The Chargé in the Netherlands (Sussdorff) to the Secretary of State

No. 367

Sir: With reference to the Department’s unnumbered Instruction of October 17, 1923,64 and to the Legation’s despatch No. 340, of September 15, 1924,65 I have the honor to inform the Department that I have just received a Note from the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs in which he outlines the views of his Government with respect to the proposed modification of the terms of the existing embargo on the shipment of arms and munitions of war to China. A copy and translation of the Foreign Minister’s communication is enclosed herewith.

I have [etc.]

Louis Sussdorff, Jr.

The Netherland Minister for Foreign Affairs (Karnebeek) to the American Chargé (Sussdorff)

Mr. Chargé d’affaires: In his note no. 87, of November 2, 1923, His Excellency Mr. Tobin,67 was good enough to bring to my attention the desire of the American Government that the Government of the Queen should approve the amended draft resolution concerning the embargo on the shipment of arms and munitions of war to China (draft presented to the Washington Conference), with a subsequent interpretative note adopted by the diplomatic corps at Peking on October 3, 1922.

In reply, I have the honor to inform you that, as the Netherlands Delegation to the Washington Conference has already pointed out, the legislation of the Netherlands relating to trade in arms and munitions does not permit an embargo on exports to other countries of the articles mentioned in the interpretative note of the diplomatic corps at Peking which is referred to above. Moreover, Her Majesty’s Government wonders whether it is opportune at the present moment to extend the scope of the draft resolution of Washington, inasmuch as, according to information in the possession of the Royal Government, this draft, even in its most limited original form, has not yet been adopted by all the interested States. And one is justified in wondering whether the anticipated action is desirable at the present [Page 538] moment when, it seems, important shipments of arms and munitions of all kinds continue to be forwarded to China from all sides. On the other hand, the Government of the Queen is in principle disposed to cooperate as far as possible towards any project which would offer serious international guarantees of success.

Please accept [etc.]

  1. See Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. i, p. 614, footnote 45.
  2. Not printed.
  3. File translation revised.
  4. Richard M. Tobin, Minister in the Netherlands.