740.00112 European War 1939/8282: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)51

2823. Reference Department’s 519, April 26. Our suggestions concerning type of understanding on traffic transit are: [Page 764]

The commitment may take the form of a promise, assurance, or declaration of expectation, (secret if desired), coupled with the understanding that if the promise is not fulfilled or the expectation not realized within a reasonable time, we will be free to reconsider any commitments we may undertake to the Swedes.
The “reasonable time” referred to in above paragraph must be determined with reference to current developments. We would be guided by advice of our negotiators. Four months mentioned by Boheman does not seem unreasonable. A shorter time would, of course, be preferable.
The commitment should provide for the elimination of all leave traffic and transhipment of munitions of war through Sweden for the enemy and also provide that the transportation of goods other than munitions on enemy account shall not be increased over 1942 levels which we understand was about 133,000 tons a year.
The time and manner of bringing up the transit traffic question in London must be largely left to our negotiators who should bear in mind that we do not wish unnecessarily to embarrass the Swedes or interfere with the possible political exploitation of the action in connection with Swedish public opinion.
A solution of the transit traffic problem along the above suggested lines would be entirely satisfactory but if our negotiators should find that a better commitment is possible, they should seek it and keep us informed.

  1. Repeated on the same date to the Minister in Sweden as telegram No. 552.