759.5/6–950: Telegram

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

top secret

549. Conversation with Embassy Counselor Foreign Minister Lange confirmed impression prevalent in certain quarters of Danish uneasiness regarding membership in North Atlantic Treaty. Lange said he was well aware that Danes were apprehensive of their exposed position [Page 127] and difficulty of defending their territory and that there was undercurrent of Danish resentment against Norway for having drawn Denmark into NATO.

Danish nervousness was increased according to Lange by lack of conviction as to US and UK intentions with respect to defense of Denmark. Danes were worried at apparent inability of British to step up military production and dubious regarding speed with which MDAP supplies would be forthcoming. In general there was misgiving as to benefits to be derived from Atlantic Pact and regret that it had not been possible to organize separate defense alliance for the Scandinavian nations.

As measure to allay Danish anxieties Norwegians were endeavoring to make clear that first line of defense for Norway lay on Danish-German border. Decision had been taken in case of attack to use Norwegian brigade in Germany for primary defense of Denmark by means of withdrawing action in conjunction with Danish and possibly other forces. This might at least give two or three days time in which help could arrive. Lange was hopeful that firm Norwegian attitude and expressed determination to assist Denmark in so far as possible would have some effect in overcoming present Danish dissatisfaction.

Pass Department, Copenhagen, sent Department 549, repeated Copenhagen 18.