841.79658/7–544: Telegram

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

5300. Immediately upon receipt of Department’s 4814, June 17, 9 p.m., an officer of the Embassy discussed the matter with Sir Alexander Cadogan34 at the Foreign Office. We have today received a communication on the subject from Cadogan the text of which is quoted below:

“You will remember speaking to me on the 19th June about the willingness of the United States air transport authorities to bring to this country from Sweden a number of Danes. I have now been able to look into this.

“I am glad that you have taken this up officially with us as Colonel Balchen35 had already held out hopes to the Danes before there had been any consultation with the Air Ministry or home office and we were afraid that confusion would result, as in the Norwegian case. The Air Ministry would be very grateful if such matters could always be taken up first with us through the orthodox channels before anything is said to the foreigners concerned. Would you impress this on your air authorities?

“We are grateful for their offer of help but we only need twenty Danish doctors whose transport we are ourselves arranging. Moreover, I understand that, for operational reasons, the Terminal Airfield in this country for the flights of your aircraft from Sweden cannot be made available after the middle of August, and that at the present rate of transport, all the 2,000 Norwegians will not have been brought [Page 1215] over by then, since your air people have not been able to bring them over anything like as fast as they had expected. I should be grateful if, when explaining to your air transport authorities our reasons for not availing ourselves of their kind offer, you would draw their attention to the importance of completing their carriage of Norwegians from Sweden by the middle of August, if possible.”36

Embassy has not repeated this telegram to Stockholm.

  1. British Permanent Under Secretary of State in the Foreign Office.
  2. Col. Bernt Balchen, representative of the Commanding General, U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe since January 27, 1944, and responsible for the establishment and operation of air service between the United Kingdom and Sweden.
  3. By the end of 1944 there were 400 of the Norwegian trainees not yet transported to the United Kingdom.