740.0011 European War 1939/24356: Telegram

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

2572. Söderblom33 of Foreign Office has stated today confidentially that important discussions are being carried on with Germans with view to cutting down transit of war material and other German goods to Finland, Norway from Germany. Swedish arrangements based principally on ground that Swedish railway equipment is required for own services. When discussions are concluded which should be soon he has agreed to inform Legation of result.

With reference to figures given in my 1536, June 18, 9 a.m., Söderblom said that in addition to traffic from Germany to Norway and return of soldiers on leave there is a Norwegian train which makes two weekly journeys from Trondheim to Narvik through Sweden with a normal weekly capacity of 400 passengers which is occasionally explained by adding one passenger car capable of carrying 50, making [Page 354] a maximum of 500 possible over this route per, week. During 1941 the weekly average was almost exactly 300 but this has risen in 1942. This same train carries two Swedish cars which are switched off with passengers to and from Finland. Maximum capacity of these two cars per week is 200 but this is seldom reached. Most of passengers on both routes are Germans in uniform but not all are from armed forces.

  1. S. J. Söderblom, head of the Political Affairs Section of the Swedish Foreign Office.