Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Netherlands Minister (Haersma de With), the Chief of the Division of Trade Agreements (Grady), and the Assistant Secretary of State (Sayre)
Jonkheer van Haersma de With, the Netherlands Minister, called this morning at eleven o’clock by appointment. We discussed with him the initiation of negotiations for a trade agreement between the Netherlands and the United States. I first said that we must decide [Page 634] as to the scope of the negotiations,—whether they should include the whole Kingdom of the Netherlands including the Netherland India, Surinam and Dependencies, or whether they should include only the homeland of the Netherlands. The Minister replied that it was the hope and desire of his Government, as well as of himself, that the negotiations should include the entire Kingdom of the Netherlands including the Netherland India. I replied that this would be entirely agreeable to the United States and that we would accordingly decide that the negotiations should have this inclusive scope.
I next spoke about the subject matter of the negotiations. I said that inasmuch as our common desire was to increase the trade between the two countries, we felt the negotiations should include not only the matter of tariff duties but also whatever might tend to hinder or obstruct trade, such as quotas, Government monopolies, and the like. The United States therefore would propose in the negotiations a discussion of all these matters. The Minister replied that this would be quite agreeable to his Government inasmuch as his Government also desired to do whatever was possible to increase the trade between our two countries.
I then went on to suggest that I saw no reason for delaying the announcement of the intention to negotiate and, if agreeable to his Government, would suggest that each of the two Governments make a public announcement on December 12 of the intention to enter into negotiations for a trade agreement.15 The Minister replied that this would be quite agreeable to him and that he would at once telegraph his Government to that effect. He said that he would inform his Government to notify him immediately if this date were not agreeable to it and that unless he informed me to the contrary it would be understood that public notice would be given by each of the two Governments on December 12 of the intention to negotiate the proposed trade agreement.
I further explained to the Minister the arrangements which we proposed to follow with regard to the holding of public hearings as required under the Trade Agreements Act.16 I suggested that the date of the oral hearings should be fixed for February 3 and informed the Minister that in about ten days thereafter, namely on February 14, we would hope to be ready to present his Government with a list of the concessions which we would request from his Government. I suggested the hope that his Government should also seek to have its list ready by the same date so that we might exchange the two lists of desiderata on February 14. I added that in a few days thereafter we would be prepared to begin active discussions between the experts [Page 635] and suggested therefore that, if agreeable to his Government, the Netherland experts should plan to arrive for these discussions during the latter part of February. The Minister expressed himself in agreement with all these suggestions and said that he would communicate with his Government accordingly.