307 Note by Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, of Conversation with Jonkheer E. Michiels van Verduynen, Netherlands Minister to the United Kingdom
Extract [LONDON], 18 February 1941
The Dutch Minister came to see me  and told me that he had recently drafted a note to the Foreign Office on behalf of his Government. He pointed out that as Australia had been mentioned in the note he felt he should come and show it to me. He then read to me the memorandum attached which he left with me. In reading the memorandum he amplified some of the points slightly. The amplifications were down the lines that a Declaration without the United States of America being associated with it would be a mistake and would probably do more harm than good. The Dutch Minister also emphasised the danger, even if the United States were associated, of its being made public for the reasons stressed in the third paragraph of the Memorandum that such publicity would possibly give an opportunity to the wilder spirits in Japan.
After expressing my appreciation of his having shown me the Memorandum I agreed that any action without the co-operation of the United States of America would be a mistake. I also told him that I thought there was much to be said for his point that a public declaration might give an opportunity to the extremists to inflame the passions in Japan. I said, however, that I thought it was essential if we could induce America to come in that the warning should be conveyed through diplomatic channels to Japan.
I put it to the Minister, however, that it seemed to me we should not wait, as appeared to be suggested in the second last paragraph, for further aggressive action by Japan, but that the warning should be conveyed before Japan had committed herself to any further aggression. In any event I indicated that in my view the Memorandum was all to the good as it would tend to clarify the situation and make it necessary for the United Kingdom Government to determine upon the line they proposed to pursue.
S. M. B[RUCE]