357.116 M 82/2
The Minister in Norway ( Schmedeman ) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 22.]
Sir: Referring to the Department’s cable instruction No. 14 of April 9th, 6 p.m., relative to permission for Mormon missionaries to enter Norway, and instructing me to request of the Norwegian Government that no drastic action be taken in this matter, I have the honor to report that immediately upon receipt of the instruction I called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs in order to obtain an expression from him regarding permission for Mormon missionaries to enter the country.
I told His Excellency that I believed that certain reports circulated regarding the missionaries were untrue and that, as far as I knew, the Mormon missionaries in this country had always conducted themselves in a proper manner; that I had been informed by the Presiding Elder of that denomination in this country that no efforts on their part had been made to have the converts emigrate to the United States and that, as Norway permitted missionaries of other faiths to freely enter the country and carry on religious propaganda, I believed it was unfair for the Norwegian Government to discriminate against the Mormons. The Minister for Foreign Affairs informed me that complaints had reached him from the Police and the Department of Justice that the efforts of the missionaries were especially directed towards influencing young women to join the churchy but added that he knew comparatively little about the matter and suggested that I address a Note to him on the subject and he would then refer the matter to the Department of Justice.
I accordingly addressed such a Note to His Excellency on April 12th last (a copy of which is enclosed herewith),38 and under date of May 24th I received a reply (a copy and translation of which is also enclosed herewith)38 in which it is stated that the Norwegian Government has issued no general instructions to its diplomatic and consular officers to refuse visas to Mormon missionaries, but that the Department of Justice maintains that questions of this character must be submitted to the Central Passport Bureau for its decision [Page 253] and that that Bureau will very likely refuse all or the majority of such requests.
I have [etc.]