856d.6363/517: Telegram

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

11. Department’s No. 9, March 10, 6 p.m. Having in mind the Netherlands Minister’s note November 14, 1927, raising the question of a declaration on our part that Holland is a reciprocating country, and my telegram No. 8 of February 24, sent after conversations at the Foreign Office, also my despatch 1427, February 18, it is evident that [Page 385]while desiring to protect their petroleum interests in the United States the Dutch are equally sensitive regarding the charges made against them of nonreciprocity and are determined to ask for a formal acknowledgment of reciprocal treatment for the purpose of clearing their record.

As reported in my telegram No. 9, March 5, 5 p.m., Snouck11 doubted if the assurances of future action [by] our competent authorities, contained in the Department’s memorandum, would be considered sufficiently specific to clear them of the charges of lack of reciprocity and while expressing only his personal opinion he showed that what is desired is the promise of a written declaration, possibly a letter from the Department of the Interior, recognizing the Netherlands as a reciprocating country, to be made upon receipt of a satisfactory reply to our memorandum.

If the Department of the Interior is prepared to make such a promise, may I be authorized, should the necessity arise, so to inform the Foreign Office? By thus anticipating an objection, which it is clear from statements made both here and in Washington will certainly be raised, a further delay in the signature of the bill will be avoided.

  1. Mr. A. M. Snouck Hurgronje, Secretary General, Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs.