856B.20/35: Telegram

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

Netherlands Series 16. Your January 24 and my 15, January 26, noon.22 In my conversation this morning with Gerbrandy, Michiels and Prince Bernhard, I brought to their attention the considerations embodied in your telegram regarding the despatch of a Venezuelan military mission to Curaçao.

Foreign Minister Michiels,22a acting as spokesman for the group, said he was astonished that we should bring up this question again, for the Government felt it had made clear its stand, which it was determined to maintain. Indeed, he added, if we were to press the matter it would only give rise to bad feeling. On renewed efforts to explain the vital need of satisfactory Venezuelan participation, he replied that it was the same old argument and he could only say that his Government would continue to maintain the same old stand. There was no use to bring it up again. It was advisable to drop it.

We had, he said, been given a loophole by the suggestion for a Military Aide for the Consul (reported in my No. 68 December 31, 9 p.m.23). This had been done in an effort to meet us part way and not because of the Government’s own wishes. It was unwilling to look to Venezuela for any assistance.

Prince Bernhard confirmed to me that the Queen shared the views which had been expressed by Dr. Michiels.

I would add that the opposition to Venezuelan participation is so deep seated that the members of the Netherlands Government bristle whenever this subject is touched on and that its mere mention literally deprives them of their composure.

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. Michiels van Verduynen, presumably Acting Foreign Minister.
  3. Not printed.