740.0011 EW/4–1545: Telegram

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

Noweg 59. My telegram Noweg 52 April 13, 2 p.m.,90 repeated to Stockholm as 308, April 13. I saw Foreign Minister Trygve Lie late this afternoon immediately prior to his departure for the United States. He told me that the Swedish reply to the Norwegian aide-mémoire had been received and that Mr. Terje Wold91 (who will act for him in his absence) would make a copy available to me tomorrow. However, he indicated that the reply follows closely the Swedish point of view as set forth to Johnson by Foreign Minister Günther (telegram No. 1383 April 13 from Stockholm to the Department). He did not ask me whether I had any information from Stockholm and I volunteered nothing.

Mr. Lie expressed considerable irritation at the assumption that the Swedish Government knew better than the Norwegian Government what was good for Norway and that it had better information as to the attitude of the Home Front. He was certain that Swedish mobilization of itself—and Norway was not requesting anything further—would not precipitate a German policy of destruction in Norway. It was, of course, possible that the Germans in Norway would surrender when resistance in Germany ceased even without Swedish mobilization; but as to the effect within Norway of Swedish mobilization, the Norwegian Government was the best judge. As for the Home Front, this particular matter, like all other important questions, had been cleared with and approved by it. This statement was agreed to by Mr. Oisten Thommessen92 who was present at the conclusion of the discussion and who is going to San Francisco93 as the Home Front’s representative.

Mr. Lie said he would not ask that the United States and Britain should support the Norwegian request but he did urge that they should not support the Swedish position in this matter concerning which further representations will be made to Sweden. Mr. Lie said that his belief that the Swedes would comply with the Norwegian request had been based on assurances given him in Stockholm by the Swedish Prime Minister94 and Foreign Secretary and by the Swedish Minister [Page 73] here. It is Mr. Lie’s view that the present Swedish attitude is primarily motivated by a desire not to run any risk of being involved in hostilities “so long as Germany has a bomber left”; also by doubts as to the effectiveness of the Swedish Army.

I may add that I have never given Mr. Lie the slightest ground for believing that the step which the Norwegians have taken would have the approval of the United States, as I am in complete ignorance of the views on the matter of the Department and the military authorities.

Sent Department as Noweg 59, April 15, 11 p.m.; repeated to Stockholm as 316, April 15, 11 p.m.

[Osborne]
  1. Not printed.
  2. Norwegian Minister of Justice.
  3. Member of the Norwegian resistance movement recently escaped from Norway.
  4. For documentation regarding the United Nations Conference at San Francisco, April 25–June 26, 1945, see vol. i, pp. 1 ff.
  5. Per Albin Hansson.