File No. 659.119/70

The Danish Minister ( Brun) to the Secretary of State

J. No. 40.A.XXIX

Sir: On July 24 the American Government through the agency of Mr. Hoover delivered to the commercial department of the Danish Legation a memorandum1 setting forth the necessity for regulating the export of supplies to Denmark and, while expressing the greatest concern in the well-being of the people of Denmark and declaring the reduction in the export of supplies to the barest minimum necessitated, declared this to be only an intermediate situation and added the expectation that a mutual arrangement on a basis described in some detail might be arrived at.

On September 5 I had the honor to transmit to you a reply from the Danish Government in a memorandum,2 which in the first place gave an expression to our invariably cordial and friendly feelings towards the United States, and in the second place, while explaining again the economic policy of Denmark as followed in the present war and dictated by our neutrality, pointed out the hardships and difficulties [Page 1046]in which the embargo of the United States had placed Denmark and would create for Denmark in the future, and the sacrifices already made by Denmark in the interest of the Entente and the powers joined with the Entente, but at the same time declared the readiness of the Danish Government to at once receive a proposal from the American Government regarding an arrangement on the subject under discussion.

The Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs now instructs me by cable to submit to you the earnest request that a proposition as indicated above may be made without delay and an arrangement concluded. The Minister directs me in this connection to say that the American embargo, which at the outset was declared to be intended as a provisional measure only, has now assumed a rather permanent character and that, if a change is not to be expected soon, the effect of the embargo, in connection with the similar measures taken by Great Britain, will undoubtedly be that Denmark will so to speak be thrust into the arms of Germany, not only economically by the fact that Denmark will to an ever increasing degree be dependent upon importations from Germany and Germany in return, well aware of this situation, will in the same proportion increase its demand of compensation from Denmark in quality and value, but also politically, because it can under such circumstances not be avoided that the Danish people by and by becomes convinced that the fate of Denmark is indifferent to the nations now warring against Germany, and that many Danes, whose sympathy is now with the powers of the Entente and those joined with the Entente, will feel themselves drawn towards Germany in the same measure in which Denmark is compelled to look to Germany for obtaining the necessaries for our national life.

By a policy of maintaining summary embargoes with regard to Denmark, which are not understood either by the leading men or the masses of the people in Denmark, the Entente powers and the powers joined with them would, therefore, only benefit Germany and increase the influence of Germany in Denmark (and other neutral countries).

In representing these facts and arguments most earnestly to you, I have the honor to ask that you will give your serious and favorable consideration to the subject, and be good enough to use your influence to the effect that an arrangement as described may be concluded at the earliest possible moment, lending support to our efforts to avoid economic ruin and a political situation that could only be disastrous.

I have [etc.]

C. Brun
  1. Ante, p. 908.
  2. Not printed.