856.48/3–2345: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Caffery)

1139. For Reber.10a In aide-mémoire from Dutch Embassy, March 5, Netherlands Government requested approval of delivery of 5,000 tons relief supplies weekly in Swedish ships for larger cities in occupied Netherlands. AmEmbassy, London, advises that Foreign Office and British Chiefs of Staff are in accord and War Cabinet expected give approval shortly. In November SHAEF approved introduction foodstuffs into occupied Holland even though there might be possibility that portion would fall into enemy hands. We have not as yet approached War Department here as our understanding is that Combined Chiefs of Staff have already agreed in principle to food shipments into occupied territory to relieve extreme conditions subject to SHAEF’s approval. AmEmbassy London advises British are satisfied and do not intend put question to SHAEF again. Can you ascertain whether Dutch have discussed present problem with SHAEF and if not whether SHAEF approves present Dutch proposal? Foregoing refers to blockade aspect of proposal. Concerning supply aspect British expected make supplies available from U.K. but raise question of overseas replacements to fill shortages which might thus arise. For your information, this Government believes that replenishment question must be considered as part of over-all supply problem which includes consideration of U.K. stockpiles. Arrangements being made for comprehensive discussions between U.K. and U.S. on this matter.

  1. Samuel Reber, Counselor of Mission on the staff of the United States Political Adviser, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, with personal rank of Minister.