The Belgian Minister ( Cartier ) to the Acting Secretary of State

Sir: The Government of the Netherlands has taken the initiative of reestablishing on the lower Scheldt, the normal regime of peace time.

In consequence, the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs has instructed the Belgian Minister at The Hague, Baron Fallon, on November 30th, 1918, to take due note of that fact. Baron Fallon was also instructed to state to the Government of the Netherlands, at this occasion, that the Belgian Government entertains the view that for the time being, the pre-war regulations concerning the navigation, the buoying and the lighting on the river, based on art. IX of the treaty of April 19th, 1839,10 should remain in force. These regulations would retain their effect until it is possible to make new arrangements which have been rendered necessary because events have deeply affected the system created by the treaty of 1839.

The Belgian Minister at The Hague has, at the same time, informed the Government of the Netherlands that already now, although the state of war is still existing, the material and supplies of the Belgian military base at Calais have been sent to Antwerp by the River Scheldt; moreover that the Belgian Government reserves to itself the faculty to use the same way in order to transport military supplies and material in general.

I have been instructed to make this communication to you and to tell you that the Belgian Government hopes that the Government of the United States will give its support to the views entertained by the Belgian Government in regard to this matter.

Please accept [etc.]

E. de Cartier
  1. British and Foreign State Papers, vol. xxvii, p. 1000.