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prevailing with regard to the principal food sources for the Finnish people, and at the meeting of the Premiers and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, which recently took place in Copenhagen, the question was taken up for discussion concerning what could be done on the part of the Scandinavian countries in order to bring relief in the serious distress now suffered by the Finnish people.

During these discussions it became evident that on account of the constantly increasing scarcity of foodstuffs in the Scandinavian countries any direct help in the way of export of cereals from them to Finland was practically excluded, but on the other hand, upon a proposal submitted by the Finnish Government itself, the advisability was taken under consideration whether a common appeal could not be addressed to the Governments of the United States and Great Britain with a view of possibly effecting an importation into Finland of so much of breadstuffs as to prevent actual starvation which is now menacing the whole country.

According to information recently received from Finland, the quantity of breadstuffs immediately needed amounts to 8,000 tons.

In the event that the American and British Governments would favorably consider such an appeal, the Governments of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are prepared to, if such should be desired, in an effective manner which could be especially arranged and agreed upon, control the distribution of the cereals thus granted so as to ensure that they would be used exclusively for the benefit of the Finnish population.

The Finnish Government has for its own part declared itself willing to accept such a control. Guarantee that such a system of control would be accepted and respected on the part of Germany can also be obtained.

The three Scandinavian Governments feel confident that in view of the humanitarian nature of the proposed steps and in harmony with the high principles for which it has always made itself a champion, the Government of the United States will favorably consider the above proposal.

WASHINGTON, August 8, 1918.

a

File No. 8600.48/24a
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain

(Page)
[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, August 10, 1918, 5 p. m. 717. Department has received representations from Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish Legations in Washington, presented through Swedish Minister, to import into Finland 8,000 tons breadstuffs necessary to avoid actual starvation menacing that country. Referring Department's 78, July 6, 7 p. m., this Government does not believe that aid can be given Finland while German inilitary forces remain in that country and make Finnish territory a base for operations against Russia and the Allied forces now at Murmansk and Archangel engaged in assisting Russia to safeguard Russian supplies and Russian interests from German aggression. Furthermore the Department is informed that Finnish troops are cooperating with Germany in these operations.

Before we make any reply to the Swedish Minister, please present these views to the Foreign Office and ascertain its attitude. The proposal of the Swedish Minister would seem to contemplate joint action by Great Britain and the United States.

POLK

File No. 8600.48/99

The British Chargé (Barclay) to the Secretary of State

No. 910

WASHINGTON, August 15, 1918. MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I have the honour to inform you, by instruction of Mr. Balfour, that he has received a visit from the three Scandinavian Ministers in London to ask, on instructions from their Governments, whether His Majesty's Government would be prepared to facilitate the entry into Finland of a minimum quantity of 8,000 tons of grain, to meet the Finnish needs.

Mr. Balfour proposes to reply that the requirements of the Allies in respect of both food and tonnage would in any case have made it difficult for His Majesty's Government to accede to this request; that they would, however, have been anxious to do everything in their power to relieve the distress in Finland, but that so long as Finland is in the occupation of German military forces, which are constantly increasing, and so long as the Finnish Government is entirely under German influence, it is impossible for His Majesty's Government to agree to send food to a country which may, for any guarantee we have to the contrary, be used as a base for enemy operations against the Allies.

His Majesty's Government understand that similar representations have been made to the United States Government, and they would be glad to learn whether they concur in the above reply. Believe me [etc.]

COLVILLE BARCLAY

File No. 8600.48/19
The Department of State to the Swedish Legation 1

MEMORANDUM

The memorandum dated August 8, 1918, handed to the Depart. ment of State by the Swedish Minister, stated that owing to the serious food situation in Finland, the three Scandinavian countries have felt themselves compelled to address the Governments of the United States and Great Britain with a view of possibly effecting an importation into Finland of about 8,000 tons of breadstuffs which are immediately needed there, and that in the event that the American and British Governments would favorably consider such an appeal, the Governments of Sweden, Norway and Denmark are prepared, if such should be desired, to control the distribution of the cereals thus granted so as to insure that they would be used exclusively for the benefit of the Finnish population.

The United States Government, fully appreciating the humanitarian nature of the proposed steps, feels compelled to reply that the requirements of the Allies in respect to both food and tonnage would in any case have made it difficult for the United States to accede to this request, however anxious to do everything in its power to relieve the distress in Finland. As long as Finland continues to be occupied by German military forces, which are constantly increasing in numbers, and while the Finnish Government is entirely under German influence, it is impossible for the United States Government to send food to a country which may, regardless of guarantees to the contrary, be used as a base for enemy operations against the Allies.

