File No. 763.72112/4404

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


1207. From conversation which various members of this Legation have had with members of the commission, the Dutch special commission which is now scheduled to leave for the United States August 18 instead of August 15 as reported in my 1192 of August 12,1 it may be fairly assumed that the commission has the three following purposes in view:

To persuade the United States Government and the American people through the medium of the press and influential men that exports to America [of] foodstuffs and raw materials may be resumed and that neutral Holland be allowed to export her home-grown products in exchange for German coal. The commission will probably point out that the Netherlands Oversea Trust has worked to the satisfaction of the Allies in keeping articles from overseas and similar articles of domestic origin from reaching the enemy and that Holland’s agricultural agreement has been closely adhered to [to] the prejudice of both Germany and Holland.
As a considerable section of opinion, as reflected in the Dutch press and in utterances of public and private persons, has come to fear that the extensive system exercised by England and France through the intimate medium of the Netherlands Oversea Trust practically threatens Holland’s independence and may be expected to persist after the war if the Allies then combine an economic alliance against the Centrals, it is possible that the commission may have the intention of suggesting opportunely that the United States take over the control of her own exports to Holland instead of leaving them under the present regime. The commission may feel that it should utilize the [Page 1125] present moment, when the United States policies are not yet fully determined upon, for making this change, for they may believe that the administration of trade control by the United States Government would be less rigorous and would be more easily shaken off.
It is also possibly a purpose of the commission to emphasize to the United States the commission’s opinion of the importance to the United States of the Dutch East Indies and the danger to the United States interests in the Philippines of having the Dutch East Indies fall into the possession of another power.

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  1. Not printed.