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This Committee is not, however, a general relief organization, nor has it any funds of its own for the relief of those in distress. Its functions are rather to oversee and direct rather than actually to administer relief, and these functions may be summarized as follows:
1. To investigate, at the request of the Legations, appeals for aid and assistance which are received from the families of interned alien enemies, in order that the Legations may be informed whether the appeal is genuine, what the real need of the applicant is, and how long that need is or will be continued, so that the Legations may grant relief from funds in their possession with the assurance that they are not being imposed upon.
2. To direct and encourage the relief, through the numerous local organizations throughout the country, of the law-abiding Germans and Austro-Hungarians resident in the United States who are in need of financial or other assistance on account of discrimination and prejudice against them arising out of their nationality or from other causes directly or indirectly attributa
ble to the war. Appeals made to the Committee for Relief will be promptly investigated and, if the request is a proper one, adequate assistance will be rendered, if possible, through an appropriate local relief society under the direction of this Committee. In the event of the Committee learning from time to time of alleged discrimination against or unfair treatment of innocent alien enemies through prejudice, fear of their disloyalty, or for any other reasons incident to the war, such cases will be carefully looked into and the facts with reference thereto will be ascertained. If it appears that this discrimination is unwarranted, the assistance of local aid societies and loyal citizens will be enlisted to allay these groundless fears to insure fair treatment in the future of those discriminated against.
The members of the Committee are giving generously of their time and thought to make this plan a success and will not receive compensation of any kind. On the contrary, the expenses incident to the maintenance of an office and the carrying on of its work are being defrayed by the contributions received from the various members of the Committee.
The object is a most worthy one and one which should appeal to the sense of justice of all fair-minded Americans and the zeal and enthusiasm exhibited by the members of the Committee in carrying on the work insure its success, provided that it receives the cooperation and sympathy of the American people in general and especially of the local relief societies.
The National Alien Enemy Relief Committee membership is as follows:
[Here follows a list of names.]
File No. 763.72115/3362
The Secretary of State to the Swedish Minister (Ekengren) The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Minister of Sweden, in charge of Austro-Hungarian interests in the United States, and has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of his memorandum of July 5 , 1918, submitting an extract of a cablegram received from the Foreign Office in Stockholm stating that the Austro-Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noticed an increase in the internment of Austrian and Hungarian subjects in the United States, and desires to notify the American Government that should such internment of Austrian and Hungarian subjects, without valid cause (as seems to have been the case with Messrs. Kunwald and Pohl) continue, such a proceeding could not but have a corresponding effect on the treatment of American citizens in Austria-Hungary.
In reply the Secretary of State informs the Minister of Sweden that Austrian and Hungarian nationals have not, at any time, been interned by the Government of the United States without good cause. No change in this policy has taken place, or will take place in the future.
Relative to the internment of Mr. Kunwald, a careful consideration of the facts led this Government to consider that his internment was fully justified, and his internment was consequently ordered.
Several men by the name of Pohl have been interned and it is not possible to identify the Mr. Pohl to whom reference is had by the Austro-Hungarian Government.
WASHINGTON, September 17, 1918.
File No. 763.72115/3379
The Minister in Switzerland (Stovall) to the Secretary of State
BERNE, September 10, 1918.
[Received September 28.] Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith copy of a communication from the Royal Spanish Embassy at Vienna of the 5th ultimo 1 enclosing copy and translation of a note from the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs to the effect that American citizens are at the moment neither interned nor confined in the Monarchy.
As the Department is aware I have requested the Spanish Embassy to investigate numerous cases of persons claiming American citizenship, who appear to be interned or confined. I have [etc.]
PLEASANT A. STOVALL
File No. 763.72115/3380
The Swiss Chargé (Oederlin) to the Secretary of State
The Chargé d'Affaires a. i. of Switzerland, representing German interests in the United States, presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and, pursuant to his memorandum dated September 16, 1918, regarding the internment of German women in the United States, has the honor to transmit to His Excellency copies of two communications from the German Government transmitted by the Swiss Foreign Office:
(1) Note verbale, dated August 31, 1918.
(2) Note verbale, dated August 12, 1918. The Chargé d'Affaires a. i. will be happy to communicate the reply of His Excellency to the Swiss Foreign Office, for transmission to the German Government. WASHINGTON, September 30, 1918.