WASHINGTON, August 17, 1918.

File No. 860d,48/24

The French Ambassador (Jusserand) to the Secretary of State

[Translation)
WASHINGTON, August 29, 1918.

[Received August 31.] MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: As I had the honor to tell Your Excellency in our conversation yesterday, the Allied consuls at Helsingfors have submitted to their respective Governments a proposition to cause a note to be published in the Scandinavian press showing that the Entente Powers, harboring no hostile sentiment toward Finland,

1

* The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, to the Danish and Norwegian Legations.

are ready to supply the northeastern districts of the country with food on the condition that they be evacuated by the Germans. In this way the revictualing would spread to all parts relinquished by the Germans.

On receipt of that proposition forwarded to it by the Minister of France at Stockholm, my Government replied that it could not be accepted in that form, that the position of the Allies on that question had been clearly stated in the note handed to M. de Grippenberg and that it is deemed expedient to adhere to the terms of that note which places the following conditions on the revictualing of Finland: termination of the treaty concluded by that country with Germany in evident violation of its neutrality; a guarantee that the imported foodstuffs will be for the exclusive use of the Finnish population; a pledge not to tolerate any attempt upon the Russian adjoining provinces. As viewed by my Government, the partial revictualing proposed by the consuls would make it possible for the Germans momentarily to withdraw from certain parts to which they would return afterward.

Furthermore, it is of the highest importance to bring into Finland a conviction that Germany's defeat is assured and thus change its state of mind. Firmness on the part of the Allies may go far toward establishing that needed conviction.

I was glad to report to my Government, on the strength of the oral remarks made to me on the subject by Your Excellency, that the American Government's views of the question were on the whole like its own. Be pleased to accept [etc.]

JUSSERAND

File No. 8600.48/24

The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador (Jusserand)

WASHINGTON, September 20, 1918. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to refer to your note of August 29, 1918, in regard to furnishing food supplies to Finland, and beg to inform you that after considering this question again, the United States does not see its way clear to modify its original decision that, quite aside from the difficulty of securing necessary tonnage space, it does not seem either practicable or advisable to assist the Finnish population with food supplies as long as the existing authorities are so strongly influenced by Germany or while they permit Finnish territory to serve as a base of operation for German troops in military undertakings against the Allies.

No. 2239

* See telegram of Aug. 21, 1918, from the Consul at Helsingfors, and Department's reply of Aug. 28, Foreign Relations, 1918, Russia, vol. II, pp. 806 and 808, respectively.

The views of this Government have been communicated to the British Government and an answer in the same sense has been given to the Swedish Minister, in response to a memorandum which he submitted on this subject under date of August 8, 1918. I am pleased to note that this decision would seem to accord with that of your Government. Accept [etc.]

ROBERT LANSING

File No. 860d.48/107
The Chargé in Sweden (Whitehouse) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]
STOCKHOLM, October 9, 1918, 6 p. m.

[Received October 10, 7.34 a. m.] 2970. Am reliably informed that there is great nervousness in Finland as to the possible consequences of the present withdrawal of the German troops from that country, since it is feared that the Finnish Reds with the aid of the Bolsheviks will attempt to start another social revolution, and this nervousness is increased by doubts as to our attitude, due apparently to the presence at Archangel of certain prominent leaders of the Finnish Bolsheviks.

I think the Finnish people should not be considered as definitely on the German side; public opinion has been turning away from the Germans on account their exactions, and this is an opportune moment to win them over to our side, which would also presumably facilitate the task of the forces at Archangel.

Under the circumstances and considering it as part of our fight against Bolshevism, I respectfully urge that 5,000 tons of the Finnish cereals in the United States be allowed to come forward to Haparanda via Narvik, consigned to this Legation.

I feel sure that if we could give some promise of support against a Bolshevik attack and quiet the population by sending some food we could count on their cooperation and regain our influence in Finland.

The British Chargé d'Affaires agrees with the above and wrote his Government October 8 in a similar sense.

WHITEHOUSE

File No. 860d.48/107

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Sweden (Whitehouse)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, October 11, 1918, 6 p. m. 1203. Your 2970, October 9, 6 p. m. Same report from Naval

9p. Attaché, Stockholm. Department believes these reports should be taken with caution. Some agency, presumably the German Govern

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