840.50 UNRRA/9–1644: Telegram

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

1848. We have been advised that the British now desire to communicate further with the Swedish Government with reference to proposed arrangements for relief after liberation of Greece. There are three problems involved: First, the relationship between the Swedish-Swiss organization in Greece and the Allied and UNRRA authorities who will be entering; Second, the continued use of the Swedish ships and, Third, the continued furnishing of supplies under the present arrangements as supplemental to the supplies which would be provided by military authorities.

Our views, which we understand are in substantial agreement with the British on these questions, are as follows:

In the initial period, supplies for minimum relief and rehabilitation essential for relief will be imported by the military authorities. UNRRA will enter Greece as the agent of the military to assist the military authorities in the distribution of such supplies with a view to taking over the whole responsibility for importation and distribution at as early a date as possible under arrangements to be concluded between it and the Greek Government. Both UNRRA and the military authorities concerned with relief are most anxious to have the assistance of the Swedish organization and believe that from the outset there should be close cooperation between it and UNRRA and as soon as circumstances permit a fusion of the organization in UNRRA unless the Swedes prefer to withdraw at that time. We agree with the Swedish Government that the exact arrangements should be settled by local discussions between all parties concerned when the time comes. Impartial distribution of relief supplies on humanitarian principles is the policy of all concerned.

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As indicated previously to the Swedish Government, it is hoped that arrangements can now be worked out so that Swedish ships engaged in the relief program for Greece will continue to operate after Greece’s liberation. Since it is assumed that safe conduct will not be granted by the Germans to such ships the following arrangements are proposed. If Swedish ships desire convoy protection they would be required to accept Allied convoy and other protective measures including stationing in any routine convoys which may be running. They would be expected to accept in the same degree as Allied shipping the delays which may arise in newly liberated ports and no preferential treatment should be expected. It is hoped that if possible Swedish Government will agree that in case of emergency ships may be diverted to other ports. It is also hoped that the Swedish Government would agree that in case of necessity such ships would be available after discharging in Greece for local transport of relief supplies to Greece or from one port to another in Greece if desired by Allied authorities.

Pending any revision of existing arrangements for obtaining and financing supplies under the present program such supplies would continue to be sent forward subject to convoy and shipping arrangements stated above.

You are authorized to concert with your British colleague in approaching the Swedes regarding the above in such manner as seems appropriate in order to obtain their agreement to the proposal. We would prefer however that no approach be made regarding the relationship of the Swedish-Swiss organization in Greece until receipt of views on this point from the Mediterranean Theater Commander which are expected momentarily. If however your British colleague is unable to delay making an approach on this point you may join him along the lines indicated above.