358.116 M 82/30: Telegram

The Minister in Sweden ( Morris ) to the Secretary of State

43. Your 20, April 7, 6 p.m. In taking up the matter again with the Foreign Office Count Wrangel informed me that the Crown Council met yesterday to consider the petition of all the Swedish Mormons in this country and decided to maintain the [Page 249] decisions already arrived at by the Government. He also told me that he had again consulted with the Archbishop of Sweden and the Minister of Public Instructions and that the matter had been thoroughly investigated and decided upon and it was further pointed out that they did not consider the action drastic as it was the result of the decision of the Swedish Government which does not consider the presence of Mormons desirable because they are proselytizing in favor of church community which holds public services without having had granted its application to be recognized by the Swedish State in accordance with the Royal ordinance of October 31st, 1873, transmitted in our unnumbered despatch of October 3rd, 1914,31 and likewise for inducing proselytes to leave the Swedish State Church without the requisite permission of the King as provided by section 3 of the same act.

The Swedish law provides (as set forth in the Foreign Office’s note of November 7th, 1914 enclosed in Legation’s number 19 [29] of November 10th32) that as the right of expulsion is a sovereign prerogative exercised by the King in council, that is to say in supreme instance [sic”], there can be no appeal against a such [sic] decree.

The present status of the case is that visas enabling the missionaries to remain in Sweden have been withdrawn and will not be renewed. However a formal order of expulsion from the Kingdom will not be made unless they do not leave the country within a reasonable length of time which in practice is considered to be about 10 days.

In relation to this matter I would say that I have done everything possible to have the Swedish Government postpone action pointing out to them, as set forth in your telegram, the desirability of a thorough investigation before any drastic action should take place. In connection with this the Foreign Minister stated that the question was not a new one and that the Government had gone into this question very thoroughly and had come to their decision regarding same in Crown Council which was unanimous and therefore were averse to our request that no drastic action be taken until the matter could be fully investigated.

I have also spoken several times and had a conference with the leaders of the American Mormons in Sweden and they assure me they feel and they are satisfied that the Legation is doing everything possible regarding the matter.

Morris
  1. Original in Department file is numbered 13; not printed.
  2. Neither printed.