The Ambassador in the Netherlands (Hornbech) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 2210:06 a.m.]
A–174. Reference Embassy’s secret despatch No. 568, of January 17, 1946,5 transmitting copy of note to Foreign Office dated January 16, 1946, relative to airbases in Curaçao and Surinam.
The text of the Foreign Office’s reply to this note is given verbatim below:
“Sir: With reference to Your Excellency’s note of January 16, 1946, on the subject of the use of air bases in Curaçao and Surinam, I have the honour to inform Your Excellency that investigations have been made with regard to the possibilities of operation and maintenance of the airbase at ‘Zanderij’ field in Surinam, now being operated by United States military personnel.
“The airbase at ‘Hato’ field in Curaçao has, according to a report, received from the Governor of that territory, already been transferred to the Netherlands authorities.
“With regard to Surinam, the Netherlands authorities are ready to take over in the near future the operation and maintenance of the airbase at ‘Zanderij’ field and to furnish the required air facilities. [Page 959]The Netherlands Government would highly appreciate it, if the American material could be transferred to the Netherlands authorities on conditions to be settled mutually.
“Consequently the United States Government will be able gradually to withdraw their forces from the airfield of Surinam. However, certain measures of a technical nature will have to be taken by the Netherlands Government before this transfer can be carried out.
“Her Majesty’s Government are prepared to enter into an agreement with the Government of the United States to allow the passage of United States military aircraft, serving forces of occupation in Europe through the aforesaid airbases in Curaçao and Surinam, during a period to be agreed upon by both Governments.
“The Netherlands Government gladly avail themselves of the kind offer of the United States Government to provide, if necessary, as an aid toward the assumption of these responsibilities, technical instruction and assistance for Netherlands maintenance personnel in Surinam.
“I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurance of my highest consideration.
W. v. Boetzelaer
“The Hague, October 8, 1946.”
- Not printed.↩