868.48/5226: Telegram

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

880. Greek Chargé d’ Affaires presented short note March 14 to Swedish Foreign Ministry expressing his Government’s desire that Swedish Government agree in principle to continuing relief activities after liberation of Greece.

Later same day British Chargé d’ Affaires and I presented notes to Foreign Ministry on same topic. Our note (see Department’s 289, February 24, 1 p.m.) is practically identical with British note and states that American and British Governments in agreement with Greek Government inquire whether Swedish Government is prepared in principle to continue relief activities after liberation. Both Governments appreciate work done and are anxious to use to greatest practicable extent existing machinery in connection with which Sweden’s neutral position will continue to receive due recognition. Accordingly they would welcome suggestions from Swedish Government [Page 181] as to manner in which relief organization could best function and what responsibility it might undertake. American and British Governments have discussed problem with UNRRA and find it equally anxious to reach understanding regarding continuance of relief organization until other arrangements can be made. When it is known whether Swedish Government is willing to continue relief work after liberation, more definite program could be discussed. (End of note.)

In brief discussion when note was presented I mentioned interest of American and British Governments in knowing whether all facilities of Greek Relief Commission would remain available. Foreign Office officials mentioned probability that Germans would withdraw safe-conduct for ships if they were obliged to leave Greece.83 British Chargé and I said that in such case Allies would presumably offer usual convoy protection for relief vessels. Foreign Office officials indicated agreement in principle and general willingness to consider matter favorably. I stressed our readiness to discuss any related questions which might arise.

Minutes of meeting of Committee on Greek Relief (especially minutes of meetings on October 21 and November 4) which were transmitted with Department’s instruction No. 461 of February 1184 furnished useful background information for my remarks.

  1. For correspondence relating to negotiations for the operation of Swedish ships in Greek relief operations under safe-conduct from the German Government, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. ii, pp. 724 ff.
  2. Not printed.