The Chargé in the Netherlands ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 5.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 38 of June 28, 1934, relating to the Air Navigation Convention between the United States and the Netherlands dating from an exchange of notes on November 16, 1932, between the Netherlands Legation in Washington and the Department of State. Upon receipt of this instruction a note was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a copy of which is enclosed herewith.22 Some weeks ago, having received no reply, Mr. Emmet personally called the matter to the attention of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who has now replied, and a copy and translation of his reply are attached to this despatch.
I should be pleased to have the Department’s instructions before again approaching the Netherlands Government on this subject. It will be seen from the enclosed Note that the Netherlands authorities are not prepared to agree without bargaining and take the position that in granting free aerial traffic over Surinam and Curacao something would be given for which nothing is being received in return.
Obviously they are most anxious to have the Philippines included in the wording of the new Article. As Jonkheer de Graeff says in his Note, the proposed limitation of free operation of Netherlands commercial aircraft in the Philippines is not of theoretical importance. It may be said in this connection that the Netherlands are going in for commercial aviation on a large scale. The success of the Dutch flyers in the London to Melbourne air race has given great encouragement and stimulus to their plans. It is now stated reliably here in The Hague that commercial air routes will be established eventually not only to cover all the trade routes of the Far East but perhaps also in the West Indies. A Dutch plane will fly with Christmas mail to Surinam and Curacao.[Page 639]
I realize that our various conventions for aerial navigation are based on questions of general policy which cannot very well be departed from in special instances. However, I wish to point out the possibility that the Netherlands authorities might be satisfied, in so far as the Philippines and Hawaiian Islands are concerned, if they were given to understand that they would be allowed to fly commercial airplanes in the Philippines and Hawaii provided they did so along certain defined routes and under the provisions of a strict agreement, such as the one between Pan-American Airways and the Government of Venezuela, which has worked very successfully.
This suggestion is made without any knowledge as to what actually would be the attitude of the Netherlands authorities. I will not discuss the matter with them for the time being and until I receive further instructions from the Department.