740.0011 P.W./9-1344: Telegram

The Chargé Near the Netherlands Government in Exile (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State1

us urgent

Neter 17. From Schoenfeld.

Foreign Minister van Kleffens requests following message be sent to the President. He has asked this mission to serve as channel of transmission since Netherlands Government has no direct code communication with Quebec.2

“On learning that Pacific strategy will be discussed at Quebec conference Netherlands Government request in view of their vital interest in that question that following statement with regard to operations in Japanese occupied territory be transmitted to the President. Same statement is being sent to Mr. Churchill through British Foreign Office. Minister for Colonies van Mook and Vice Admiral Helfrich are proceeding [to] America. Netherlands Government [Page 452] trust President and Prime Minister will find it possible to give them an opportunity to elucidate Netherlands point of view. (Statement begins)

“‘Success of main strategy against Japan in severing communications between Japan and occupied area covering Burma, Malaya, Philippines, British Borneo and NEI will cut off Japanese forces in that area from arms and munitions but will not compel them to surrender or to withdraw supposing this to be possible. Area as a whole has sufficient food and other materials and facilities for maintenance and it may be assumed that Japanese forces have sufficient stocks of arms and munitions. Experience points to probability that Japanese stay on for irregular warfare even after defeat or surrender Japan. Facts in recovered territory in the area show that isolated Japanese forces become more ferocious and destructive as isolation becomes more irremediable. If liberation occupied areas is delayed suffering and destruction of large populations will increase beyond all measure and prisoners of war and internees can be considered lost. Since voluntary evacuation of the area by Japanese forces cannot be expected active liberation as soon as possible seems urgent both from this point of view and with regard to future rehabilitation. This action should primarily be directed towards most important territories with most civilized and numerous population and greatest economic value. Among these Java seems to offer best base for further operations because of central situation, sufficient food production and accommodation, ample skilled and unskilled labour, well developed system of roads and harbours, good airbases and healthy mountain regions for rehabilitation. Even in case of widespread destruction repairs for Allied operational purposes are easiest to effect in Java. The occupation of Java would deprive the Japanese of their main regional source of supplies and labour.’”

  1. Sent over the signature of Winant.
  2. Hull forwarded the Netherlands message to Roosevelt as an enclosure to a memorandum dated September 15, 1944 (740.0011 P.W./9-1344).