The Minister in the Netherlands (Tobin) to the Secretary of State

No. 1663

Sir: With reference to the question of reciprocity in petroleum matters between the United States and the Netherlands, I have the honor to report that pursuant to the Department’s Instruction No. 593 [592], of October 1, 1928, I presented the memorandum referred to therein to Mr. Snouck Hurgronje, the Secretary General of the Foreign Office. I told him the objections made by his Government in its memorandum of July 10, 1928, were felt to be entirely baseless, and my Government hoped they might be removed from the record. I stated that it was considered regrettable that the happy result of the negotiations to establish unreserved reciprocity of opportunity between the nationals of the two countries should be marred by the presence of statements which were felt to be without justification. I added that if the assurances given by my Government were found to be adequate, it was hoped the Government of the Netherlands would consent to withdraw its memorandum of July 10, 1928, in which event the Government of the United States would refrain from making the rejoinder which would otherwise be considered necessary.

Mr. Snouck replied that the misgivings of his Government were directed not so much to the principle of the laws referred to as to the possibilities of their interpretation. He added, however, that the Netherland Government would seek the best legal advice upon the subject in Holland and in America, and he expressed the hope that the results might enable the Netherland Government to comply with the suggestions I presented to him.

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Mr. Snouck concluded with the statement that he would acquaint me with his Government’s views on the subject at the earliest possible moment.

I have [etc.]

Richard M. Tobin