458.11 Dexter and Carpenter/138

The Chargé in Sweden (Crocker) to the Secretary of State

No. 614

Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 156 of November 1, 1932,10 concerning the Swedish State Railways case and directing the Legation to bring the case again to the attention of the Foreign Office with a view to expediting a reply to the Legation’s note of March 10, 1932,11 I have the honor to report that on November 15 I called on Mr. Malmar, the Chief of the Legal Section of the Foreign Office, stating that I had received an inquiry from my Government concerning the status of the Dexter and Carpenter case and asking when we might expect a reply to our note of March 10, 1932.

Mr. Malmar said that of course the change in Government two months ago had necessarily retarded the progress of the case considerably as it had been necessary for the new officials to familiarize themselves with the dossier in the matter, which he pointed out again was extremely voluminous, and that Professor Undén had yet to review the draft prepared by the Foreign Office. He said that unfortunately Mr. Undén was at present very occupied but that a reply was in course of preparation and would be delivered within a reasonable time.

I asked him whether he meant by this days, weeks or months and he evaded the question, saying that he could not unfortunately give a reply which could be defined by any period of time as the matter rested with Mr. Undén who now had to review the case. I then asked if I was correct in inferring that all work of the Foreign Office in the case was completed, and he said that I was. I then asked if he would be kind enough to inform Mr. Undén that my Government had instructed me to enquire when a reply might be received and he said that he would do so. He then pointed out again that we had taken some eight months before replying to their last note in the matter and I said that we were now about even as our note was sent to them last March.

I enquired whether the Government had appointed the expert advisers to which he had referred in our conversation last July and, if so, who they were. He said that the new Government had decided that it would not be necessary and that they had left the matter entirely to the Foreign Office and to Mr. Undén.

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The impression conveyed to me was that the Foreign Office, and he, Malmar in particular, had devoted the most painstaking and thorough attention to the preparation of the reply, taking up the points set forth in the Department’s instruction No. 96 of February 23, 1932, one by one; that their work was now completed but that it had to be reviewed by Mr. Undén before it could be delivered to the Legation; that Mr. Undén would not be hurried in his review of the matter and there was nothing that could be done to hasten the matter; that it would come through only after further thorough, if not leisurely, consideration. He refused to be pinned down as to when that time might be and I felt that no good purpose would be served by pressing the matter any further.

Respectfully yours,

Edward Savage Crocker
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed; it was based upon Department’s instruction No. 96, February 23, 1932, p. 582.