File No. 658.119/61
The Minister in Sweden ( Morris) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 9, 10 a.m.]
864. For Polk:
Thanks for your 363. Shall greatly appreciate being kept in touch with situation.
In reply to your request for my views: As previously stated in my No. 834,1 do not believe that it could be arranged with the Swedish Government that iron ore shipments to Germany could be discontinued; neither do I think it would be advisable to try to force complete cessation of ore shipments to Germany on this point. All the Allied Ministers, Stockholm, have at various times, expressed the same feeling.
The old Government has now resigned and all the Allied Ministers here feel that the new Administration will be composed of Socialist-Liberal element and will be more favorable to the Allies. Therefore, I suggest delaying negotiations with the Swedish commission composed of Lundbohm and Nordvall, who are now in America, until result of formation of new Government is known. Should the Liberal Government come in it would be important to have representatives in the Swedish delegation chosen by new Government who will reflect their ideas. When the new Government comes in undoubtedly large advantages can be arranged for by the Allies without forcing the issue too far and creating friction. My British colleague is in sympathy with me in this point of view. Regarding ore shipments to Germany which is by far the most important export and which, [Page 1051]based on previous figures, will probably total more than four million tons this year, I would refer to my telegram No. 8601 which ought to be taken into consideration in connection with this entire matter. Referring to what you say regarding the treatment of Swedish bags I am in thorough accord with the Department’s views in not being too severe and in being careful not to do anything which would unnecessarily make [difficulties].2
I shall keep you advised as soon as new Government comes in and provided it is made up as is expected of a Liberal-Socialist cabinet, and if cabinet proves favorable to the Allies I think our policy towards Sweden should be guided accordingly so as to derive the most benefit. I should like to say that the change in the Government as anticipated would be most important as affecting the political conditions of Sweden and also the Swedish Government point of view towards Germany and the Allies.