811.24 Raw Materials/106: Telegram

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

58. My No. 57, April 28, 4 p.m.6 The following is the text of an aide-mémoire embodying the reply of the Netherlands Government which the Foreign Minister has just given me.

“The proposal has had the serious attention of the Netherlands Government.

Participation on the part of the Netherlands in the American proposal ‘in the form in which it has been made’ (the clause quoted was underlined in the aide-mémoire) meets with grave objections. These objections are based on the fact that the commercial policy followed by the Netherlands Government in the matter of exchange of raw materials is not compatible with the conclusion of an agreement on the lines set forth in the letter of April 26, 1939. It is for this reason that the Netherlands have consistently refused to enter with other countries into agreements concerning barter of raw materials, and there would appear to be no possibility of making an exception without serious difficulties resulting therefrom with those other countries in the matter of commerce.

At the present time, the Netherlands declare their readiness to supply the United States of America with a stock of rubber and of tin against payment in money. Consultation with a view to the acquisition of the quantities of tin and rubber the United States desire to obtain might in the first instance be entered into with the organizations influencing the resources of the production of these two commodities.

The Netherlands Government have received information to the effect, so far as the supply of tin is concerned, Netherlands producers are prepared to send experts to the United States forthwith for purposes of discussion.

The foregoing should not be taken as meaning that the Netherlands would be unwilling to participate in an examination of other methods of giving satisfaction to the desire of the United States, subject to the objections referred to above not being inherent in such other methods.

The Hague, April 29, 1939.”

  1. Not printed.