340.1115A/535: Telegram

The Minister in the Netherlands (Gordon) to the Secretary of State

128. Department’s 43, April 16, 6 p.m., to Brussels.

Out of a very closely estimated total of 757 Americans holding valid passports or entitled to passports for return to the United States who are now on the way to The Netherlands—the great majority are of Dutch extraction or married to Dutch citizens—it is estimated that, in view of their failure to respond to repeated urgent warnings at critical moments in the past, 330 would still vacillate and probably delay departure until an actual invasion took place and 332 would probably want to remain even after an invasion. The remaining 95 (87 in the Amsterdam district and 8 in the Rotterdam district) constitute the number estimated as desiring to return to the United States immediately and all of these are believed to require loans for repatriation. In addition there are estimated to be 14 alien wives and minor unmarried children in the Amsterdam district who should be added to the latter total.
It is estimated that $26,689 will be needed for loans to the latter 95 citizens and 14 alien dependents (Amsterdam $24,745 and Rotterdam $1944). These amounts include minimum United States Lines fare as quoted here of $200 Genoa–New York.
Prior to invasion no difficulties are foreseen in evacuating citizens via Belgium and France to Mediterranean ports. After invasion this route might well be closed immediately. While in such a contingency there is a slight possibility of evacuation by automobile through north Holland to Germany and thence by train to Italy such a possibility cannot of course be counted on. If both these routes should be closed the only remaining route would be by sea.
The Department could facilitate repatriations after invasion if land routes were cut by arranging prompt despatch of vessels to Rotterdam or Amsterdam to take evacuees to a place of safety. Repatriation activities will also be facilitated if funds for repatriation are allotted by the Department direct to consulates for disbursement and accounting on their own responsibility.