740.0011 PW/7–2145: Telegram

No. 1292
The Ambassador to the Netherlands (Hornbeck) to the Acting Secretary of State1
secret
us urgent

Neter 187. From Hornbeck.

Minister Van Royen approached me in the Hague last evening and stated on behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs2 that Prime Minister Schermerhorn and ex-Prime Minister Gerbrandy desire to proceed to Berlin to lay before the President and Prime Minister Churchill a project for sending to Australia for special training there some 27,000 Netherlanders of whom 22,000 would be for “security [Page 1347]forces” and 5,000 for “civil administration” purposes in connection with and preparatory to the liberation of the Netherlands East Indies. Van Royen stated that this matter was simultaneously being taken up with the British in London.

Upon arrival in London this afternoon I conferred with the British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Sir Nevile Bland, and he informs me that the matter was brought to his attention here by the Netherland Minister for Foreign Affairs at the same time it was being brought to mine in the Hague last evening. Sir Nevile states that he immediately drafted and took to the Foreign Office a telegram in communication of the Netherland Govt’s request and that he believes that it went forward during the night to Mr. Eden in Berlin.

I have also checked with the Netherland Minister for Foreign Affairs. Both he and Van Royen emphasize that the Netherland Govt attaches the utmost importance to this matter, especially to the objectives, both military and humanitarian, which the interview which is thus sought would be intended to serve.

It is believed that it would be helpful could it be arranged that the replies of the President and the Prime Minister respectively or jointly could be communicated to the Netherland Govt as soon as possible in identical terms, and at the same or approximately the same time. For US purposes receipt by this Embassy of a reply directly from Berlin would be helpful.

  1. Sent over the signature of Winant. The gist of this message was included in telegram No. 106 of July 23 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 800.00 Summaries/7–2345).
  2. Eelco N. van Kleffens.