Cablegram Winch 2 LONDON, 14 July 1944, 9.40 p.m.
The President has sent us my immediately following telegram. We
all think here it would be right to do this now in spite of the
divers and the pilots. Here we are getting more divers than
pilots. All good wishes and congratulations on your safe return.
Cablegram Winch 3
Following is the message referred to in my immediately preceding
'Both you and we are negotiating to exchange Japanese civilian
prisoners held by each of us for British and American civilians
held by Japan. The likelihood is that such an exchange may be the
only way of saving the lives of hundreds of your and our
There is a snag on both sides. The Japanese want us to release
three hundred odd divers and pilots held in Australia, my military
people do not agree to their release, and as a result your
exchange negotiations have bogged down.
In our exchange the snag is that the Japanese Government insists
that Japanese officials coming out shall not be searched while
your people insist on search. The immediate case concerns
officials coming out of Argentina. in result, our negotiations
will bog down when we inform the Japanese of this requirement.
It seems to me that the military considerations in either case are
now very small. Japanese officials cannot carry any effective
quantities even of valuable contraband. On the other hand, our
naval affairs in the Pacific are proceeding well and the Japanese
divers and pilots held in Australia cannot be of great help to the
Japanese even in respect to Far Eastern installations in view of
our present sea and air superiority.
My suggestion is that you give directions to your people to waive
the search of Japanese officials, I will be prepared to recommend
to our people that they let the divers and pilots be exchanged.
This, at least, will give a reasonable chance that both exchanges
might go through, saving many hundreds of both American and
British from slow death.
Please cable me of your views. I think the technical people are
over-emphasising the importance of considerations quite proper in
themselves but which should be overriden by the higher