740.00112 European War 1939/7599a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Sweden (Greene)

34. British Embassy informs us that unless within the next few days a favorable Swedish reply with respect to the Norwegian ships is received or Swedish reaction to the representations you were instructed in our 26, January 7, to make, is such as to forecast such an answer, the British Minister in Stockholm will be instructed to request the Swedish Foreign Office to reply within 24 hours to the outstanding British inquiry regarding the Swedish attitude toward the departure of these ships. He will at the same time warn the Swedish Foreign Office that should no reply be made within the stated time limit or should the reply be negative, the British Government would consider itself justified in implementing its previous warning and all new licenses for export from overseas of goods destined to Sweden would be withheld.

We have suggested to the British Embassy that Mallet’s démarche be made not earlier than January 11 in order to give the two tankers now en route time to arrive in a Swedish port. We understand that the British Embassy is repeating this suggestion to the Foreign Office in London, but for overriding reasons it may be necessary for British démarche to be made earlier.

You should keep in close touch with the British Minister and if he should make representations, arrange to call upon the appropriate Swedish Foreign Office official as promptly as possible after Mallet’s call, to say that your Government is acquainted with the nature of the British representations and you may add that your Government earnestly hopes that the Swedish Government will make a favorable reply. You may recall to the Foreign Office official that all obligations on our part are expressly conditioned upon the release of the two vessels (reference paragraph 1(b) of London’s 184, December 9, to you10).

  1. Telegram No. 184 repeated to Sweden Department’s telegram No. 6112, December 3, 1942, midnight, to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom, Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. iii, p. 366.