841.79658/66: Telegram

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

23. Department’s 1436, December 31, 8 p.m. Foreign Minister Gunther this afternoon informed me in reply to an oral inquiry made yesterday that Swedish Government has no objection to have Air Transport Command civilian status withdraw from Sweden approximately 2,000 Norwegian trainees.

Mr. Gunther stated that he would have to state his consent with reservation, that it had not yet been taken up with Prime Minister25 and Government but that he anticipated no difficulty. He appreciates our necessity to effect these withdrawals as rapidly as possible but said that Swedish Government would have to request that withdrawals be made gradually and that no “armada” of planes should arrive at any one time. In this connection it may be pointed out that landing facilities in Sweden would in any case necessitate a gradual withdrawal. As soon as Mr. Gunther has indicated formal approval of Government I can request Military Attaché26 to take up technical questions involved with appropriate Swedish authorities.

Mr. Gunther mentioned in confidence program for training young Norwegians as a police force which is now under way in Sweden pursuant to an understanding between Swedish Government and Norwegian Legation. He informed in strict confidence that number of men now undergoing this training is about 12,500. He emphasized [Page 1207] importance of this work and of availability of these trained young men to proceed into Norway immediately after German evacuation. H hopes that Norwegian Government does not plan to withdraw any larger number than 2,000 now projected as he feels that numbers available for police work in Norway at conclusion of hostilities should be as large as possible. While this is a Swedish interest he considers it also of vital importance to Norway.

  1. Per Albin Hansson.
  2. Col. Charles E. Rayens, Military Attaché and Military Attaché for Air.