856B.20/36

The Netherlands Minister (Loudon) to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

No. GA 35

My Dear Mr. Welles: With reference to our last conversation (January 5th) concerning Curaçao and Aruba, I wish to confirm herewith that the Netherlands Government has instructed me to request the United States Government to be good enough to consider the dispatch of American troops to assist in the defense of those islands. This is now of prime importance in view of the forthcoming withdrawal of the British troops stationed in the islands since the entry of the Kingdom of the Netherlands into the war on May 10th, 1940, for the purpose of aiding the regular Dutch garrison in the defense of those islands. The number and the composition of the necessary troops will be communicated by the Netherlands Government in due course.

The Netherlands Government points out that the British troops were present in the islands as an allied force, the costs of which were borne [Page 52] by the British authorities while they were placed under the command of the Dutch military commander in Curaçao acting under the supreme command of the Governor as Commander in Chief. The United States presently being an associate in the war against the Axis powers, the Netherlands Government presumes that this arrangement will be maintained with regard to the American forces.

I may add that Dutch troops newly trained in Curasao will be assigned a task in the defense in addition to the regular garrison.

The Netherlands Government suggests that the arrangement be announced by the White House. In the opinion of the Netherlands Government the communiqué should clearly point out that the American aid is of a temporary nature, necessitated solely by the allied and associated interests. Moreover, my Government wishes to point out that all interpretation or comments should steer clear of using the word “occupation” which apart from being untrue, is an all too welcome weapon in the hands of enemy propaganda.

Believe me [etc.]

A. Loudon