856B.01/15: Telegram

The Consul at Curaçao (Huddleston) to the Secretary of State

Answering the Department’s telegram dated May 13, 5 p.m., I have the honor to report that I have been reliably informed that: (1) the British infantry while commanded by their own officers are under the Dutch flag the Governor of Curaçao having supreme command of all land forces; (2) no statements have been made locally about the temporary nature of the occupation, the British Consul having informed me that it may continue for an indefinite period and that British military opinion here is that the force of approximately 500 officers and men already landed here is inadequate and should be increased; (3) all of the interned Germans have been removed to Bonaire; (4) the danger is reported to be principally from internal sources particularly sabotage by German sympathizers of the oil refinery in which both Dutch and English are interested; external danger is rumored here as from German citizens in Colombia and Venezuela and from possible air attack on oil company interests at Willemstad; (5) the Dutch authorities in Willemstad have some 200 trained marines and police and have mobilized 2,000 raw soldiers. The cruiser Kinsbergin and two small submarines are on patrol duty outside Willemstad. They have no military planes nor anti-aircraft guns except a few light machine guns and no artillery. About 15 steel air raid shelters each to accommodate 65 persons have been set up in Willemstad and I understand that 6 have been erected at Aruba.