856B.20/21: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister to the Netherlands Government in Exile (Biddle), at London

From the Under Secretary. Netherlands Series 5. Your Netherlands Series 3, January 6, 10 p.m., penultimate and antepenultimate paragraphs. I have spoken this afternoon with the Netherlands Minister. I have requested him to inform his Foreign Minister that the information received by the Foreign Minister, as reported in your two paragraphs above cited, is completely inaccurate. The defense agreement now under negotiation between this country and Venezuela will contain no reference whatever to Aruba or Curaçao. This Government has never had the slightest intention of making any such reference to the Netherlands West Indies in any agreement with Venezuela. What I previously stated to the Netherlands Minister was that it would surely be clear to the Netherlands Government that the proposed defense agreement between Venezuela and the United States would offer the best possible safeguard to the Netherlands Government that [Page 55] Venezuela during the period of the war would undertake no steps regarding the Netherlands West Indies which could possibly create any concern on the part of the Netherlands Government.

The Netherlands Minister informs me that he understood this fully and has reported to his Government in the exact sense above indicated.

Please make this point absolutely clear as soon as possible. [Welles.]