740.0011 E.W./4–2545

Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State to President Truman

Mr. Eden’s suggestion to you that an Anglo-American approach be made to the Swedes with a view to securing their intervention in Norway was embodied in a paper submitted by the British Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on April 19 where the matter is presently being considered. In my opinion, the proposal is primarily military in nature and must be decided on military rather than political grounds.

Without prior clearance by SHAEF, the Norwegians recently asked the Swedes to mobilize in order to indicate to the Germans in Norway that prolonged resistance would be useless. The Swedes considered such action as a gamble which might very well have the contrary effect. They therefore rejected the Norwegian request but left the door open for further approach should it subsequently appear that the Germans in Norway will continue to resist after the collapse in Germany proper.

Despite this turn-down, I feel there is a good possibility that the Swedes would be willing to intervene if a request is made by the American, British and Norwegian Governments and no objection is raised by the Soviets. It is extremely doubtful, however, whether the Swedes would declare war on Germany. Intervention would probably be effected by regular units of the Swedish army acting either as “volunteers” or in the guise of “police” operating against “guerrilla” forces. As the result would be the same, it is felt that we should not press the Swedes for a formal declaration of war.

Joseph C. Grew