711.00111 Armament Control/23

Memorandum by Mr. Charles W. Yost of the Division of Western European Affairs

Mr. Per Wijkman, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of Sweden, called to make certain inquiries regarding the interpretation of the recent Neutrality Resolution. He wished to know particularly how the term “implements of war” under Section I of the Resolution would be defined, and whether it would include raw materials. He pointed out that the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the course of the debate on the Resolution had indicated that the Geneva Convention of June 17, 1925, would be used as the basis of this definition.

I replied that no proclamation had been prepared nor was likely to be prepared until the situation seemed to require it; that it was impossible to say at this time what items such a proclamation would cover, but that the President would naturally endeavor to follow the intent of Congress. It was not my personal opinion that he would feel obliged to extend the mandatory embargo set up by the Resolution to items other than those generally understood as coming within the meaning of its text.

Mr. Wijkman added that he had been especially interested in the statement issued by the President38 at the time of the signature of the Resolution. Mr. Wijkman felt that the President’s statement was especially encouraging and valuable in connection with the recent [Page 353] decision of the Scandinavian Powers at the Oslo Conference:39 i. e., not necessarily to press for sanctions at Geneva, but at least to support vigorously the League in any policy that it might adopt.

Charles W. Yost
  1. Department of State, Press Releases, August 31, 1935, p. 162.
  2. Held at Oslo, Norway, August 25, 1935, by the Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden to consider the situation brought about by the Italo-Ethiopian conflict.