At the Council meeting summoned by King Gustav himself, on 19 Feb. 1940, he let the following statement to be recorded in the Cabinet minutes:
I have today, on my own iniative, summoned the Cabinet to a meeting to record the following statement for inclusion in the protocol:
It is my wish that I could make the difficult and responsibility loaded situation, in which we now find ourselves, clear to my Swedish people. I have considered it to be my imperative duty to try to keep our country as long as possible outside the fatal conflict that now reigns over the world. Therefore, the declaration of our neutrality have also been issued with full approval of the government and the parliament.
I have the whole time followed with greatest admiration Finland's, our brother country's, heroic struggle against a great Power. Sweden has from the very beginning tried to help this country by volunteers and in many other ways; but from the very first I informed Finland that she should not, unfortunately, count on a military intervention from the Swedish side. With sorrow in my heart I have, after a mature reconsideration, come to the conclusion that we, in this situation, have to keep to this principle. Namely, I am convinced that if Sweden now intervenes in Finland we could be exposed to high risks to become involved in the war not only against Russia but even in the war between the Great Powers, and such kind of responsibility I can not take on me. Moreover, in such a situation it might be most probable that it would become impossible to give Finland even the slightest part of the aid she now receives from here, and which she really needs, and which we also in the coming days are willing to give her with warmest of hands.
Sweden's vital interests, her honour and her peace, constitute the aim I always hold in sight. I hope that by this way, taken by us, we, with God's help, could avoid all the mishaps of a war.
Our country have always given me numerous proofs of trust and confidence. Therefore, it is my innermost wish that my people, even in this difficult situation, will understand and approve my conduct.
Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (The Swedish News Agency)
Source: Svensk utrikespolitik under andra världskriget. Internationell politik 24, skrifter utgivna av Utrikespolitiska institutet, Kooperativa förbundets bokförlag, Stockholm, 1946. (Swedish Foreign Policy under the Second World War, Stockholm, 1946). Translation: Pauli Kruhse
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