[Received October 1.]
The German Foreign Office to the Swiss Legation at Berlin No. III-6-26346 121159
NOTE VERBALE The Foreign Office has the honor with reference to the Swiss Legation's notes verbales of April 27, May 2, June 1, and July 12, marked A.XII Gen. 1/21436, A.XII Gen. 1/21715, A.XII Gen. 1/23473 and A.XII Gen. 1/25563, to request that the Swiss Legation at Washington be informed by telegraph that in Germany neither men nor women of American citizenship are interned in a general way.
The exceptions are merely 16 men whose action made it necessary to intern them in a prisoner camp. Whether married women are to be quartered together with their husbands in the same camp is a question on which position need not be taken since in Germany suspects only and not members of their families above suspicion are interned.
In view of the German Government's attitude toward American citizens the Swiss Legation at Washington is requested to enter an emphatic protest with the Government of the United States against internment on such a scale as is contemplated in America. It should be pointed out to the American Government that the compulsory internment above all of German women in America against whom no charge can be brought is wholly unjustifiable. This would particularly apply to German women who should be interned on the only ground that their husbands are in internment camps.
* Not printed.
The Swiss Legation at Washington is further requested to report at the earliest possible date the results of the steps taken by it on the subject. It is particularly requested to ascertain whether, and to what extent, women against whom there stands no wellsubstantiated suspicion that they endanger the safety of the state, have been interned. It is further expected to receive a full list of all
a the German men and women interned in the United States with a statement of the grounds upon which they were interned.
BERLIN, August 12, 1918.
The German Foreign Office to the Swiss Legation at Berlin No.III-C-18931 132046
NOTE VERBALE The Swedish Consulate General at Moscow has made requests to have a safe-conduct from St. Petersburg to Stockholm granted to the widow of the former American Consul General at Moscow, Mrs. Summers, her 12-year-old son, and Miss Helen Ogden, who had been employed in the Russian Section of the American Y.W.C.A.
The German Government is constrained to condition compliance with this wish on the previous assurance to be given by the Government of the United States of America that German women in America will be exempt from any kind of internment.
The Foreign Office begs the Swiss Legation to make the foregoing known by wire to the American Government, and to communicate its answer to this office in due course.
BERLIN, August 31, 1918.
File No. 763.72115/3379
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Stovall)
WASHINGTON, October 2, 1918, 3 p. m. 3047. Your despatch 4437, September 10, 1918. Department assumes that you will draw attention of Austro-Hungarian authorities through Spanish Embassy, Vienna, to inaccuracy of its statement, illustrating your point by citing certain pertinent cases.
File No. 763.72114/4160
The Secretary of State to the Swiss Minister (Sulzer)
WASHINGTON, November 15, 1918. The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Minister of Switzerland, in charge of German interests in the United States, and referring to a memorandum, dated September 25, 1918, from the Chargé d'Affaires ad interim, inquiring what status has been accorded to the former employees of the former German merchant steamship companies who have recently been transferred from Hot Springs to Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., and what regulations will be applied in their case with reference to obligations of work, provision and manner of clothing, and amount of pay and nourishment, has the honor to inform the Minister that these men are held under a presidential warrant issued by the Attorney General and are in the custody of the War Department.
Although, except in certain individual cases, these men have not been ordered interned for the duration of the war, they are held in the same manner as interned alien enemies, subject to the regulations which apply to other men of this class. The commanding officer in charge of the War Prison Barracks at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., where these men are confined, has, however, stated that due to their being of a different character from the majority of the other alien enemies at Fort Oglethorpe, he has arranged to mess and quarter them apart from the others and to work them in separate gangs. The work required of these men is only such as is necessary for the maintenance and upkeep of their barracks and the walks, roads, and grounds generally which pertain thereto.
From the point of view of parole, these men will be treated precisely as they were when they were at the internment camp at Hot Springs in the custody of the Department of Labor, and while the officers will not be paroled, except in extraordinary cases where the officer is sick or where he has a dependent family in this country in such condition that the ordinary dictates of humanity require his release, the seamen will still be considered available for parole as employment is secured for them which they are willing to accept. In all respects, except as indicated above, these men will be treated precisely as other alien enemies interned for the duration of the war.