity or propaganda, that the United States Government

will not engage in publicity or propaganda over the making of this proposal.

(6) In regard to Article 74 of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention,74 that that article will not be considered by the United States Government as applicable to Japanese evacuated under this proposal.

Gorgé should telegraph date when the proposal is placed before Japanese and keep Department informed urgently and in fullest detail of Japanese reactions and other developments.

STETTINIUS

74

Signed July 27, 1929, Foreign Relations, 1929, vol. I, p. 336.

711.94114A/12–144 : Telegram

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

[Extract]

WASHINGTON, December 1, 1944–9 p. m. 4060. The following comment is provided for your background information and for possible use only to the extent that comment from Gorgé or from the Swiss Foreign Office may require you to discuss the points mentioned:

1. In so framing the proposal contained in its 3933, November 18, midnight, as to provide for the inclusion of some British Commonwealth and Netherlands prisoners of war, the Department was acting with the approval of and at the request of the British and Netherlands Governments for which it is also acting in respect of this particular proposal. In this connection, however, as bearing on the proportions of respective Allied personnel to be included in the exchange you should be guided in your discussion by the last paragraph of this telegram.

2. It is considered that on grounds of national prestige it may prove difficult to obtain Japanese acceptance of the principle of the new proposal. For that reason suggestions regarding such concrete details as the point of exchange, means of transportation and the proportion of American, British and Netherlands prisoners of war to be included, were not discussed in the initial communication in order not to inject practical objections into Japanese consideration of the scheme. A premature effort to establish a ratio between the prisoners of war of different nationalities might for instance confront the Japanese with such difficult problems in assembling and transporting prisoners from inconvenient areas as to make the basic proposal entirely unacceptable without further consideration.

3. If the Japanese evince any disposition whatever to discuss the proposal, it will become urgently necessary to find out from which areas they are most disposed to repatriate prisoners and the approximate distribution of prisoners by nationality in those areas. Such information is essential to the proper development of the negotiations and to a solution of the problem referred to in the last sentence of the preceding paragraph. Accordingly, if Gorgé's initial report indicates any possibility of success, please ask the Swiss to have him endeavor urgently to obtain this information.

4. It is assumed that the Japanese will wish not to make any public announcements on the subject if they accept the proposal and that they may wish that the transfers of Allied personnel necessary to effect the exchange have the appearance of transfers for Japanese convenience and not of evacuation or of repatriation. Even if this

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extends to a desire not to tell the prisoners of war that they are to be repatriated, there will be no objection.

STETTINIUS

711.94114A/12-1544: Telegram

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

BERN, December 15, 1944—noon.

[Received 7:34 p. m.] 8144. Far East Repatriation-American Interests. Foreign Office note December 11 states American proposal contained your 3933, November 18, submitted by Gorgé to Minister [Koichi?] Suzuki, Chief of Foreign Interests Division, Japanese Foreign Office. After briefly outlining this proposal to Suzuki, Gorgé offered to submit it directly to Shigemitsu 75 but Suzuki stated that, as this was a question to be decided by War Ministry, he would handle it himself. Gorgé explained entire proposal to Suzuki and to avoid misunderstanding left a memorandum. Suzuki gave no reply but promised examine matter with Foreign Office with view to submitting it to War Ministry.

HUDDLE

740.00115 PW 1939/10-544 : Telegram

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

WASHINGTON, December 15, 1944–10 p. m. 4228. American Interests-Far East. Please request Swiss to obtain expedited reply to Department's 3851, November 11, and preceding telegrams as Department is most anxious to continue with negotiations on this subject.

With reference to your 6632, October 5. Please request that Gorgé be informed that initial lists of Japanese civilians captured on Saipan and Tenian have already been provided Spanish Embassy Washington and that further lists of such nationals and of Japanese nationals captured on Guam will follow promptly.76

STETTINIUS

76

75 Mamoru Shigemitsu, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Telegram 249, January 16, 1945, 9 p. m., to Bern, stated that the United States Government had completed reporting to Spanish and International Red Cross channels the names of the 22,456 Japanese civilians taken in the Marianas and requested “that Gorgé now press Japanese Government to consider exchange of these persons against Americans in their control.” (740.00115 PW/1-1645)

711.94114A/1-1745

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

BERN, January 17, 1945–6 p. m.

