237 Mr T. Elink Schuurman, Netherlands Consul-General in Australia, to Department of External Affairs

Telegram SYDNEY, 13 May 1940, 9.30 a.m.

Received [13 May 1940], 1.05 p.m.

Under instructions Netherlands Government advise Commonwealth Government that Netherlands now at war with Germany. Whatever may be fate of the Netherlands in Europe, the Governor General of the Netherlands Indies and Governors Surinam and Curacao is [sic] fully competent and able to continue the administration in these territories and maintain public order externally and internally and that consequently all outside intervention will be rejected by Netherlands Government. Commonwealth Government are requested not to take any restrictive measures regarding trading and financial transactions between the Commonwealth and portions of Netherlands Kingdom not occupied by German troops especially Netherlands India, Surinam and Curacao which territories according Netherlands Constitution are with Netherlands in Europe separate portions of Kingdom so that occupation partial area one of these territories has not legal consequence with regard to others. I am also to assure Commonwealth Government that in all Netherlands oversea territories necessary measures have been taken prohibiting trading and financial transactions with portions of Netherlands in Europe occupied by Germany. I am also requested to invite your attention to recent act regarding transfer of seats of limited liability companies enabling these concerns to transfer their official seat at short notice to safer places also outside Netherlands.

Netherlands Government trust that this act will be fully taken into account by Commonwealth and State authorities including judiciary. All Netherlands Legations and Consulates except those in Germany and in non-Netherlands territory occupied by Germany will function normally as before. Even in case complete occupation Netherlands in Europe Governor General of Netherlands Indies and Governors of Surinam and Curacao now entitled independently give instructions to diplomatic and consular officials abroad regarding matters concerning those territories. [1] Letter follows. [2]

1 The information in this telegram was repeated to the Minister to the United States, R. G. Casey, who in turn advised the U.K.

Ambassador to die United States, Lord Lothian. (See External Affairs Dept cablegram 53 to Casey of 13 May 1940 on file AA:

A3300, 13.) 2 On the file here cited. It set out more formally the issues covered in the telegram.