857.9243/11–3045: Telegram

The Ambassador in Norway (Osborne) to the Secretary of State

724. I communicated orally to Lie substance of Deptel 498, November 27. He said his verbal query (reported in my 678, November 20) had followed inquiry by Soviet Ambassador on his own initiative concerning Danish press reports relative to Jan Mayen. The aide-mémoire followed a second call from Kuznetsov upon instructions from Moscow (Note: He had not previously told me this).

Lie admitted frankly he was fearful Russians would at once press demands regarding Svalbard unless he did something quickly.79 He said it also was not to our interest to have these demands pressed. As concerns his action in making copies of aide-mémoire available [Page 107] to British and Soviet Ambassador he said he regretted he had felt that this was necessary but stressed he had given me and Collier copies of communications with Russians re Svalbard (reEmbs 277, July 23)79a despite Soviet insistence that their original demands relating to Bear Island Spitzbergen were purely a Russo-Norwegian affair.

  1. In his telegram 796, December 19, 1945, 4 p.m., the Ambassador in Norway reported having been informed by the British Ambassador that a Soviet Embassy official had asked the opinion of a British Embassy official about the Jan Mayen matter, particularly whether he thought the Americans would in fact withdraw (857.9243/12–1945).
  2. Ante, p. 95.