November 24, 1941

[Department of State Bulletin, November 29, 1941.]

The bauxite mines in Surinam furnish upwards of 60 percent of the requirements of the United States aluminum industry, which is vital to the defense of the United States, the Western Hemisphere, and the nations actively resisting aggression.

It is therefore necessary that the safety of these mines should be as completely assured as present conditions demand.

In normal circumstances the Government of the Netherlands would, for the purpose of strengthening further the defences of Surinam, draw on the armed forces of the Netherlands Indies. In view, however, of the present situation in the southwestern Pacific, it is thought inadvisable to follow that course.

For this reason the Governments of the Netherlands and of the United States of America have entered into consultation. As a result, the latter has agreed to send a contingent of the United States Army to Surinam to cooperate with the Netherlands forces in assuring the protection of the bauxite mines in that territory. This contingent will, of course, be withdrawn as soon as the present danger to the mines is removed and at the latest at the conclusion of hostilities.

Simultaneously the Government of the Netherlands has invited the Government of the United States of Brazil to participate in this defense measure. It is understood that Brazil will contribute to the common aim by exercising an especial measure of military vigilance in the frontier zone adjacent to Surinam and by sending a mission to Paramaribo to exchange information and concert all other steps on the basis indicated to assure maximum efficiency of the safety measures thus being jointly undertaken by the Brazilian, United States, and Netherlands forces.

The Government of Brazil has indicated its whole-hearted approval of the emergency measures.

At the same time, the Government of the United States has notified the Governments of the American republics of the foregoing arrangements, which have been reached in the interests of all.