File No. 656.119/766

The Chargé in the Netherlands ( Kirk) to the Secretary of State


4525. My 4439, September 16, 6 p.m.1 British Chargé d’Affaires has received instructions similar to those contained in your 2047, [Page 1535]September 13, 7 p.m., and has despatched note in that sense to Foreign Office. Minister for Foreign Affairs in an interview today informed British colleague and myself that Netherlands Government is ready to resume negotiations and to appoint one or more representatives to enter into discussion with Associated Governments. He states, however, that it is needless for him to select delegates until decision has been reached regarding place where conversations will be held as some of persons whom he has in mind may not be able to accept appointments if meetings are held elsewhere than at The Hague. Karnebeek said that his predecessor was in favor of having discussion take place here and that he, for his part, is of same opinion. He mentioned in this connection, that Dutch negotiations with Centrals would begin at The Hague early next week and that he considered it would be advantageous to have discussion with Associated Governments carried on at the same time and place. He furthermore said that in view of past occurrences, it would be gratifying to Holland if Associated Governments would send representatives to The Hague instead of asking Dutch Government to carry on discussion elsewhere and intimated that whole matter might be settled very quickly and in a very favorable manner if meetings took place on the spot where exact conditions could be more readily judged. He asked my British colleagues and myself if we would ascertain the wishes of our respective Governments in the matter and stated that he made this request orally rather than in writing in order that the definite arrangements for the discussion might not be delayed any longer than was absolutely necessary.

My British colleague has recommended to his Government that meeting take place at The Hague and not at London. I have expressed no opinion on matter as Department in its 2047, September 13, 7 p.m., [conveyed] no definite expression of preference between The Hague and London and as it may consider Washington desirable place for negotiations. In this connection see Mr. Garrett’s 3096, June 8, 1918,1 regarding disadvantages of holding discussions at The Hauge.

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