860D.51/469: Telegram

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

14. My telegram No. 12, January 14, noon. Messrs. Lehtinen and Berner of Ministry of Supply called on me today presumably by direction and stated that in recent conversation with local representatives of American press, they had indicated that Finnish Government [Page 4] had been hopeful of making arrangements for credit in the United States to cover some $7,000,000 worth of various agricultural commodities needed here. They said that Finnish Minister at Washington10 had reported some time ago that there was little chance of obtaining this credit at that time, and that publication of interview was consequently embarrassing now. They inquired whether in my opinion the present was an opportune time to solicit this credit for commodities in respect of which they were assured navicerts would be issued by the British. I answered that this was a matter regarding which opinion of Finnish Minister at Washington had better be sought inasmuch as he is familiar with present conditions there. I added that if a request were made by the Finnish Government for credit, I should be glad to render any assistance I properly could.

The officials mentioned informed me that an agreement has now been reached with the British Government providing for passage of definite quotas of needed commodities through the blockade, although some important commodities such as hides would still be dealt with as individual cases arose.

  1. Hjalmar J. Procopé.