868.48/5142: Telegram

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

289. Reference Department’s 39, January 7 and Department’s 263, February 18.81 Further discussions have taken place here with the British and UNRRA82 concerning handling of relief and rehabilitation supplies in Greece subsequent to liberation. However details of such plans have not been worked out and necessarily involve full agreement with British and American military authorities as well as with the Greek Government with respect to any period of military responsibility, since decision has been made for combined Anglo-American military responsibility in civil affairs matters in this area. In making such plans we need to know whether the Swedish Government is in principle agreeable to continuing Swedish relief activities subsequent to Greek liberation, and if so, whether they have any suggestions as to how the Swedish organization can best be utilized and what responsibility it might undertake. In presenting the matter to the Swedes it should be pointed out that we fully appreciate the value of the work which has been done and are anxious to utilize the existing machinery to the maximum extent possible and that we are desirous of protecting to the extent necessary the neutral position of Sweden. It is not known for how long a period the basic responsibility for procurement [Page 180] and distribution of supplies will rest with U.S. and U.K. military authorities and when UNRRA will be invited to assume general responsibility for relief and rehabilitation. Depending upon circumstances UNRRA might assume such responsibility almost immediately following liberation by agreement with Allied military authorities and the Greek Government. The Swedes should be informed that we have discussed the problem with UNRRA and that it is likewise anxious to work out a mutually satisfactory method for using the facilities of the relief organization pending the time when Sweden itself might desire to become a member of UNRRA. It is understood that if the Swedes indicate a general willingness to continue, a more definite program will be discussed with them at a later date. The substance of this telegram is being transmitted to the British Foreign Office for comment and the issuance of appropriate instructions to the British Minister at Stockholm.

The British understand that the Greek Minister at Stockholm has been instructed to discuss with the Swedish Government the question of participation of the Swedish relief organization in post-liberation distribution of supplies and is waiting until his U.S. and British Colleagues are instructed. You are requested to join with your British and Greek colleagues in presenting the matter to the Swedish Government as soon as the British Minister receives appropriate instructions. Repeated to Cairo as Greek Series No. 30.

  1. Neither printed.
  2. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.