740.00112 European War 1939/1496: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Germany (Heath)

1446. Your 1512, May 25, 4 p.m.

American consumers of imported wood pulp have been severely crippled by the interruption in the flow of pulp from Scandinavian countries, especially from Sweden. Furthermore, the almost complete cessation of direct sailings between the United States and Scandinavian ports has been a severe blow to our general commercial interests. You are accordingly authorized to discuss the problems involved with the German Foreign Office, stressing particularly the interest of the United States Government in facilitating the passage through the German Naval Control of vessels carrying pulp cargoes destined for American consumption. Our 739, October 20, 7 p.m.65 contains background material on the wood pulp situation as it affects the United States, You should, of course, keep in close touch with your Swedish colleague and with the representatives in Berlin of the other interested northern and Baltic countries. We understand that four Swedish vessels are now loading wood pulp for the United States.
In discussing the matter with the Foreign Office please say that we very earnestly hope that they will now find it possible to dispense [Page 65]with the expensive and time consuming procedure instituted last autumn of requiring American importers to telegraph through the State Department affidavits relating to the American destination, et cetera, of Scandinavian pulp cargoes. If the Foreign Office insists on our resuming this procedure we will of course do so, as our primary interest is in breaking as soon as possible the log jam blocking our pulp imports, but we hope that the German authorities are now satisfied, on the basis of the experience of last autumn, that our imports of Scandinavian pulp are, because of our domestic necessities, consumed solely in the United States.
We are instructing the Embassy at London to consult with the Swedish Legation there and to express to the British authorities our hope that shipments of pulp destined to the United States will not be seized or molested. You will recall that we obtained such assurances from the British Government last autumn.66
  1. Ibid., p. 825.
  2. See telegram No. 122, October 30, 1939, 3 p.m., to the Consul General at Hamburg, Foreign Relations, 1939, vol. i, p. 832.