SIR WALTER TOWNLEY, K. C. M. G.
governor of the british chamber of commerce for the netherlands east indies.
London, E. C. 4, 9tii June 1922.
103, temple chambers, 3, temple avenue.
Bear Mr. Treub,
British interests engaged in the development of the Netherlands East Indies are as you know, very considerable, and very large financial risks have been rui» in endeavouring to assist m raismg the productivity of the Islands by the latest possible methods. It is fully realised by the British circles engaged in the industry that, under present circumstances, taxation must of necessity be heavy, as it is, unfortunately, in all parts of the world to-day. But veiy great anxiety has been evinced at the turn which it is rumoured the taxation policy of the present administration is hkely to take. Past experience of financial legislation teaches us that taxation to be satisfactory, must be fair to all, as far as that may be possible in every way, by which I mean that anything m the nature of discriminatory taxation is doomed to failure, not only because it creates a spirit of unrest and uncertainty, but because it must eventually curtail the activities of the industry discriminated against, with the danger that those,activities will inevitably be reduced and turned into other channels. Further, any taxation which by its incidence is in the nature of mterfenng with personal profits is bound to produce great antagonism, both because it is practically an untned method, and because it savours too much of the disturbing influences which are abroad to-day.
My attention has recently been called by important British interests to the objectionable nature of certam proposed legislation in the Netherlands East Indies on both these heads, and I much fear that if this luie of financial pohcy is persisted in, it wül be more than difficult to induce British capital to take further interest in the development of your Colonial Empire This would, in my opmion, be in the highest sense unfortunate, because our two countries are closely united by ties of trade and commerce, and because at the present moment there is a distinct inchnation on our part to take a larger share in the development of the commercial future of your East Indian Archipelago, whilst I have reason to believe that British capital would be torthcomuig for the execution of public works, should the Colonial Administration require it *hlS' h07eV^' must be ^pendent upon the nature of the financial administration, and I much regret to have to teil you that the rumours which have reached us recently, and which unfortunately, seem to be confirmed by your letter under reply, have caused anxiety amounting almost to constemation, such as would make it impossible to obtain further financial assistance tor undertakings of any sort in the Netherlands East Indies.
Yours very faithfully,
(signed) WALTER TOWNLEY. M. W. F. TREUB, Esq., Governor. President,
Ondernemersraad voor Nederlandsch-Indië: Lange Voorhout 27, the hague.