740.0011 European War 1939/9638: Telegram

The Minister in Finland ( Schoenfeld ) to the Secretary of State

88. My telegram No. 86 yesterday.46 Finnish anxiety regarding maintenance of good will of United States which was reflected in Foreign Minister’s remarks yesterday was also apparent last night in conversation with Secretary General of Foreign Office47 who has recently taken over his duties and told me he had impression that some irritation had been noticeable lately at Washington regarding Finnish affairs. He intimated that in view of greatly increased pressure on responsible officials in United States any confusion or lack of coordination in presenting Finnish requests or proposals in economic or other matters was disadvantageous to Finnish interests and that I [he] feared there had been instances of both as for instance in matter of credit recently granted. Pakaslahti said it should be remembered that Finnish administrative organization though reasonably efficient for normal conditions had been seriously overstrained by problems [Page 18] presented during and following the war in Europe and here; that there was awareness of this state of things and it was hoped it could be remedied. I pointed out that similar strain was inevitable in our Government in present circumstances and hence Finnish representations to our Government should be thoroughly considered and adequately presented to minimize uncertainty or confusion.

Department will recall that I have previously referred to inexperience and ineptitude of Finnish authorities in dealing with problems of neutrality both political and economic. I should add that Foreign Office here is considerably less authoritative than other Ministries and some personal advisers of President Ryti which fact has perhaps caused some of the confusion presumably noted by the Department. Since I feel it is to our interest to do what we can to help this country preserve its independence I am hopeful conversation above reported and suggestions previously made to higher officials here along similar lines may hereafter facilitate Department’s handling of Finnish matters.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Aaro Pakaslahti.