The Netherlands Minister to the Secretary of State.
Washington , January 7, 1908 .
Mr. Secretary of State: In compliance with the provisions of Article II of the commercial treaty concluded last year between the United States and Germany, his excellency Mr. Cortelyou, Secretary of the Treasury, issued, under date of June 1, 1907, a number of new rules to be observed during the life of the treaty.
According to the oral assurances the Department of State was good enough to give me on several occasions, these customs regulations being of a purely administrative character are applicable to all imports [Page 345] into the United States, no matter what country they come from. Inasmuch, however, as the last two paragraphs make special mention of the German Government and of German chambers of commerce, my Government has instructed me to inquire of your excellency whether the Netherlands, notwithstanding this restriction in favor of Germany, will likewise profit by these provisions or some steps must be taken by the Royal Government in order to accomplish that end.
In this connection, I venture to draw your excellency’s attention to the fact that the Netherlands chambers of commerce are official organs created by royal orders and that their membership and operations are governed by ministerial ordinances. I have the honor hereby to comply with my instructions and embrace this opportunity to renew to you, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurances of my highest consideration.