740.00112 European War 1939/7629: Telegram

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

148. Because of very limited time at hand Mallet and I had an informal and preliminary conversation with Boheman this afternoon in which substance of Department’s 51, January 13, 7 p.m., was discussed. All considered that points 1, 3 and 4 of Swedish requests were satisfactorily met. Boheman was immediately to speak with Foreign Minister reporting our attitude toward point 2 but was noncommittal as to whether this would be satisfactory or not. I shall await time when Mallet receives definite instructions before taking more formal action instructed in final sentence of numbered paragraph 3 of Department’s 51.

Boheman told Mallet last night that German Legation when informed that ships were to be released said that this is most serious situation which has yet arisen between Germany and Sweden and that matter is being referred to Hitler at his headquarters. Swedes feel most pessimistic as to outcome.

This morning Boheman told Mallet that yesterday German Foreign Office called in Swedish Minister to Berlin and in most violent terms referred to release of these ships as a breach of neutrality and that as a result basis for Göteborg traffic had been destroyed.

Repeated to London.