File No. 656.119/861c

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Great Britain ( Laughlin)

[Telegram]

2341. For Sheldon [from War Trade Board]:1

No. 1469. With reference to coming Dutch negotiations, it is our feeling that the Associated Governments should make clear from the beginning that they desire and expect to obtain an agreement entirely different in character from that which was negotiated at London last December. We feel that the objective of the Associated Governments should be the entire cessation of all exports to Germany and the making available to them of Holland’s entire exportable surplus, which surplus the Allies would, with the elimination of exports to Germany, be prepared to see increased through the importation of feeding stuffs, fertilizers, etc. According to our estimates, it should be possible to secure a considerable number of hordes from Holland which are very urgently needed by the A[merican] E[xpeditionary] F[orces]. Also, with the evacuation [by] the enemy of a large part of Belgium it becomes increasingly important that the Dutch surplus of vegetables and dairy products be increased as far as possible and made available for the use of the civilian population of Belgium. Unless large amounts of such supplies can be secured from Holland, a very heavily increased burden will be thrown upon the shipping of the Allies and it should be our policy to secure the utilization of Dutch tonnage to transport fertilizers and feeding [stuffs] to Holland for the production of foodstuffs which otherwise would have to be imported by bottoms controlled by the Allies. If this program can be carried out, it will of course be necessary for the Allies to supply all of Holland’s essential import requirements. We believe [Page 1552]that the Allies can supply all of these, except possibly iron and steel, and it is possible that even this can be spared, in view of the very great importance of making Holland entirely independent of Germany. We should like to have the views of the British Blockade on this subject.

Please repeat to Edwards.

Lansing
  1. See last paragraph for instruction to repeat to Edwards, War Trade Board representative at The Hague.