File No. 656.119/772

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

2175. War Trade Board [from Sheldon]:

No. 1497. Foreign Office are strongly of the opinion that N[etherlands] O[versea] T[rust] agreement should be joint rather than [Page 1536]separate, pointing out importance of maintaining control by N.O.T., as control by Dutch Government would be less satisfactory. They state that “We feel sure that to have separate and varying agreement would weaken not only the Trust but the whole position from a blockade point of view.” Leverton Harris has also written me personally regarding agreement stating it will lose much of its value if the United States are not parties to it. British Minister at The Hague has also telegraphed Foreign Office indicating that separate agreements might tend to weaken N.O.T.’s control and stating I would point out that Dutch Government are very anxious to reduce as far as possible the power of the Trust and care should be taken not to facilitate this in any way. Will you ask Edwards keep me posted by telegraph how negotiations being conducted by him are proceeding, and to give me an outline showing differences between what he is aiming to conclude and the British draft of which he has a copy.

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