Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by Mr. Charles E. Bohlen of the Division of European Affairs
I telephoned Mr. Gromyko10 in regard to the question of the French ships concerning which he made inquiry of you11 this morning. On the basis of information received from NE,12 I told him that it was our understanding that the ships in question were originally Norwegian ships which had been seized by France in 1940 and were to be delivered to Germany, and that since there was reason to believe that these ships were expected to leave Marseille, representations concerning them had been made in Ankara.
Mr. Gromyko inquired whether we knew the date of the transfer of these ships to Germany.
After inquiring again of NE on this point I told Mr. Gromyko that we had no definite information that they actually had been transferred to German registry but only that there had been an agreement to do so, and that furthermore it was not certain whether or not these ships had ever left Marseille.