File No. 659.119/219

The Chargé in Denmark ( Grant-Smith) to the Secretary of State


2010. Yesterday afternoon at 6, I communicated the substance of your despatch 761 of March 1, 7 p.m., to the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs who said that nothing to that effect had as yet been received from their Minister at Washington, that the matter would be considered by his Government without delay and a reply made upon a decision being arrived at. To his inquiry whether the other points in their note were agreed to I replied in the negative but expressed my personal opinion that once the question of tonnage for the danger zone and the duration of the agreement were solved, I was under the impression that it would not be difficult to reach an understanding relative to the other matters at issue.

In order to make the ultimatum less unpalatable I [said] during the course of the conversation that doubtless our Government, feeling that Denmark had been constrained by the German menace to be less responsive to our demands than would otherwise have been the case, had felt that by bringing matters to a head Denmark’s position vis à vis her southern neighbor would be sensibly strengthened; that it would be quite impossible for us to concede their demands to [keep] their ships out of the danger zones since among other reasons it would tie our hands with regard to other neutral shipping. I incidentally told him confidentially that, far from wishing any harm to Denmark, the Legation in pursuance of instructions was now engaged in investigations with a view to supplying her if possible with raw materials to enable Danish essential industries to continue operations, at which he expressed gratification.