740.0012 European War 1939/1–245: Telegram

The Minister in Sweden (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

6. Department’s 2, January 1, 3 p.m.; 3 to London. All exports of Swedish goods to Germany were terminated January first. No notice of this will be given to the press and newspaper correspondents have been requested not to refer to situation since publicity would inevitably lead to stoppage of Göteborg safe conduct traffic. Foot7 and Stone8 according to Sohlman9 agreed to no publicity in meeting with Gisle10 and De Besche11 December 22. Allies are understood to be interested in maintaining Göteborg safe conduct traffic open as long as possible in view of desire to get 100 octane aviation fuel and relief supplies et cetera to Sweden. (MEW’s telegram to British Embassy, Washington dated December 15.) It is accordingly expected by Swedish Foreign Office that we will take every precaution to prevent any publicity leak.

The only Swedish goods which may still leave Swedish jurisdiction for Germany are those which had already cleared through the Swedish customs and were aboard German vessels or in railroad cars aboard ferry boats and therefore, had been exported prior to midnight, December 31.

Swedish interpretation of Germany as confirmed by Sohlman includes all German-controlled Europe except Norway and Denmark [Page 733] (London’s 11088, December 14, 9 p.m. to the Department; 837 to Stockholm12). Outstanding licenses for exports to Norway and Denmark have not been invalidated and presumably (Sohlman was not certain of this and will not be able to check with Boheman13 until the latter’s return from the country tomorrow) new licenses will continue to be issued under terms of barter transactions entered into second half 1944. Questions of extent and nature of JSC “supervision” over Swedish exports to Norway and Denmark and when such supervision will become operative were, according to Sohlman, by agreement between Swedes and Foot and Stone left on the agenda for consideration and settlement when Boheman returns to London this month.

My 1, January 2, 4 p.m. repeats this to London.

  1. Dingle M. Foot, Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary, British Ministry of Economic Warfare.
  2. William T. Stone, Director of the Economic Warfare Division of the American Embassy in London and Special Adviser to Ambassador Winant.
  3. Rolf Sohlman, Chief of the Commercial Section of the Swedish Foreign Ministry.
  4. Carl O. Gisle, Counselor of the Swedish Legation in London.
  5. Hubert Waltier August de Besche, First Secretary of the Swedish Legation in London.
  6. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, p. 673.
  7. Erik C. Boheman, Under Secretary of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.