811.6363/194: Telegram

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


6. Referring to Department’s 6, February 3, 7 p.m. A Reuter news agency despatch circulating here this week alleged that difficulties [Page 379]had resulted from the Royal Dutch purchase of naval reserve oil from the Honolulu Oil Company and that sale of such oil to foreign companies may possibly be prevented. The Netherlands Colonial Minister on February 1 consulted F. Horstmann, of the Koloniale Oil Company, regarding the matter. The Minister, while well disposed, said he was considering postponement of the Koloniale bill, because the first chamber of the Netherlands Parliament might ask for an investigation prior to action on the measure in view of recent rumors. Mr. Horstmann insisted on the bill coming up for discussion, but the Minister did not give any definite assurance. However, today’s Senate calendar has the bill scheduled to come up February 8 at 11 a.m. After discussing the matter with the chief of the mining bureau, also with several upper House members, Horstmann sees little chance of the first chamber holding up the bill. Since any move right now by this Legation might possibly suggest to the Colonial Minister the desirability, pending further details from his Legation at Washington, of postponing discussion of the bill, I hesitate to recommend any action by the United States.