859.01/1–2545: Telegram

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

774. For your confidential information the Department is not particularly impressed by the arguments put forth by the Foreign Office in favor of a Tripartite statement on Denmark and remains of the opinion that the reasons given against such action at the present time, which it is pleased to note are shared by you (your 768, January 22, 7 p.m.12), outweigh possible favorable results. Nevertheless, at a later date we might be willing to join in a statement, particularly should it appear likely that the Soviets would also subscribe to it. [Page 562] Such, however, may probably not be the case as has been indicated by their thrice rejecting a previous British proposal for Tripartite declaration on Denmark (your 4725, June 13, 7 p.m.14), the War and Working Class article summarized in your 10742, December 5,15 and recent statements made by Doessing, the Danish observer at Moscow.

The Department accordingly feels that it would be unwise for the British to press for an early Soviet reply to the message from the Freedom Council and political party leaders as proposed in a recent aide-mémoire to the Department (your 954, January 27, 4 p.m.16). Such action might conceivably result in the Soviet authorities taking a stand on the Freedom Council-political party leaders’ issue which would prejudice future Danish-Soviet relations and possibly lead to a split in the present united front of the Danish resistance movement. In our opinion, it would be preferable to allow the Soviets to take their time in determining what action, if any, they will take on the request of the Freedom Council and the political party leaders for a Tripartite statement on Denmark. In this connection the Department understands that Erling Foss, the Danish resistance leader, is planning to visit Moscow in the near future in an endeavor to convey to the Soviet authorities a true picture of the Danish resistance movement.

Since an early reply to the Danish message is considered highly desirable, the Department intends to forward through our own channels a reply to the communication. This will be forwarded to you shortly, and before delivery, for transmission to the Foreign Office. At the same time the Embassy at Moscow will be requested to deliver a copy to the Soviet Foreign Office. By following this procedure we would avoid the risk of forcing the Soviets to take a probable negative stand on the Danish message and, at the same time, leave the door open for further negotiation on the subject at a time when the atmosphere appears to be more propitious for Soviet participation in a Tripartite statement.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, p. 545.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed (859.01/1–2745); the Ambassador reported having received from the British Foreign Office copies of the telegram to the British Embassy in Washington and the proposed communication to the Soviet Government which were attached to the British Embassy’s aide-mémoire of January 25 to the Department; see telegram 201, p. 560.