The Netherlands Legation to the Department of State


On August 5th, 1902, an Act was promulgated in the Netherlands by which the Agreement, which had previously been concluded between the German and Netherland Governments at Berlin on July 24th, 1901, was ratified (Staatsblad van het Koninkryk der Nederlanden, No. 122 van 1902).

By this Agreement the German and Netherland Governments jointly undertook to further the laying and exploiting, by a German-Dutch Company, of a cable connecting the Dutch East-Indian Government cable system at Menado with the American Pacific Cable at Guam via the then German Island of Yap. The German and Dutch Governments each undertook to grant to the company the right of abutting on their territory for 40 years, without prejudice in each case to their respective sovereign prerogatives. Both governments agreed to pay a subsidy to the company.

The Deutsch-Niederländische Telegraphen Gesellschaft was subsequently founded and obtained, in accordance with a final Protocol, signed by the representatives of the two governments at the time of the signing of the original Agreement but not published at that time, concessions from both governments, the terms of which were in all important respects identical.

It was laid down in these terms (as well as in the original Protocol), among other stipulations, that the company should obtain its capital from both German and Dutch sources; that the company’s statutes should require the assent of both governments; that of the two directors one should be of Netherland nationality; that his nomination should require the assent of the Netherland Government and that the Netherland Government should moreover be represented on the Board of the company by a commissioner.

It is therefore clear that the Deutsch-Niederländische Telegraphen Gesellschaft, though registered under German law and having its seat at Cologne, cannot be classed with other companies of German nationality which are in no way under the control, by the terms of an agreement between the governments concerned, of another government.

A further clause in the concessions stipulates that no transference of the rights of the Company to third parties may take place without the concurrence of both governments.

The conclusion must be come to that, since the company can not do this, neither can the German Government acting alone do so.

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A protest has accordingly been lodged with the German Government by the Netherland Government against the agreeing to Article 244 Annex VII of the Treaty of Versailles.

Circumstances have made it impossible for Germany to take account of this protest at the time of signing the Treaty.

A special arrangement with regard to the final transfer of the rights and properties of the Deutsch-Niederländische Telegraphen Gesellschaft, to be agreed upon by the interested parties, seems to be called for.