The Minister in the Netherlands (Tobin) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 23.]
Sir: Referring to my telegram No. 34, of July 7, 1928, 3 p.m.,17 I have the honor to transmit herewith copies and translations of three communications exchanged to-day between the Legation and the Foreign Office with respect to the establishment of reciprocal treatment in petroleum matters between the United States and the Netherlands. Memorandum No. 21432 (Enclosure No. 1) contains the assurances requested in the Legation’s Memorandum of March 5, 1928. The Legation’s acknowledgment is attached thereto (Enclosure No. 2). The second Memorandum, No. 21433 (Enclosure No. 3), to which no acknowledgment was made, records certain views of the Dutch Government with regard to possible legal and other difficulties which might arise in connection with the exploitation of concessions in the United States public lands.
For the sake of the record and as a matter of convenience I am likewise enclosing, in addition to copies of the final memoranda, copies of the first two drafts (Enclosures Nos. 4 and 5)17 which were tentatively submitted to the Legation for consideration. A comparative study of these various documents will show that throughout the negotiations the Legation has been actuated by a desire first to obtain definite and satisfactory assurances as to Dutch future policy with respect to petroleum requested in the Legation’s Memorandum of the 5th of March. The second object in mind was to persuade the Foreign Office to omit [Page 399]any reference in the discussions or correspondence to the ambiguous, extraneous and what the Legation considers as theoretical arguments which the Dutch Foreign Office advances to illustrate an alleged discrepancy in the security offered by the legal systems of the two countries. While, for reasons mentioned below, it has not been possible to bring about the elimination of all references to this subject, it has been possible to have these considerations included in a separate minute and in a form so modified as to make them comparatively innocuous. It is evident from the elliptical phraseology employed that the Foreign Office is itself none too sure of the arguments advanced. Admittedly, they have been introduced into the discussion because of a promise to do so made to the Royal Dutch, which sees in them a basis for an argument in the future should any difficulty arise on this score in connection with the operations of any of its subsidiaries in our public lands.
I have [etc.]