The Netherlands Ambassador ( Loudon ) to the Secretary of State 18
Sir: Acting upon instructions from the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have the honor to transmit herewith 5 copies of a declaration of the Royal Netherlands Government with regard to the prohibition of the production and consumption of opium in the Netherlands Indies. The opium problem has been actively studied by the Royal Netherlands Government in relation with the measures which will have to be taken after the liberation of the Netherlands Indies. The reestablishment of Netherlands authority in that part of the Kingdom will create a completely changed situation which the Netherlands Government considers an opportune moment to prohibit completely the use of prepared opium in those parts of the Netherlands Indies where this was previously permitted and to abolish the opium monopoly.
The enclosed declaration of the Netherlands Government will be communicated to the Governments which are parties to the Geneva Opium Agreement of February 11th, 1925,19 and or, the Hague Opium Convention of 1912 and all other members of the League of Nations through the intermediary of the Secretariat of the League.
The Netherlands Government does not desire publication of the enclosed declaration at this moment as consultations with the British Government which is preparing a similar arrangement with regard to British Colonial territories are still in progress. Therefore, it will be much appreciated if the declaration of the Netherlands Government could be released to the press only after notification to that effect will be received.19a
In connection with the above reference is made to an aide-mémoire dated September 21st, 1943, No. 890.114 Narcotics/12, transmitting an American proposal with regard to opium regulations of which I acknowledged receipt in my note of September 29th, 1943, No. 5877. The decision of the Netherlands Government outlined in the enclosure was taken before the American Government’s proposal was received. The Netherlands Government considers that its declaration covers to a considerable extent the suggestions outlined in the aide-mémoire [Page 1078] of the American Government, to which the Netherlands Government intends to reply at a later date.
I avail myself [etc.]
- Acknowledged by the Secretary of State in a note of November 22, 1943, not printed. The note indicated readiness of the American Government to consult with other governments on measures for the limitation and control of the production of opium and suppression of the illicit traffic in opium (890.114 Narcotics/49).↩
- League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. li, p. 337.↩
- Announcement was made by the Netherlands and British Governments on November 10, 1943; Department of State Bulletin, November 13, 1943, p. 331. A statement by Acting Secretary of State Stettinius on the same date is also printed ibid. ↩