740.00112A European War, 1939/4866

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Edward G. Miller, Jr., of the Foreign Funds Control Division

Baron van Boetzelaer and Count van Rechteren of the Netherlands Legation called this afternoon at their request and were received by Mr. Timmons of Foreign Funds Control and Mr. Miller of the State Department.

They referred to our conference of October 8, at which it had been suggested to them that it would be desirable for the Netherlands Government to issue to the branches of the Banco Holandéz Unido in [Page 302] South America instructions with respect to dealings with persons on the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists, similar to the instructions issued by the American, British and Canadian Governments in September. Baron van Boetzelaer stated that he had now heard from the Netherlands Government in London that the instructions had already been issued to the Banco Holandéz Unido. They emphasized that the issuance of the instructions amounted only to formalizing an already existing situation, since all Netherland firms are advised by the Netherlands Government to have no dealings with firms on either the Proclaimed or Statutory List.

Mr. Miller referred to Baron van Boetzelaer’s inquiry at the previous conference as to whether we were planning to request the Belgian banks in South America to adopt a parallel program. Mr. Miller stated that this question had been discussed with the British Embassy here and that a conference is to be held tomorrow with Count de Gruben of the Belgian Embassy29 to suggest that similar instructions be issued by the Belgian Government. Mr. Miller pointed out, however, that Belgian banks in South America, such as Banque Italo-Belge, are probably cooperating already in this program on the basis of representation made by the British Government. The representatives of the Netherlands Government agreed that it would be in order for us to disclose to the Belgians that the Netherlands Government has issued the instructions to the Netherlands banks.

Count van Rechteren inquired whether any progress had been made towards the end of having locally owned banks in South America cooperate in our program. It was explained to him that this matter is still under consideration, that we realize that adequate banking facilities will continue to be available to persons on the Proclaimed List, even though all Allied banks refuse to do business with such persons, but that the adoption of the program by our Governments is a pre-requisite to making any representations to the South American Governments along this line. Mr. Timmons and Mr. Miller explained in general terms the success which our Government has had in Haiti, Costa Rica, Guatemala and other countries in obtaining cooperation from the local governments, and stated that we would keep them informed as to further developments in this field.

(There is attached a copy30 of the instructions which it is understood the Netherlands Government is sending to Netherlands banks in South America).

E. G. Miller
  1. Baron Hervé de Gruben, Counselor of Embassy.
  2. Not printed.