After a meeting in Stockholm on the 18th and 19th of October 1939 between the Nordic heads of state and foreign ministers the following communiqué was issued:
The kings of Denmark and Iceland, of Norway and of Sweden along with the president of the Republic of Finland got together in a meeting in Stockholm on the 18th to 19th of October 1939.
At the meeting the general situation was first scrutinized from the viewpoint of each country. Special focus was given to difficulties that in the present serious international situation might be met as to retaining the right of self-determination in matters of neutrality, the principle the countries so often have pointed out and also confirmed in their neutrality declarations when the war broke out. It was stated in one voice that the governments are resolute and determined, working in close cooperation, to maintain their full neutrality. They intend to let their approach to the future questions be steered by what is needed to enforce this neutral status of complete self-determination. They demand that their right to this opinion, laying on the basis of friendly relations with other countries, will be respected by all parties.
By reminding of the declaration, given by the Nordic kings during the Great War at the meeting of the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish governments in 1917 in Oslo, which stated that despite of what length or whatever form the war might take, friendly and confidential relations between governments should be maintained, the present meeting unanimously accepted that Denmark and Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden should conduct in the present crisis the same, successfully and in close cooperation carried out policy, as in the war of 1914-1918.
The meeting also discussed the difficulties met by neutral states in commerce and shipping as consequences of the actions of the warring states. It was unanimously stated that on this matter the principles remain to be hold in line with the Copenhagen communique of 19th of September 1939, by maintaining usual commercial relations to all directions and mutually supporting the secure procurement of necessities.
Likewise, unanimity prevailed over carrying out cooperation within the Oslo group and other neutral states for taking care of common interests.
In connection of the meeting the king of Sweden received cabled expressions of sympathy from the heads of states of neutral countries in America. These already publicized messages will be highly appreciated in the Nordic countries. The goverments represented in the meeting have found in them valuable support in their efforts for the benefit of peace and international law.
The Nordic governments remind of willingness to work for purposes of reconciliation. Already before breaking out of war this was expresses when their heads of state joined King Leopold's appeal for peace. This willingness remains unchanged. They will with the greatest pleasure greet every sign showing that understanding between the warring parties is possible and that prospects can be seen to any contribution of neutral states in finding peace and security to all nations.
The Swedish News Agency (Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå)
President Roosevelt sent the following telegram to the meeting:
October 18, 1939
His Majesty Gustav,
King of Sweden,
The Conference of the Nordic States convened by Your Majesty in Stockholm will be followed with deep interest by the Government and the people of the United States.
Under the circumstances which exist this Government joins with the Governments of the other American Republics in expressing its support of the principles of neutrality and order under law for which the nations represented at the Stockholm Conference have, throughout their history, taken a consistent stand.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
King Gustav replied the following:
Stockholm,October 18, 1939
On behalf of the heads of the Nordic States assembled in Stockholm I wish to convey you the expression of our warm and sincere appreciation of the message of sympathy which you have addressed to us. In our endeavors to manifest our firm resolve to pursue a neutral policy based on international law and order we have felt it as a precious support and encouragement to receive this message which has been warmly greeted by our peoples.
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. Roosevelt's telegram: Microfilms of the Archives of German Foreign Ministry, no. 218491. This and King Gustav's reply: Documents on American Foreign Relations, July 1939—June, 1940, vol. II. World Peace Foundation, Boston, 1940.
Previous Scandinavian document (Oct. 12, 1939) | Finland in Great Power politics | Next Scandinavian document (Dec. 13, 1939).