27 November 1941
Re your #842*
The United States has been conferring with the Netherlands on subjects pertaining to U. S. claims and because we asked them to do so. In the midst of these talks, the White House suddenly came forth with the announcement on the 24th, that the United States is occupying Dutch Guiana, with the agreement of the government of the Netherlands, for the purpose of protecting it.
As was made plain in the text of this announcement, the main objective of this occupation was to guarantee accessibility to aluminum produced there, which is vital to the national defense of the United States. Ordinarily, the Netherlands Government would dispatch its armed forces stationed in the Netherlands East Indies for this purpose, but she is unable to do so at present because of the present situation in the southwest Pacific area. For this reason, the U. S. Army is being used to protect the aluminum mines in that area. At the same time, at the invitation of the Netherlands Government, Brazil is also taking part in protecting them.
The Netherlands Foreign Minister stopped in the United States en route to visiting the Netherlands East Indies, and conferred with U. S. government officials. Since then, there has been a considerable increase in the amount of military supplies being shipped to the Netherlands East Indies; the traffic of technicians and experts between the United States and N. E. I., has swung up sharply. From these indications as well as from the history of the Netherlands East Indies, it is believed, that depending upon the atmosphere at the time the Japanese-U. S. negotiations break off, Britain and the United States may occupy the Netherlands East Indies. They will do this, probably, much in the same manner as U. S.-Brazil joint occupation of Netherlands Guiana, in the name of protecting the products of the N. E. I. which are vital to national defense, tin and rubber.
I feel that it is essential that we give careful consideration to this possibility. I made reference to this point in my message #1180**. The gist of this message does not differ from that contained in that message.
JD-1: 6914 (D) Navy Trans. 11-29-41 (X)
**JD-1: 6891 (S.I.S. #25435-36).
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)