The Minister in Norway (Biddle) to the Secretary of State

No. 340

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the attached copy29 of a translation of an article which appeared on December 21st in Tidens Tegn, concerning a meeting on December 19 and 20 in Stockholm between Commander Bull and Bureau Chief Skylstad of the Norwegian Foreign Office, representing Norway, and Swedish, Danish, and Finnish naval officers and members of their respective Foreign Offices.

In conversation with Bureau Chief Skylstad today, he informed me that the above-described meeting resulted in an agreement in principle between the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Finnish officials to accept the recent invitation on the part of Great Britain to participate in the Naval Treaty of London of March, 1936. Mr. Skylstad considered this a constructive step in view of the confused political situation throughout Europe. This was, furthermore, an added step towards solidifying the Scandinavian front.

In describing reactions of the Scandinavian representatives at the Stockholm meeting, Mr. Skylstad said that the clause in the treaty agreement having regard to the exchange of data relative to naval [Page 121] programs drew especially favorable attention. Such an exchange tended to eliminate the element of surprise and was a practical basis for consultation.

As regards Norway’s participation, Mr. Skylstad had been assigned the task of seeking the legal means whereby his Government could enjoy membership either directly or indirectly. He was confident he could determine a course. He was equally confident his Government would approve the proposed participation.

Respectfully yours,

A. J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.
  1. Not printed.