The Netherlands Legation to the Department of State 45


From different sources information has reached the Netherlands Government that the United States Government is considering to propose to the Mexican Government the submitting of the oil controversy to arbitration.

The Netherlands Legation has been instructed to enquire whether this information is correct and in the affirmative to draw the attention of the United States Government to the fact that the American interests in the oil controversy are fundamentally the same as those of the Netherlands. For this reason the Netherlands companies, all through the controversy, have kept in close touch with the American and British companies. They have deliberately refrained from any action on their own behalf in view of reaching a settlement of the dispute because they realized that any departure from the line of the strictest cooperation in this regard would unquestionably harm the interests of all the companies concerned including their own. The Netherlands companies have also felt, from the very beginning of the controversy, that a settlement should be reached, the principles of which were to be the same for all claimants.

[Page 990]

Under these circumstances the Netherlands Legation has been instructed to express fear that arbitration which would deal with only one set of claims might well cause to the remaining sets the prejudices which the oil companies, by their united stand, sought to avoid.

Her Majesty’s Government therefore sincerely hopes that the United States Government will share the former’s view that in case arbitration should be decided upon, the arbitral tribunal be given power to deal with the claims of both American and Netherlands companies interested in the dispute, and that such power be granted previous to the constitution of the tribunal. To this effect the Netherlands Legation expresses the hope that if the United States and Mexican Governments reach an agreement as to the submitting of the American claims to arbitration, the United States Government may see its way to render its execution conditional to the conclusion of a similar agreement between the Netherlands and Mexican Governments, which the former would be willing to enter into once the principle of arbitration should have been agreed upon between the United States and Mexican Governments.

If the United States Government should share the views of the Netherlands Government it would seem advisable that consultation between both Governments take place regarding the terms of reference to the proposed tribunal.

  1. Left by the Netherlands Minister with the Legal Adviser on February 9.