The American, Minister in Sweden (Johnson) to the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs (Günther)68

No. 666

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to the conversation I had with Your Excellency on February 16, 1945 in which it was recalled that on December 15, 1944 the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while advising me69 that the Swedish Government could not at that time grant the request for an aviation service between the United States and Sweden as set forth in my Note No. 567 of October 30, 1944,70 had stated that it would be prepared to examine a new proposal on the subject at a later date when the need of a direct air service communication between the two countries should prove more imminent.

As Your Excellency suggested, Swedish and American representatives have since discussed in detail the new proposals which I had the honor to advance on February 16.71 These, as thus modified, are as follows:

The Swedish Government agrees to the operation by the Air Transport Command of unarmed military aircraft into, through, and away from Sweden.
The administrative and operational control of United States aircraft utilizing the Bromma airbase, or such other airbases as may be agreed upon, shall be vested in the Air Transport Command insofar as such control does not violate established Swedish Civil Air regulations applicable to air traffic and airdrome control (and subject further to the provisions of Annex “A”71a).
Air Transport Command aircraft may operate into, through, and away from Sweden with military crews and passengers in uniform. Air crews and passengers in uniform will, if required by the Swedish authorities, change to civilian clothes before leaving the limits of the Bromma base and such other Swedish airbases as may later be agreed upon for use by the Air Transport Command.
The Air Transport Command will determine and provide the minimum number of ground personnel necessary for the conduct of its operations. Such personnel, while permanently stationed in Sweden, will wear civilian clothes, if required by the Swedish authorities.
The Air Transport Command will take all action necessary to assure procurement and delivery of all supplies necessary for its operations.
If requested by the Swedish Government, the Air Transport Command will arrange for the construction of weather observing stations required in Sweden for its operations and will operate such stations for the mutual benefit of the United States and Sweden, under the supervision of competent Swedish authority.
The Air Transport Command will arrange for the establishment of all communications facilities necessary to safe and efficient control of United States aircraft and will provide instruction in the installation, operation and maintenance of these facilities for a mutually agreed upon number of Swedish technicians. It is agreed that radio transmitting facilities installed for the Air Transport Command may be operated by Swedish technicians. It is also agreed that the Swedish Government will operate the facilities according to established international regulations accepted by the Governments of the United States and Sweden governing radio telegraphy procedures and will within the limits of these regulations give priority to the operational requirements of the Air Transport Command in the use and operation of air and ground communications equipment, installed by or for the Air Transport Command. It is further agreed that the Swedish Government will not originate for transmission by such equipment, messages pertaining to Air Transport Command operations outside of Swedish territory except with the prior consent of competent United States authority.
Cryptographing and decryptographing of administrative, operational and weather communications will be accomplished in an American Legation annex situated at Riksby (Bromma airport). It is agreed that the Swedish Government is entitled to knowledge of the substance of messages dispatched under the provisions of this paragraph, provided that cryptographic security is maintained. It is also agreed that recognition of this principle involves no more than examination from time to time of paraphrased sample messages. It is further agreed that Swedish requests for such examination will be made within one week of the date of dispatch of the message concerned.
The communications equipment, navigational aids, and weather stations and equipment installed by or for the Air Transport Command will not be removed as long as the Air Transport Command is operating in Sweden. Upon such equipment becoming surplus the United States authorities will discuss the transfer to Sweden of title to such equipment, subject to the pertinent provisions of American law.
It should be understood that when American civil air carriers operate into Sweden all facilities and equipment provided by the Government of the United States, and which may later become the property of the Swedish Government, will be made available for use by American carriers on terms as favorable as those enjoyed by any national air carrier.
Subject to the obtaining by the Swedish Government of the necessary authorization from the Icelandic Government for the operation of Swedish aircraft into Iceland, the United States will permit Swedish use of the United States airbase facilities at Meeks Field, [Page 755] Iceland, including landing rights and access to weather and operational information insofar as this will not interfere with United States security or military requirements.
The Swedish Government will furnish appropriate guarantees that any classified information, technique or equipment which it may acquire as a result of any action taken under this agreement will not be transmitted or made known to any other country, Allied, Axis or Neutral, without the prior consent of the United States Government.
It is understood that the Swedish Civil Aviation Authority (Luftfartsmyndigheten) will grant a concession to the Air Transport Command for the service agreed upon, effective April 1, 1945.
These understandings shall remain in force for 12 months and will automatically continue in force for successive 12 months periods subject to termination by either Government upon ninety days notice prior to the end of any 12 months period other than the first.

As for the questions raised by representatives of the Swedish Government during the course of the negotiations regarding (a) flights of Swedish planes into and away from the United States, (b) the supply of spare parts required by AB Aerotransport for flying fortresses now on loan to the Swedish Government for air transport use, (c) the delivery of Douglas DC–3 aircraft to AB Aerotransport, (d) the supply of weather observations from the west to the State Meteorological and Hydrographic Board, (e) the training of certain Swedish personnel in flying the northern route to the United States via Iceland and (f) the circumstances under which Swedish aircraft might be permitted, after the establishment of an Allied Control Commission in Germany, to resume their pre-war scheduled flights into and over Germany, the replies to these questions are given in separate communications from this Legation.

I would greatly appreciate Your Excellency’s confirmation of the understandings which have now been reached between our respective representatives, as set forth above.

Please accept [etc.]

Herschel V. Johnson

Annex A

Local (flight) control shall be managed by Swedish officers. The Air Transport Command shall have an American control officer or pilot in the control towers, at such airports as may be agreed upon for Air Transport Command operations, as soon as an Air Transport Command aircraft crosses the Swedish frontier. He will advise the Swedish control officer concerning Air Transport Command traffic in the air and should if possible be a Swedish (Norwegian or Danish) speaking officer. When radio-telephony is used he shall convey orders and messages from the Swedish control officer to the Air Transport Command aircraft.
Radio communications between Air Transport Command aircraft and the ground shall preferably take place by radio telegraphy according to the Q code or other agreed upon codes, when the aircraft are flying outside of the airport traffic control.
Existing Swedish regulations regarding the circumstances under which take-offs and landings may be prohibited shall be also applicable to aircraft operated by the Air Transport Command. The Swedish Civil Aviation Authority shall, however, give sympathetic consideration to requests for the promulgation of special regulations regarding the operation of aircraft operated by the Air Transport Command.
Other regulations which are generally applicable to traffic over Swedish territory shall be observed by aircraft operated by the Air Transport Command.
All navigational aids which the Air Transport Command may place at Swedish disposal shall be put under Swedish control, but aircraft operated by the Air Transport Command shall be given priority in the use of such navigational aids under the same conditions as are set forth in paragraph “g” of the note to which this is an Annex concerning communication facilities.
It is agreed that the volume of radio traffic handled in the American Legation Annex at Riksby will be kept to the minimum necessary for the conduct of Air Transport Command operations in order that Swedish communication facilities will not be overburdened.
  1. A note of the same date (not printed) from the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Minister in Sweden confirmed the understanding set forth in this note. Although both notes are dated March 12, telegram 982, March 13, from Stockholm stated that the formal exchange of notes took place on March 13, in the afternoon. (811.79658/3–1345)

    This agreement was terminated by an exchange of letters between the American Legation and the Swedish Foreign Office dated September 30, 1946 (811.79658/12–346).

  2. See telegram 5151, December 17, 1944, 9 a.m., from Stockholm, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, p. 685.
  3. Not printed.
  4. See telegram 746, February 27, 7 p.m., from Stockholm, p. 749.
  5. For annex A, see p. 755.