File No. 600.119/99

The Chargé in the Netherlands ( Langhorne ) to the Secretary of State

No. 918

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that a great deal of anxiety has been expressed in the Dutch press on account of the publication of articles reaching this country through Reuter’s Agency, to the effect that the American Government intended to stop shipments of foodstuffs to countries in close communication with Germany.

In connection with these reports, the Foreign Office issued the following communiqué to the press:

In consequence of the proposals introduced into Congress to discuss the limitation of exports from the United States, particularly of foodstuffs and metal, the Dutch Minister at Washington was instructed to obtain the feelings of the Government on the subject. The Minister has had an interview with the President of the United States and explained to him the situation, together with what the consequences would be to Holland of an eventual prohibition of exports especially of food and metal.

Mr. Wilson pointed out that the proposals as introduced did not involve prohibition of export but simply gave him the power to issue such a prohibition if necessary.

The President added that only in the case of utter necessity, which at present he did not foresee, should he be brought to forbid the export of foodstuffs and metal to Holland, for he was aware of the position in which this country was placed in regard to the belligerents.

The President took the opportunity of assuring our Minister of his great sympathy for our country.

I beg to enclose a clipping from the Gazette de Hollande of the 24th instant, giving an article from the Vaderland which expresses the satisfaction now felt in the assurances given to the Dutch Minister in Washington by the President.1

I have [etc.]

Marshall Langhorne
  1. Not printed.