740.00112 European War 1939/8486: Telegram

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

3430. For Department and BEW. Separate telegram is being sent outlining Swedish transit traffic discussions which took place this morning.

Unless otherwise instructed we propose at meeting to take place at Foreign Office 11:30 Thursday morning61 to put forth as basis of discussion following formula in the form of a declaration or statement by the Swedes:

“The ability of the Swedish Government to terminate the traffic across Swedish territory of German military personnel, personnel of organizations auxiliary to the German Armed Forces (such as the Todt organization62) and of military supplies depends at any given moment on the extent of the danger of a German attack on Sweden and of the possibilities of Swedish resistance to such an attack.

The Swedish Government is of the opinion that at the present moment the general military situation and the state of readiness of the Swedish Armed Forces are such that Sweden could terminate the transit traffic immediately provided there were on hand in Sweden sufficient supplies of oil (to insure the combat effectiveness of the Swedish Armed Forces).

The Swedish Government proposes to terminate the German transit traffic when Swedish supplies of oil reach a level of (figure to be agreed upon) tons, provided that when this level is reached, the military position of Sweden vis-à-vis Germany has not deteriorated in the opinion of the Swedish Government.

The Swedish Government understands that, if the German transit traffic has not been terminated by (date will be discussed but we will press for one not later than October 1, 1943) the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the United States will be free to suspend the operation of the agreement regarding basic rations for Sweden and will desire to discuss with the Swedish Government the situation then existing.

The Swedish Government will consider the possibility of informing the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the United States as far in advance as may be practicable of its decision, when made, to terminate the German transit traffic.”

Above formula will be discussed further in detail with Foreign Office tomorrow.

Urgent reply requested.

  1. May 20.
  2. Engineering organization established by Fritz Todt, responsible for the building of many of the superhighways in Germany for Hitler.