108 Mr T. Elink Schuurman, Netherlands Consul-General in Australia, to Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of Department of External Affairs
Letter SYDNEY, 20 March 1940
By my letter No. L17/5524, of 18th December 1939 , I advised you of certain discussions between this Consulate General and the Department of Supply and Development concerning the possibility of supplying various war materials manufactured in Australia to the Netherlands Indies Defence Authorities.
I have since learned that these latter authorities were anxious to send out to Australia a small commission (probably consisting of 3 members) in order to investigate the manufacturing possibilities for these materials in the Commonwealth and that the matter has been taken up through the diplomatic channel (The Hague and London) in order to obtain the official approval of the Commonwealth Government for such a visit. Further discussions with the Department of Supply and Development have shown that a visit of this commission at this juncture would perhaps be somewhat premature, but apparently the Netherlands Indian Defence Authorities are desirous of sending, at a not too distant date, at least one officer for certain preliminary investigations.
Before taking this matter up with the Department of Supply and Development, I would like to enquire whether the steps through the diplomatic channel referred to above have meanwhile reached Canberra and whether any decision has been taken by the Commonwealth Government. I ask this because, if not, I think it more advisable not to approach the Department of Supply and Development immediately. 
T. ELINK SCHUURMAN