740.00112 European War 1939/6348: Telegram

The Minister in Sweden (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

2167. My 2150, August 14, 5 p.m.,29 and 2125, August 12, 6 p.m. Following substance of aide-mémoire dated today just received from Swedish Foreign Office.

1. Swedish Legation in London informed Foreign Office on August 14 that American authorities in London desired certain new statistics and figures relating to Swedish oil situation, allegedly for purpose of control; Figures requested by Americans were following (a) latest figures on stock position, (b) war reserve desired (basis 6 months warfare), (c) consumption at present by quarter, (d) estimated quarterly consumption when stock position reaches desired war reserve figure.

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Aide-mémoire states that figures in answer to foregoing have already been given to American and British authorities except as regards (d).

2. Swedish Legation Washington telegraphed Foreign Office on August 14 substantially as follows: No knowledge in State Department of any American request for additional statistical information regarding Sweden’s oil situation. In fact, State Department already some time ago communicated United States Government’s opinion to London that Swedish requests should be accepted under conditions to be settled between British and Swedish Governments. State Department has not yet any reply from London to this communication. Mild surprise was expressed that negotiations should have for such a long time been delayed.

3. Following information was received simultaneously from Swedish Legation in London: It is being insisted by British authorities that American wish for further statistical information should be met immediately and until this information received discussions could not be resumed. New conditions for meeting Swedish desires have been put forward by Americans as for instance that Sweden should undertake not to give Germany new credits. British authorities deny that they have any interests in these new proposals and claim on contrary they are trying to persuade American experts to refrain from making them. Furthermore American Embassy in London has expressed opinion that quarterly allocation should be limited by British authorities to 30,000 tons per quarter and British authorities have succeeded in securing American approval of this quantity only with difficulty.

It is apparent from this communication from Foreign Office and from what Mallet tells me that whether justifiable or not British are putting entire blame on United States for hitch in negotiations for increased oil quotas. It would be helpful if Department can comply with request in last sentence my 2125, August 12, 6 p.m.

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