756D.94/61: Telegram

The Consul General at Batavia (Foote) to the Secretary of State

Referring to telegram Nos. 657,26a 68727 and 693 from Tokyo to the Department.28

The Governor General of the Netherlands Indies informed me today as follows:

Japan desires to send a mission of Ambassadorial rank to this country to discuss various questions but no names have been presented yet. The Netherlands Foreign Minister in London and this Government replied that such mission would not be acceptable in the absence of a definite agenda containing no political questions.
The Japanese Government wishes to send a commission of high army and navy officers to examine deliveries of purchases for their armed forces. This probably will not be granted.
A committee of eight Japanese is due in Batavia about the end of this month to “survey the oil situation”. This is regarded locally as of extreme importance and has increased the uneasiness which has existed here for several weeks.
Japan has requested this Government to guarantee deliveries of oil, tin, rubber and other unnamed essential materials. Present indications are that this will not be granted.
Japan has asked the abolition of local import restrictions.
Governor General fears that our embargo on exports of aviation gasoline and some scrap metals may cause Japan to seek such supplies here under embarrassing conditions.

Confidential but unimpeachable sources inform me orders were issued about 10 days ago to destroy completely (not decommission) all refineries, wells and petroleum including stocks totaling 5,000,000 barrels of which one half would be American in the event of invasion by Japan. This would mean destruction of American capital investment of about 300,000,000 dollars.29

Not repeated to Tokyo.

  1. Dated August 3, p. 60.
  2. Supra.
  3. Telegram No. 693, August 12, not printed.
  4. In his telegram of August 17, 9 a.m., the Consul General substituted the following: “This would call for the destruction of American property valued at 300 million representing capital investment estimated at 1 million dollars.” (756D.94/52)