The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in the Netherlands (Diekema)
Sir: There is enclosed a copy of a despatch No. 369, dated January 27, 1930, from the American Consul General, Amsterdam,1 quoting Article 19 of the tariff law of the Netherlands which provides for the extension of the free importation privilege to foreign consular officers on a reciprocal basis, and inquiring whether it would be in accordance with the policy of the Department to seek to obtain this privilege for American consular officers assigned to the Netherlands.
In view of the provisions of the above mentioned Article, the Treasury Department has consented to extend the privilege of free importation to Dutch consular officers in the United States. Therefore, in addition to the free entry of baggage and effects upon arrival and return to their posts in this country after visits abroad, which Dutch consular officers assigned to the United States already enjoy, such officers who are Dutch nationals and not engaged in any other business, on a basis of reciprocity would be accorded the privilege of importing free of duty articles for their personal or family use at any time during their official residence with the understanding that no article the importation of which is prohibited by the laws of the United States shall be imported by them.
You are requested to take the matter up with the Foreign Office with a view to arranging for the extension of similar privileges to American consular officers assigned to the Netherlands.
It may be added that it is deemed advisable to limit the free importation privilege to diplomatic and consular officers for the present. Members of the clerical staffs of the Netherland Legation and Netherland Consulates in the United States will not be accorded the privilege at this time.
I am [etc.]
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