File No. 763.72112/2057

The Swedish Minister (Ekengren) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have been instructed by my Government to communicate the following to your excellency:

The Royal Swedish Government has with great satisfaction taken part of the contents of the note of the 5th instant addressed by the Government of the United States to the Government of Great Britain, and has thought itself justified to regard the same as demonstrating the firm decision of the United States to champion the rights accorded by generally accepted international principles to neutral states with regard to navigation and commerce, The Royal Government therefore confidently hopes that the present conditions, the illegal and disastrous character of which the note so well points out, will undergo a material change for the better, the Royal Government not being able to imagine that the note referred to above should have only academic interest and be devoid of value as an expression of the policy decided upon by the United States.

Especially to the following proposition the note undoubtedly gives undivided support. His Majesty’s Government has with some surprise received the information from New York that the transportation from the United States to Sweden of almost all kinds of provisions and many other articles is refused by the steamship agents unless a special permission has been granted by the British Government. That the exportation of a country’s own products should be dependent upon the permission of a foreign government seems extraordinary from a Swedish point of view. But apart from that, the Swedish Government can not omit to draw the attention of the United States Government to how far such an arrangement is from being in accord with what has been said in the note of November 5. Among other things the said note protests: against violations of neutral cargoes committed by the British authorities on the open sea. But by the arrangement just mentioned the British authorities are given the opportunity to exercise control already before the shipment has left port.

In view of the above it is asked whether the Government of the United States would be willing to take measures with the point in view of removing these wrongs whereby perfectly legal exportation of a number of articles from this country to Sweden is materially hampered.

With renewed assurances [etc.]

W. A. F. Ekengren