340.1115A/542: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium (Cudahy) to the Secretary of State

88. The Department’s No. 43 of April 16, 6 p.m., and my No. 86 of April 18, 5 p.m.20 Investigation of situation in Belgium in regard to Americans disclosed that greater number have permanent business connections and have expressed intention to remain until such time as this country is actually involved in hostilities.

There are a number of others of small means who have small properties or incomes here and have resided in Belgium for many years. They have no occupation or close family ties in the United States. A large number would in my opinion become public charges if transported to the United States at this time.

The following information in reply to Department’s telegram should be considered in the light of the above observations:

Estimated number of Americans and the members of their families who might be prevailed upon to leave Belgium to return to the United States prior to an invasion: 136.
Of these possibly 121 have no funds or insufficient funds for the journey and could probably not obtain them from the United States. Minimum cost of journey from Belgium to the United States approximately $275 per person. An allotment of $28,000 would be necessary to cover the total cost of transportation of 74 persons and a substantial portion of the cost in the case of 37 others.
Evacuation of American citizens via France to Mediterranean ports at present involves no serious difficulty.
Every effort short of advancing money to pay for transportation has already been made to persuade Americans to leave the country. Even if funds are to be provided for transportation there are some cases of alien wives and children who are likely to become public charges and the Consulate General is of the opinion that they would not be eligible for immigration visas under the existing law and regulations.

  1. Latter not printed.