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

No. 377

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s third person instruction No. 228, of February 25, 1936,41 concerning the efforts of the Legation to obtain equal treatment for the United Press Associations in the distribution of its news service in the Netherland East Indies. The Department instructs me to report concerning recent conversations which have been held with Netherland officials concerning this matter.

I have on several occasions asked Minister of Foreign Affairs de Graeff for a reply to our original aide-mémoire and on each occasion have received assurances that an official communication would be forthcoming, but none has been received to date. In the meantime Mr. Wilson has spoken on several occasions with various minor officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and they have indicated that the delay was due to investigations and negotiations taking place in the East Indies in which the Government of the East Indies was attempting to reach a compromise satisfactory to the two rival agencies, Aneta and Vereenigd Persbureau. In the meantime a despatch received from the Consulate General in Batavia indicated that a compromise of some sort was expected to result from these efforts.

Therefore, on February 15th, a letter was sent to Mr. Keyserlingk, of the United Press Associations in London, who originally brought the matter to the attention of the Legation. It is self-explanatory and a copy is enclosed.41 I felt confident that the Department would wish an official protest to be made against the refusal of the Ministry of the Interior to grant equal transmission rates to all users of radio, this decision, constituting as it does, a breach of Article 22 of the Telecommunication Convention signed in Madrid December 9, 1932. However, before making such representations as I thought would be justified by the long delay, it seemed best to find out if the United Press people in London were still anxious, in view of developments in the Indies to have anything done. Mr. Keyserlingk’s reply was recently received and a copy is enclosed herewith.41 From his letter the Department will observe that some sort of arrangement is developing in the East Indies and that the agents of the United Press there have participated in the negotiations either directly or indirectly.

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However, the question of the denial of equal treatment by the Ministry of the Interior appears to be one in which the United Press is still interested, and in view of the Department’s previous instructions, I have today sent the enclosed note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.42 Jhr. de Graeff is not in town but upon his return I will see him and ask that this question be given the earliest possible consideration.

Respectfully yours,

Grenville T. Emmet
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