Memorandum by the Director of the Office of European Affairs (Hickerson) to the Acting Secretary of State

top secret


To coordinate US and British policies toward Sweden.


A National Security Council study on Scandinavia dated September 3, 1948 states with respect to Sweden:

[Here follow conclusions 10 and 13 of NSC 28/1, page 232.]

[Page 254]

Our policy cannot be effective without the assistance of Great Britain. Orders have recently been accepted by the British aviation industry to manufacture Spitfires and Vampires for Sweden.

The views of Ambassador Matthews are set forth in the attached cables 1041, September 10, 19481 and 1064, September 17, 1948.1 Details of the Vampire contract are found in the attached cable 4145 of September 16, 1948 from London,1 and the British viewpoint on orders of this kind is set forth in London’s airgram 1683, September 1, 1948, attached.1

The Department of the Air Force has been asked to make strongest representations on this subject to the British RAF officials in Washington.


It is recommended that you talk with the British Ambassador along the lines of the attached aide-mémoire2 and that you hand a copy of it to him; also that a copy of the aide-mémoire be cabled to General Kibler3 in London for use in the Western Union defense discussions there.4

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Aide-mémoire dated September 24, not printed. For summary of British reply, see telegram 716 to Stockholm, October 2, 1948, p. 259.
  6. American observer on military committee of five Brussels powers.
  7. At this point, Hickerson added in his own handwriting the following: “The language of this aide-mémoire is restrained, in accordance with diplomatic practice. If you concur, I hope you will ‘soup’ this up in the oral presentation to Franks. If you will, I will be present and help in this. I feel strongly that their policy doesn’t make any real sense. Why the hell should we spend money to rearm the Brussels Pact countries when they are selling jets to neutrals? JDH.”