800.515/3–1745: Telegram

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

2099. Safehaven objectives set forth in Department’s 1730, March 7,21 are considered of primary importance justifying the refusal to enter into trade agreements with Sweden should it fail to adhere to and implement the Safehaven objectives. Moreover, it will be a matter of necessary self-protection for this Government to review its Treasury general license and blocking policies with respect to any neutral country which fails to execute the Safehaven objectives. Accordingly, Boheman’s22 request for signing of interim agreement with the inclusion of Safehaven safeguard clause, London’s 2636, March 14, 252 to Stockholm, and 2673, March 15, 255 to Stockholm,23 can not be accepted. Pending conclusion of negotiations of Safehaven questions, Department has no objection to tentative unsigned agreement being reached on other outstanding questions even though over-all agreement can not be signed. During period between agreement on such questions and negotiations on Safehaven questions there is no [Page 863] objection to considering agreements reached on other questions as being temporarily operative subject to review should the Swedes fail to satisfy us on Safehaven. It should be made clear to Boheman that within the next few weeks we will enter into negotiations on Safehaven questions, presumably in Stockholm, and that signing of overall interim agreement and post-hostilities supply agreement will be conditioned on satisfactory conclusion of Safehaven aspects of negotiations.

It is believed undesirable to initiate discussions on Safehaven questions with the Swedes before a position vis-à-vis the British has been fully established. In discussing Safehaven objectives with the British it should be pointed out that while there are discrepancies between Swiss agreement and Swedish objectives, it is the Department’s intention to use the Swedish objectives as basis of negotiations with other neutral countries. It is hoped that subsequently we can expand the Swiss agreement to cover full objectives set forth in Department’s 1730, March 7th. It must be realized that only by obtaining full agreement to those objectives will the Safehaven program be successful. While it is realized that control of Germany will be of substantial assistance in accomplishing our Safehaven objectives, it is believed important that the neutral countries at this time initiate a full program which can be supplemented by appropriate action in Germany at such time as we occupy Germany. However, even subsequent to the occupation of Germany, the success or failure of our Safehaven program will be dependent in large part on the extent of cooperation which we receive from the neutral countries.

It is requested that you continue discussions with the British on Safehaven objectives reporting British reaction to Washington. It is contemplated that Walter Surrey will return to London and Stockholm in approximately one week in order to participate in Safehaven discussions.

Sent to London, repeated to Stockholm.24

  1. Not printed; it transmitted the draft text of a note on Safehaven to be included as integral part of a proposed Anglo-American-Swedish Trade Agreement; for text of the note as it was finally presented informally to the Swedish Government, see despatch 5543, May 9, from Stockholm, p. 881.
  2. Erik C. Boheman, Swedish Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Neither printed.
  4. As telegram 507.