File No. 763.72112/742
The Minister in the Netherlands ( Van Dyke ) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 17.]
Sir: Referring to my despatches No. 186 of January 4,1 and No. 191 of January 9, and to my cablegram, No. 131, of January 29,1 I have the honor to enclose herewith: (1) In English translation a copy of the articles of the Netherlands Oversea Trust Company; and (2) a list of the members of that company with designation of the positions which they occupy in commercial and financial affairs.2
It will be observed that the members represent the most important banking and shipping concerns in the Netherlands; and it is on the strength of this representative character and of the high reputation which these gentlemen bear for probity and honor, that it has been possible to arrange with the Allied Governments to accept the company’s guarantee that contraband goods consigned to it shall not be exported to belligerents, and thus to secure for such goods freedom from interference in transportation. This, of course, relieves the Netherlands Government of a great deal of detail work and trouble in connection with the matter.
I would respectfully suggest that if you see fit to transmit the contents of this despatch to the Department of Commerce, it might be worth while for that Department to consider the question whether some similar arrangement, modified of course to suit the different circumstances in America, might not be of service in facilitating a freer movement of our own trade, and in lessening to some degree the amount of work which now falls upon the Department of Commerce.
I have [etc.]