740.00112 European War 1939/12–2044: Telegram

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

10. Department has made it clear in its 10495 and 10496 to London15 (which were repeated to Stockholm as 2535 and 2536, December 16 respectively) and in its 2201 and 234716 to Stockholm (which were repeated to London as 9170 and 9804, November 2 and November 21, respectively) that provision of the Saturnus rubber cargo was contingent upon our understanding that the Swedes would terminate all exports to Germany and German-controlled territories. Furthermore, the word Germany has always been taken, in our war trade conversations with Sweden, to be synonymous with Axis Europe and to include Norway and Denmark and, as a matter of fact, is so specifically stated in the existing War Trade Agreement.17 We fail to understand therefore how the Swedes could have been under any misapprehension on this point nor how Foot and Stone (Stockholm’s 6, January 2) could have agreed without prior authority from this Government to have reserved for future discussion with the Swedes the question of Swedish exports to Norway and Denmark. If this Government had appreciated that there was any remaining misunderstanding whatsoever on the question of Swedish exports to Norway and Denmark we would have been constrained to request the British authorities to detain the Saturnus at the Faroes until the question had been settled. Nor do we see how there could be any area of misunderstanding with respect to the “extent and nature of JSC supervision over Swedish exports to Norway and Denmark” as our position on this point is clearly set forth in the fourth paragraph of Department’s 10495, December 16 to London.

This Government is not willing to await Boheman’s return to London for further discussions on the above points but desires that its [Page 735] views be strongly presented to the Swedish Foreign Office at once. To summarize, these views are as follows: that certain rubber and buna supplies would be made available to the Swedish Government and that immediately upon the arrival of such supplies in a Swedish port the Swedish Government would terminate all exports to Germany including German-controlled territories such as Norway and Denmark; that subsequent exports to Norway and Denmark could only be considered by the JSC on an ad hoc basis implying of course reference to Washington and London in each case.

In view of the position now taken by the Swedish Government with respect to exports to Norway and Denmark it is difficult to escape the conclusion that it was with deliberate intent that the Swedes did not bring up the question of such exports until after the Saturnus and its cargo had left American waters.

Failing prompt and satisfactory settlement of this question, Department is prepared to recommend to the appropriate American authorities the withholding of certain items now loading or about to be loaded on the Falsterbohus.

Sent to Stockholm, repeated to London as Department’s No. 49.

  1. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, pp. 677 and 678, respectively.
  2. Telegram 2201 not printed; for telegram 2347, see ibid., p. 668.
  3. For texts of the documents comprising the 1943 War Trade Agreement, see enclosures to despatch 11348, September 24, 1943, from London, ibid., 1943, vol. ii, p. 805.