File No. 658.119/147

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page)


6165. For Sheldon from War Trade Board:

Answering your cables 8112, December 31; 8085, December 28; 8057, December 23; 8041, December 21; 8014, December 20; and 7952, December 13, the following is complete answer.

From your cables we judge Swedish Government prefers temporary arrangement to broad permanent arrangement.

Referring 8014:1

  • Clause 1. We agree to release one maize cargo. Since this is only temporary proposition we can agree to only one in view of rationing basis.
  • No. 2. The Sigrid is now discharging a cargo of phosphate rock and charter is being negotiated here as part of the Christmas idea.
  • No. 3. We agree to license exportation 25,000 tons phosphate rock.
  • No. 4. We agree three months’ basis—
Illuminating oil, equal to 25,000 tons
Fuel oil, equal to 6,750
  • No. 5. Maize will be provided in accordance with rationing agreement on a three months’ basis, to include cargo under clause 1.
  • No. 6. Coffee will be liberated on the basis of three months’ rationing, equal to 22,000 bags and also to import the additional 50,000 bags, but not to exceed 5,000 tons. This to be obtained from France, out of her Brazilian supply.
  • No. 7. Figuring on the basis of three months’ rations we will agree to release dried fruit, cocoa.
  • No. 8. We do not favor agreeing to this clause, but are willing to leave matter with you and English to decide.

That all of the above commodities are to be licensed by the War Trade Board with a definite agreement on the part of Sweden that none of them, or articles that they can replace, shall be re-exported.

[Page 1114]

Understand that exportable surplus of low-phosphorus iron ores be delivered to Allies until excess amount of these ores delivered to Germany as against Allies since beginning of war has been equalled.

Exportation of high-phosphorus iron ore to be reduced below figure of last year in accordance with ration of December 6.1

Exportation of fabricated steel and iron to be limited to amount of 1917.

No exportation to Germany of molybdenum, chrome, mica.

No exportation of fish.

If copper is imported must not be re-exported to Germany.

Exports of slig to be curtailed, as per rationing December 6.

Otherwise follow rationing agreement dated December 6 in London.

Replying to the Swedish delegates’ agreement to recommend to their Government our answers are as follows:

No. 1. Regret we can not agree to allow Swedish shipowners to charter their vessels to Belgian Relief Committee without usual conditions of return as we desire as a part of this agreement to see all Swedish tonnage moving because on any other basis we can not let the necessary commodities go forward to Sweden. We appreciate disposition of Swedish representatives to get all tonnage moving and they may rest assured that we will give every possible co-operation in this direction.

No. 2. Sweden to agree to charter to Inter-Allied Chartering Executive and to the United States Shipping Board on a 50-50 basis the Swedish ships now idle in Allied or European ports for use in war zone for a period of three months.

Rates in safe trades to be those of the American Chartering Committee which are 35 shillings for West Indies or east coast of South America and 40 shillings for west coast South America. Rates on vessels travelling to war zone to be same as those shown in your cable December 22, which are identical with those being paid under Norwegian agreement with Great Britain.

No. 3. We agree to values on insurance against war risks as proposed covering steamers under 10 years old, basis 40 pounds per deadweight ton, over that age 30 pounds. War risk insurance to be covered by the Government having vessel under charter, and will be against loss by war risks only. We can not agree that all Swedish charters will be signed by Inter-Allied Chartering Executive in London but whole matter must be on basis of charters to Shipping Board and to Great Britain 50 per cent to each after allowing for Sweden’s necessary trades above outlined. Reallocation of tonnage [Page 1115] to our allies will be arranged after mutual conferences, but until broader plan worked out this basis must be carried out. Will authorize you or representative Shipping Board later named to sign charters.

No. 4. Present Swedish vessels chartered to Belgian Relief to continue to be chartered to them. The Swedish ships now engaged in trades of interest to Allies are to be placed in necessary trades to be mutually arranged between England and United States and to be chartered half to United States and half to Great Britain, at rates above mentioned.

No. 5. Swedish Government to have for its own trade vessels needed to run between Sweden and Great Britain and also to United States, estimated to be about 250,000 tons. All the balance of the tonnage is to be chartered to the United States and Great Britain, 50 per cent to each with proper provisions as to Belgian Relief, war zone trade and outside trade, at present employed. We desire if possible to follow the basis proposed between Denmark and United States which was about one-third safe trades and two-thirds in the war zone with our option of using some of these in the Belgian Relief. These boats must be definitely chartered for three months if war zone, or if safe trades four months’ basis in accordance with the above clauses.

The United States will agree to arrange examination outside danger zone and to give sufficient bunker coals. It must be understood that the usual conditions of return shall be agreed to by Sweden, but that this condition will not be made onerous in view of the basis of vessels being chartered to respective governments.

Last paragraph of this cable. We will be agreeable to giving some feed concentrates if it can be spared from this country under understanding on tonnage agreement along lines of agreement and arrangement concluded.

  1. Ante, p. 1091.
  2. Not printed.