859.01/2–245: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Harriman )

216. Department’s 201, February 1, 1 p.m. You are requested to inform the Foreign Office that we understand that it has received a [Page 563] copy of a message addressed to the Soviet, British and American Governments by the Danish Freedom Council and the leaders of the four principal political parties requesting them to make a public statement recognizing the Danes as Allies. You should then furnish the Foreign Office, for its information, with a copy of the following secret message which this Government proposes to send to the Freedom Council and the political party leaders within the next several days. You should add that a copy of our proposed message is also being transmitted to the British Foreign Office.17

“As is indicated in Mr. Hull’s statement of July 12, 1944,18 the American people have long considered the people of Denmark as Allies in the struggle against the forces of aggression. The events of August 29, 1943 and the occurrences which have taken place since that date have further strengthened them in this belief. The unity of the Danes, both at home and abroad in their opposition to the Nazis and the contributions being made by them in the common cause through sabotage and other forms of resistance evoke the admiration of the people of the United States.

In order to spare the Danish people and their leaders from possible retaliation at the hands of the Germans, it might not be advisable to issue at this time a public statement recognizing Denmark as an Ally in fact as well as in spirit as is suggested in the message received from the Freedom Council and leaders of the four principal political parties. This matter is being carefully considered by the American Government. Irrespective of the decision reached, it is desired by this Government that the Freedom Council and the leaders of the political parties should be aware of the esteem and admiration in which the Danish people are held by the people of the United States.”

Should your British colleague19 already have delivered to the Soviet authorities a message urging them to join in a declaration on Denmark, you should observe that this represents an independent action on the part of the British authorities.

  1. Sent in telegram 824, February 2, 11 p.m., to London, not printed.
  2. Department of State Bulletin, July 16, 1944, p. 60.
  3. Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, British Ambassador in the Soviet Union.