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

No. 269

Sir: There is enclosed a copy of despatch No. 394, dated April 6, 1936, from the American Consul at Batavia, Java,1 regarding the question of customs privileges extended American trade commissioners in Batavia. It will be observed that the Consul states that he has been advised that American trade commissioners are allowed free entry, including their automobiles, upon first arrival in Netherland India, and upon return from leave of absence in the United States, but not at any other time, and that the privilege of free entry at any time might be extended such officers under a reciprocal agreement between this Government and that of the Netherlands.

Upon the receipt of the Consul’s despatch this question was taken up with the Treasury Department and that Department now states that it has no objection to extending on the basis of reciprocity, to Dutch trade commissioners who may be assigned to the United States, and their families, the privilege of importing articles for their personal use free of duty at any time during their official residence on the understanding that such officers shall be nationals of the Netherlands and not engaged in any private occupation for gain in this country, and that no article, the importation of which is prohibited by the laws of the United States shall be imported by them.

You are instructed to advise the Foreign Office in the above sense and to inquire whether the Netherland Government would be willing to extend similar privileges to American trade commissioners and assistant trade commissioners assigned to the Netherlands and its colonial possessions.

A copy of this instruction is being sent to the Consul General at Batavia for his information.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Wilbur J. Carr
  1. Not printed.