740.00112 E.W./4–1345: Telegram

The Ambassador to the Norwegian Government in Exile (Osborne) to the Secretary of State

Noweg 58. Reference my Noweg 36, March 29 and Department’s Noweg 8, April 3.54

Norwegian Foreign Minister presented to me yesterday a memorandum indicating the grave concern of his Government regarding the extreme delay in obtaining authorization from Washington for relief shipments to occupied Norway. The memorandum refers to the delay in obtaining permission for shipment of 10,000 tons seed grain applied [Page 52] for on February 9 and not approved until March 28, by which time it was impossible to send and distribute more than 3000 tons. The following three pending applications are stated urgently to require an immediate decision (ref London Embassy’s 3427 of April 455):

10,000 tons of grain or flour of which 2000 tons are urgently required for Narwik district and 2000 tons for Trondheim;
5000 tons of superphosphate; and
3000 tons of seed potatoes.

The memorandum refers in connection with the superphosphate and seed potatoes, to the SHAEF request to the Norwegian Government to take steps to ensure a large harvest this year (ref London Embassy’s 3292 of March 3056).

The memorandum states that unless the existing machinery is improved the consequences in Norway may be catastrophic and strongly recommends that the Allied authorities in London should be given power to make final decisions without prior reference to Washington regarding relief shipments to Norway at least from Sweden. Full text of memorandum being sent by air pouch.

My attention has been called to the Department’s 2806 of April 11 to London Embassy stating that this general matter has been submitted to the White House for final decision. I strongly urge that every effort be made not only to secure immediate approval of outstanding applications but also to delegate to London Embassy power to approve future applications.

  1. Latter not printed; it referred to telegram 2501, March 31, 5 p.m., to London, p. 44.
  2. Not printed; it reported that the Norwegian Government was pressing for an answer to its requests for relief supplies (857.5018/4–445).
  3. Not printed.