File No. 656.119/772
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page)
1708. For Sheldon [from War Trade Board]:
No. 1322. Your 1497, Embassy 2175, September 24, 6 p.m.1 British Embassy have discussed with us the subject of our agreement with the N[etherlands] O[versea] T[rust] and they have informally [Page 1544]expressed themselves as being entirely satisfied with our attitude which the Foreign Office evidently did not understand. We are fully in accord with the principle of utilizing the N.O.T. as a control organization and it is not our intention to do anything to permit Germany or the Dutch Government to weaken N.O.T. control. Our reason for not desiring at this time to conclude an identical agreement is that we do not wish to take a position with reference to the control of exports between neutral countries which the Dutch Government can point out as being inconsistent with the position which we expressed when neutral. We, therefore, by our present agreement desire only to control exports from the United States or exports carried by bunkers furnished by United States. We are prepared, however, in general negotiations with the Dutch Government to seek to secure the voluntary consent of the Dutch Government, in return for concessions granted by us, to the broader control over all imports exercised by the N.O.T. If the Dutch Government agrees to such general control, we then see no reason why we should not conclude with the N.O.T. an agreement practically identical with that which we understand the British Government desires to conclude.
We are cabling Edwards to keep you fully posted as to any steps taken by him to conclude an agreement with N.O.T. in accordance with the previous instructions of the Department. We trust that there is no lack of cooperation with you on the part of Edwards, such as your cable might seem to indicate. Please advise us at once on this point.