701.59A11/4: Telegram

The Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs (Stefansson) to the Secretary of State

I have the honour to refer to the Prime Minister’s telegram April 15 and to Your Excellency’s reply April 16 and to express profound appreciation of the Government of Iceland of your attitude towards their proposal in the existing circumstances to establish direct relations between the Government of Iceland and the Government of the United States of America and to assure you that Mr. Bertel E. Kuniholm will be heartily welcomed in Iceland as Consul for the United States. Further I may mention that Mr. Kuniholm as a career consul will enjoy in this country all such rights, privileges and immunities as generally afforded diplomatic agents as a first step in reciprocating direct relations between our two Governments. My Government is anxious to open immediately a Consulate General in New York to deal with commercial and financial matters, etc., and desire to appoint Mr. Vilhjalmur Thor as Consul General in charge of such office with all the rights, privileges and immunities thereto appertaining, trusting that this will be agreeable to Your Excellency. I propose that Mr. Thor from the receipt of your reply may be considered as having taken charge as Consul General for Iceland in New York.3

Stefan Joh. Stefansson
  1. Mr. Thor was commissioned by his Government on April 23, 1940, to serve as Icelandic Consul General to the United States and was officially recognized as such by this Government by an exequatur dated August 16, 1940.

    The following year Iceland requested that it be represented in the United States by a Minister rather than a Chargé d’Affaires. The request was approved, and Mr. Thor Thors, the newly appointed Minister of Iceland, who in September 1940 had replaced Mr. Vilhjalmur Thor as Consul General, presented his letters of credence to President Roosevelt on November 19, 1941. Some weeks earlier, on October 1, Mr. Lincoln MacVeagh had presented his credentials as United States Minister to Iceland.