[Received 10:50 p. m.] 338. American Interests-Japan_POW Repatriation. Legation's 8144, December 15. Foreign Office note, January 15, states Swiss Minister, Tokyo, received from Japanese Foreign Office memorandum dated January 6 to effect Japanese Government cannot consider exchange proposed Department's 3933, November 18. Gorgé adds Japanese memorandum indicates no reason for refusal and that Chief of Division Foreign Interests of Japanese Foreign Office was not able furnish explanation."

HUDDLE

76a

REPRESENTATIONS BY JAPAN REGARDING THE TREATMENT OF

JAPANESE NATIONALS BY THE UNITED STATES 77

702.9411A/88

The Swedish Minister (Boström) to the Secretary of State

The Minister of Sweden in charge of the Japanese interests in the Territory of Hawaii presents his compliments to the Honorable, the Secretary of State, and has the honor to forward, herewith, copy of a cablegram, dated January 26, 1944, containing a protest from the Japanese Government in reply to the notes of the Department of State of September 8 and 9, 1943,78 concerning the treatment of the personnel of the former Japanese Consulate General in Honolulu after the outbreak of the war in December 1941.

WASHINGTON, February 2, 1944.
No. 153/4-T-V

[Enclosure] CABLEGRAM DATED JANUARY 26, 1944, ADDRESSED TO THE SWEDISII

LEGATION, BY THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS B, STOCKHOLM B-7. Your B-48 last year. Please transmit to American Government following protest of Japanese Government dated January 21st, 1944.

76a In telegram 162, January 10, noon, Bern reported a Japanese Foreign Office spokesman, in a discussion with Mr. Gorgé, could give no assurances of an exchange arrangement because "final decision rests with military authorities” (740.00115 PW/1-1045). 77 Continued from Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. III, pp. 1046–1080.

Ibid., pp. 1069 and 1072, respectively. The second note was addressed to the Spanish Embassy.

78

Japanese Government have received notes of United States Government dated 8th and 9th September, 1943, in reply to Japanese protest 79 regarding maltreatment accorded by United States authorities to Japanese Consul-General at Honolulu and his staff.

Japanese protest is based upon facts. Various injustices and hardships which were actually experienced by Kita and his staff have been pointed out in Japanese note. Though American reply says that "careful consideration has been given to Japanese protest”, it consists of mere denials, and no satisfactory explanation of matters raised in protest is given. It may be either that American officials who were in charge of group did not report full facts to Government or that they made a wilful misrepresentation in order to conceal their misbehaviour.

Japanese Government invite United States Government to give reconsideration to, and make reinvestigation of, following matters.

Primo. It is stated in American reply that “Mr. Kita later expressed his appreciation for considerate treatment he and his staff had received”. This apparently refers to fact that, when on day of outbreak of hostilities Mr. Gabrielson, Chief of Honolulu police force, came and intimated to Kita that in view of seriousness of situation he was sending a squad of policemen to protect Consulate-General, Consul-General said that he had no objection to such steps being taken. But American reply makes no mention of unwarrantable conduct of eight or nine armed officials who soon after noon of same day forced their way into Consulate buildings, placed Consul-General and his staff under restraint, searched, and took away their belongings.

The treatment given by American authorities to Japanese ConsulGeneral at Honolulu and his staff may be divided into following several periods, namely, (A) December 7th, 1941, (B) from December 8th, 1941, till January 21st, 1942, inclusive period during which Japanese Consul-General and his staff were detained in offices of ConsulateGeneral, (C) from January 21st till February 8th, 1942, inclusive period during which they were detained in official residence of ConsulGeneral, (D) during their transport from Honolulu to American Continent, (E) during their detention in Arizona on and from February 10th, 1942, (F) from time of their departure from Arizona till their embarkation on exchange ship.so Treatment given them during one of these periods differs from that of during another, and American reply only refers to such periods as are most favourable to American contention. Kita, when he visited Col. Green 81 on Decem

79

80

See note B-113 from the Swedish Minister, December 31, 1942, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. III, p. 1059.

For correspondence on exchange agreement with Japan in 1942, see ibid., 1942, vol. I, pp. 377 ff.

81 Col. Thomas H. Green, Executive to the Military Governor of Hawaii.

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