656.11241/6

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

No. 205

Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 40 of March 25th, last, regarding the extension of the free importation privilege to foreign consular officers on a reciprocal basis, I have the honor to enclose a copy of my Note No. 52 of April 7th to the Foreign Office, and a copy and translation of the reply of the Foreign Office, dated the 17th instant.

The Government of the Netherlands agrees to grant free entry to consular officers on a reciprocal basis and as soon as it is assured that the United States Government is definitively in agreement with the arrangement as described in the above mentioned Note from the Foreign Office, will issue the necessary orders to put it into practice.

I have the honor to request, therefore, that the Department instruct me in the premises.

I have [etc.]

Gerrit J. Diekema
[Enclosure 1]

The American Minister (Diekema) to the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs (Beelaerts van Blokland)

No. 52

Excellency: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the Treasury Department of my Government 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 the United States 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.

The Legation is informed that according to article 19 of the Tariff Law of the Netherlands (Free Entry Decree, 1925, Article 22–B) free entry may be accorded to Consular Officers of other powers on the condition of reciprocity. I should therefore like to propose on a basis of reciprocity that free entry privileges as outlined above be granted to American Consular Officers assigned to the Netherlands. [Page 773]I may add that this suggestion applies only to Consular Officers as my Government deems it advisable to limit the free importation privilege to diplomatic and consular officers and not to extend it to members of clerical staffs of Legations or Consulates.

I avail myself [etc.]

Gerrit J. Diekema
[Enclosure 2–Translation]

The Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs (Beelaerts van Blokland) to the American Minister (Diekema)

Economic Section
No. 18242

Mr. Minister: By Your Note of April 7th, last, No. 52, Your Excellency informed me that the “Treasury Department” at Washington has consented, on a basis of reciprocity, to extend the privilege of free importation already enjoyed partially by the Dutch Consular Officers in the United States in such a manner that the Officers of Dutch Nationality who are not engaged in any other business would be accorded the privilege of importing articles free of duty for their personal or family use at any time during their official residence.

Upon the basis of this information and referring to Article 19 of the Dutch Customs Act of 1924 (Statute No. 568), Your Excellency proposes that such a privilege, as referred to above, be granted on the condition of reciprocity by the Government of the United States and Her Majesty’s Government to the respective Consular Officers residing in both countries, with the understanding that they comply with the above-mentioned stipulations.

In reply, after having consulted my colleague, the Minister of Finance, I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that Her Majesty’s Government accepts the proposition made. This must be understood in such manner that, conformable to the last paragraph of Article 19 of the aforesaid Customs Act of 1924, exemption be equally accorded to excise and import duties on gold and silver articles. I add that I do not know if such taxes are collected in the United States, but, should such be the case, I am convinced that Your Government would be willing to accord exemption of these taxes to the Dutch Consular Officers above-mentioned.

I should be obliged if Your Excellency would let me know if the Government of the United States of America is in agreement with the foregoing; in that case I would ask my above-mentioned Colleague to give the necessary instructions so that this arrangement becomes in force.

I avail myself [etc.]

For the Minister:
The Secretary General,
A. M. Snouck Hurgronje