811.24 Raw Materials/132: Telegram

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

67. My 64, May 9, 4 p.m. From further conversations with officials on the background aspects of our proposal, including one with the Foreign Minister today, the following is apparent.

The Dutch still take the position that we are offering them something they do not want (I am informed, however, that the Ministry of Economic Affairs—which is also the Ministry of Agriculture—is still working on figures to sustain the Minister’s estimate of reserve stocks of wheat which I had contested). However, the Dutch Government seems really desirous of not giving a flat no for an answer and it wishes thoroughly to explore possible alternative ways of attaining substantially the objectives desired by us. My present impression is that eventual Dutch suggestions of alternative ways will include an indication of their preference for other commodities than cotton and wheat as well as a renewal of the proposal to send one of their tin committee experts to the United States (see my 59, April 29, 4 p.m.). This exploration of possibilities will of course take time and the Foreign Minister said today that probably there would be no answer within at least a fortnight, and it seems apparent that if we would press for a quicker reply we would increase the risk of obtaining a merely negative answer.

I had hoped to leave here at about this time for a 2 or 3 weeks trip as indicated in my despatch No. 730 of May 4.14 It seems to me that a stage has been reached in connection with our exchange proposal where it is not essential for me personally to remain here in order to advance matters and I should therefore like to make a trip of the nature indicated unless the Department percieves objection thereto. I should accordingly appreciate it if the Department would send me a telegraphic indication of its views in the premises.15

  1. Not printed.
  2. In telegram No. 42, May 16, 5 p.m., the Department replied that it saw no objection to his absence from The Hague for the next 2 or 3 weeks.