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

No. 2094

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of the Department’s Instruction No. 750, of October 7th (File No. 711.564/7) concerning the proposed treaty between the United States and the Netherlands, in regard to the status and military obligations of naturalized per-* sons and persons born with dual nationality. In accordance with the Department’s instruction to bring this matter again to the attention of the Netherland Government with a view to reaching a definite agreement, I called today on Mr. Beucker-Andreae, the Chief of the Treaty Section of the Foreign Office, and presented him with a note, a copy of which is enclosed herewith.39

Mr. Beucker-Andreae stated that the Netherland Government has no objection to the incorporation into the treaty of the first two paragraphs of the draft, relating to naturalization, and that the Government has in principle no objection to the other paragraphs of this article. In commenting on paragraphs 4 and 5 he remarked, however, that there is no provision in Dutch law prohibiting loss of nationality in time of war and that it is a principle of law in Holland that the wife assumes the nationality of the husband.

As regards Article 2 of the draft, concerning punishment for failure to respond to calls for military service, Mr. Beucker-Andreae said that this article would have to be taken up further with the military authorities but that he did not anticipate that there would [Page 471] be much difficulty in securing agreement to it. He realized that this article is a logical corollary to article 1.

I find that article 3, relating to the renunciation of naturalization, is an obstacle in these negotiations as it is not in accord with the Dutch theories of naturalization. Mr. Beucker-Andreae stated that a prolonged study of the theories involved would be necessary before any decision could be arrived at and added that it was probable that the decision would be an unfavorable, one. He said that while he personally considered the American point of view reasonable and that it had much in its favor, nevertheless it would not be easy to bring about the desired change in the point of view held here. In reply I intimated to him, in accordance with the second paragraph of the Department’s above-mentioned instruction, that the Department might not be inclined to insist upon the inclusion of this article in the proposed treaty.

On the other hand I emphasized the Department’s desire for the inclusion of article 4, which relates to the exemption from the liability to military service of persons possessing dual nationality. I said that this article was by no means an attempt to attain a partial solution of the general problem of dual nationality but was merely an agreement that persons having dual nationality would not be called upon for military service during a temporary sojourn in either of the two countries involved. I also pointed out that this article did not appear to be inconsistent with the principles of the present Dutch laws on the subject and would merely define a condition which now largely exists in practice. I emphasized the good that would come from such an agreement in the promotion of normal intercourse between the two countries.

Mr. Beucker-Andreae agreed personally with these observations and stated that he would at once take the matter up again with the Departments concerned. He believed that it would be possible to negotiate a treaty such as is desired by the Department, with the omission of article 3, and said that he hoped to be able to take up the matter again with me in the near future.

I have [etc.]

Hallett Johnson
  1. Not printed.