The Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs (Van Kleffens) to the American Minister to the Netherlands Government in Exile (Biddle)16

No. 435 G. A.

Your Excellency: On the 15th December you were good enough to leave me an Aide-Mémoire17 stating that the United States Government requests certain privileges and facilities from the Netherlands Government with respect to Curaçao, in connection with urgent requirements for the defence of the Western Hemisphere.

Your Excellency stated in this Aide-Mémoire that the United States Government requested similar privileges and facilities from the British [Page 57] Government with respect to British possessions in the Western Hemisphere.

The privileges and facilities which the United States Government had in mind were as follows:

Permission to fly over and land at Curaçao without limitation as to the number or type of plane and personnel and armament carried. There would not be the usual notification through diplomatic or military channels but only such notification as is required for technical reasons, probably direct to the airport involved. Emergency cases or military necessity might preclude the possibility of even this notification.
Permission to use local airports together with their facilities such as services, installations, repair shops, radio and telephone.
The privilege of stationing, if necessary, small detachments of Air Corps personnel (ordinarily seven non-commissioned officers and eight privates) at local fields for the purpose of facilitating the servicing and movement of aircraft.
Permission for the unrestricted circulation of military personnel, uniformed and armed or otherwise, as may be necessary in connection with servicing of aircraft sheltering and provisioning personnel and sending and receiving necessary communications. This would include permission for the use of roads adjacent to airports and such arrangements for the sheltering and provisioning of personnel at the United States Government’s expense as may be necessary when flights are required to stop at any airport.
Permission to undertake such photography from the air as may be necessary from a technical point of view or as may be desirable for the compilation of air navigation charts.

I understand that the above privileges and facilities are requested only for the duration of the war and will apply solely to military and naval aircraft of the United States.

In reply I have the honour to inform Your Excellency that the Netherlands Government are willing to grant the desired privileges and facilities with respect to Curaçao.

I have [etc.]

for the Minister,
W. L. F. Bylandt
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister to the Netherlands Government in Exile in his despatch No. 29, January 20; received January 30.
  2. Not printed.