861.24557H/3–1147: Telegram

The Ambassador in Norway (Bay) to the Secretary of State


115. ReEmb’s 84, and 85, February 19, and 86, February 20.1 In visit with Mr. Andvord, Secretary General Foreign Office, on March 8, I asked him whether Norway has yet received a reply from USSR to Norwegian note on Svalbard. He stated that Norway had received no answer.

To clarify that part of the Storting resolution reading, “Storting never forgetting assistance given to Norway by Soviet Union, agree that discussions with Soviet Union, state which, besides Norway, has particular economic interests on Svalbard, otherwise should be continued concerning preparations for revision of Spitsbergen treaty 1920 with view to making it more satisfactory,” I asked him whether Norway is presently dissatisfied with any major provision of the treaty and desires on its own account to call a meeting for revision, to which he replied in the negative.

I asked what the Norwegian Govt meant by that phrase, and he stated with a smile that if USSR initiates request for meeting to revise the treaty that Norway would like to take up certain minor provisions on its own account, but that none of these provisions has anything bearing upon the military or defense aspects of treaty. He made it clear that Norway would not initiate a request for revision of treaty, but would be willing to join such request if USSR should initiate request.

My conclusion is that Norway desires to reject USSR proposals for treaty revision, but wishes to do so as graciously as possible.

  1. Last two telegrams not printed.