The Ambassador in Norway ( Bay ) to the Secretary of State
52. ReEmb 47, Jan 28.1 Foreign Minister Lange told me today that second meeting of Storting had not yet been held and may be delayed one or two weeks while Lange goes to hospital for check-up. He is apparently not seriously ill but health has been sub-par since returning [Page 1012] from US in November. Lange expects that following Storting consideration Norwegian Govt will inform Soviet Govt that (a) situation is different today in light of UN Charter and objectives in conformity with which Norway’s present policy is opposed to bilateral military action between Norway and Russia or between Norway and any other power and (b) Norway is satisfied with status quo and present terms of 1920 Svalbard treaty but if Russia should initiate request that treaty be submitted to signatories for any purpose whatever Norway will not oppose in principle such submission.
Lange told me that he put question squarely before Molotov in New York as to what Russia objects to with respect to her economic interests, pointing out that Russia has equal economic rights with every other signatory. Presumably Molotov did not answer this question. Lange also told me that since principal economic interests in Svalbard are now divided between Norway and Soviet Union, if Russia wishes to bring to Norway’s attention any matters which may presently be disturbing to Russia in economic field Norway would be happy to explore such situation but if any question arises in such exploratory discussion which may be of concern to any other signatory question must be submitted to other signatories.
Lange informed me that he has not told Soviet Ambassador2 during recent informal call his expectations re Norwegian communication to Moscow as set forth above.
Sent Dept 52; repeated Moscow 9; London 6.