740.0011 E.W./2–145: Telegram

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

Noweg 14. Norwegians have today given an aide-mémoire68 to Swedish Minister here69 referring to temporary cessation of destruction in Norway by Germans pointing out that military situation may soon develop so that Germans will leave further districts and resume policy of destruction. Reference is made to comprehensive list of hostages whom Germans and Quislings70 plan to take. Document then states that if Germans resume policy of destruction on larger scale Norway must approach Sweden to make representations to Germany. Swedes could themselves best decide contents and form such representations; Norwegians however point out such démarche could scarcely lead to results unless Sweden is prepared to support it with determined measures should Germans decline to act. Doubtful if severing diplomatic relations effective or economic sanctions as trade practically broken off already. Swedes would presumably therefore have to suggest armed intervention. As Germany’s situation becomes more critical Norwegians assume Germans would be reluctant to risk military intervention by Sweden but might take such a risk. Norwegian Government is drawing attention that such intervention may be requested of Sweden. Gratification expressed for representations already made to German Government by Swedes. Closes by stating Norwegians venture hope Sweden would be willing actively intervene should German policy of terror and destruction in Norway become serious threat in future.

Lie tells me Norwegians have done this on their own initiative but that its effectiveness in Sweden would be greater if backed up by British, American and Soviet Governments.

Swedish Minister was told that these Governments were being informed.

[Page 62]

Foreign Minister said that present aide-mémoire was simply to put Swedes on notice so that if request is later actually made there will be less ground to delay decision.

Sent Department as Noweg 14, repeated Stockholm as 149.

  1. Text of the aide-mémoire was transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador to the Norwegian Government in Exile as an enclosure to his despatch No. 16, February 2, not printed. The text of the aide-mémoire has been printed in the documentary collection of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry (Utenriksde-partement), Gorges forhold til Sverige under krigen 1940–45: Aktstykker utgitt av Det Kgl. Utenriksdepartment, (Oslo, Gyldenal Norsk Forlag, 1950), vol. iii, pp. 304306. For a discussion from the Swedish point of view of this aide-mémoire and subsequent diplomatic exchanges regarding possible Swedish intervention in Norway, see the pamphlet by the Swedish Foreign Ministry (Utrikesdepartementet), Förhandlingarna 1945 om Svensk Intervention i Norge och Danmark (Stockholm, 1957).
  2. Baron Johan Hugo Beck-Friis, Swedish Minister to the Norwegian Government in Exile.
  3. Those Norwegians collaborating with the German forces of occupation.