756.00/1–1651: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Netherlands (Chapin) to the Embassy in Portugal 1


9. Personal for General Eisenhower2 from Ambassador. Because of all-day Cabinet meeting and domestic political crisis it was only this morning I could show Stikker your letter of January 13,3 leaving copy with him. Copy will also be furnished confidentially to S. Jacob.

Stikker much impressed with letter which he felt although blunt, to point and fair. Said copies would be furnished only to members military sub-committee of Cabinet but letter would probably create something of sensation. Stikker added, “personally and very confidentially, I will be indiscreet enough to say that I like the letter”.

[Page 426]

Stikker referred to Kerr’s article in New York Herald Tribune eleventh presumably written before your visit Hague criticizing Drees as “doctrinaire socialist” who not prepared take effective action on rearmament. Said Drees had been deeply hurt over this and had remarked it would be far easier for Socialists leave government and go into Opposition as in that way they could be sure of much better showing next election.

Stikker asked me if I could give him any further reactions from you and General Gruenther as result your visit and I told him that, unfortunately, I had had no detailed discussion with you subsequent your morning discussions January 11. I did, however, in response specific question, say that I felt you had been disappointed with your visit with Prime Minister who, either because of his views or because he “tired”, gave no impression he aware urgency for immediate action.

Although Stikker quite obviously worried over domestic political situation since his own position very much in danger through lack support his party on NG issue which to be debated end this week, he recognized problem raised by you as over-riding and stated he wished me assure you he personally would do everything possible obtain pledge from Dutch Government, effective action before you appear before Congress. Specifically, he mentioned proposed first additional Defense budget increase 150 million guilders and proposal build 60 mine sweepers of which 12 would be built on contingent gamble to be disposed of to other NATO nations and 36 in hope to sell to US.

  1. This telegram was repeated to Rome, Paris, London, and the Department of State, the source text printed here.
  2. General Eisenhower and his party flew from London to Lisbon on the afternoon of January 16.
  3. Regarding this letter, see footnote 1, p. 416.