740.00119 Control (Denmark)/5–2145

The Chargé in Denmark ( Thomas ) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of the agreement regarding civil administration and jurisdiction in Danish territory negotiated between SHAEF Mission (Denmark) and the Danish Government. The agreement has been signed by General Dewing, head of SHAEF Mission and was approved on May 17 by the competent Danish ministries. The Foreign Minister is expected to sign the agreement on May 22.

It will be noted that the agreement differs somewhat from the draft which was drawn up many months ago, a copy of which is in the Department’s files.42 The differences in the original draft and the one now approved are principally those resulting from the circumstances under which Denmark was liberated. It will be recalled that the first draft contemplated the entrance of a task force to liberate Denmark and not a capitulation of the German forces with a peaceful entrance of a small contingent of British troops.

I have been informed by the Legal Department of the SHAEF Mission (Denmark) that several other agreements between SHAEF and the Danish Government are being drawn up to deal with such problems as censorship and communications. As the Department is aware, a number of other agreements are contemplated that are beyond the jurisdiction of the SHAEF Mission. I understand that these are to be negotiated on a governmental level. The latter category of agreements include a monetary agreement and a reciprocal aid agreement.

Respectfully yours,

Sheldon Thomas
[Page 572]

Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Civil Administration and Jurisdiction in Danish Territory Liberated as a Result of Allied Military Operations 43

Discussions which have taken place between the Danish and Allied representatives concerning arrangements to be made for civil administration and jurisdiction in Danish territory liberated as a result of Allied military operations under an Allied Commander-in-Chief have led to agreement upon the following broad conclusions.

The agreed arrangements set out below are intended to be essentially temporary and practical and are designed to facilitate as far as possible, the task of the Commander-in-Chief, and to further our common purpose, namely, the speedy return of normal orderly conditions in Denmark and the final victory of the Allies.

The Danish Government will be responsible for civil administration in all Danish Territory, subject to such special arrangements as may be required in areas of vital importance to the Allied Forces, such as ports, lines of communication, and airfields, and without prejudice to the enjoyment by the Allied Forces of such other facilities as may be necessary for the prosecution of the Supreme Commander’s mission to its final conclusion.
Members of the Danish Armed Forces serving in the Danish units with the Allied Expeditionary Force in Danish territory shall come under the exclusive jurisdiction of Danish Courts. Other Danes, who, at the time of entering Denmark as members of the Allied Expeditionary Force, are serving in conditions which render them subject to Allied naval, military, or air force law, will not be regarded as members of the Danish armed forces for this purpose.
Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 10, Allied Service Courts and authorities will have exclusive jurisdiction over all members of the Allied Forces respectively, and over all persons of non-Danish nationality not belonging to such Forces, who are [Page 573] employed by, or who accompany these Forces, and are subject to Allied naval, military, or air force law.
Persons, thus subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of Allied Service Courts and authorities, may, however be arrested by the Danish police for offenses against Danish law and detained until they can be handed over for disposal to the appropriate Allied service authority. A certificate signed by an Allied Officer of field rank or its equivalent, that the person to whom it refers belongs to one of the classes mentioned in Paragraph 3, shall be conclusive. The procedure for handing over such persons is a matter for local arrangement.
The Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Forces and the Danish authorities will take the necessary steps to provide machinery for such mutual assistance as may be required in making investigations, collecting evidence, and securing the attendance of witnesses in relation to cases triable, under Allied or Danish jurisdiction.
There shall be established by the respective Allies, claim commissions, to examine and dispose of claims for compensation for damage or injury preferred by Danish civilians against the Allied Forces exclusive of claims for damage or injury resulting from military operations, if any.
Members of the Allied Forces and organizations, and persons employed by or accompanying these forces, and all property belonging to them or the Allied Governments, shall be exempt from all Danish taxation (including customs), except as may be subsequently agreed between the Allied and Danish Governments. The Allied authorities will take the necessary steps to ensure that such property is not sold to the public of Denmark, except in agreement with the Danish Government.
The Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force shall have power to requisition billets and supplies, and make use of lands, buildings, transportation, and other services for the military needs of the forces under his command. Requisitions will be effected, where possible, through Danish authorities and in accordance with Danish law, and in accordance, with any Agreement between the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and the Danish Government.
The immunity from Danish jurisdiction and taxation resulting from paragraphs 3 and 7 will extend to such selected civilian officials and employees of the Allied Governments present in Denmark on duty in furtherance of the purposes of the Allied Expeditionary Force, as may from time to time be notified by the Supreme Commander to the Danish Government.
Should circumstances in future be such as to require provisions to be made for the exercise of jurisdiction in civil matters over non-Danish [Page 574] members of the Allied Forces present in Denmark, the Allied Governments concerned and the Danish Government will consult together as to the measures to be adopted.
Other questions arising as a result of the liberation of Danish territory by an Allied Expeditionary Force (in particular questions relating to finance and currency) which are not dealt with in this agreement shall be regarded as remaining open and shall form the subject of further negotiation as circumstances may require.

For the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force

For the Royal Danish Government

Signed in duplicate at . . . . . . .

  1. A draft “Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Civil Administration and Jurisdiction in Danish Territory Liberated as a Result of Allied Military Operations”, dated January 30, 1945, and approved by the SHAEF Mission to Denmark on February 5, 1945, was transmitted to the Department by Mr. Samuel Reber in his letter of April 6 to the Director of the Office of European Affairs, neither printed (859.00/4–645). Telegram 1517, April 17, 1945, to Paris for Reber briefly reviewed the work by the Combined Chiefs of Staff on a Danish Civil Affairs Agreement which had been laid aside in June 1944 (859.01/4–1745).
  2. A memorandum by Harry H. Mitchell, Head of the Legal Section of the SHAEF Mission to Denmark, dated May 28, 1945, describes this agreement as follows:

    “On 21 May 45 an agreement regarding Civil Administration and Jurisdiction with respect to Allied Forces in Denmark was signed by Maj. Gen. R. H. Dewing CB DSO MC, representing the Supreme Commander, and ratified for and on behalf of the Danish Government by Mr. Christmas Møller, the Danish Foreign Minister. This agreement has been called the ‘Overall Agreement’. It has sometimes been referred to by Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force and by the British Foreign Office as the ‘Civil Affairs Agreement’. It is expected that this agreement will remain in effect until Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force is inactivated.” (740.00119 Control (Denmark)/5–3145).

    SHAEF was inactivated July 14, 1945.