Business: Clearing House

  • Share
  • Read Later

From Rotterdam last week arrived the first of the 100,000,000 tulip, gladioli, iris, hyacinth, crocus and daffodil bulbs worth some $5,000,000 which the Dutch annually export to the U. S. This week the cordial trade relations between The Netherlands and the U. S. blossomed with the announcement that a vacant lot in Manhattan's Radio City will soon sprout a Netherlands Building.

Since the signing of a reciprocal trade treaty in 1935 trade between the U. S. and The Netherlands has grown enormously. In 1936 Holland (including colonies) imported from the U. S. goods worth $81,758,000, exported to the U. S. goods worth $136,381,000; last year the trend was reversed, imports amounting to $154,028,000 and exports to $141,007,000.

Thus The Netherlands—which has $1,000,000,000 invested in the U. S., second only to Great Britain—became fourth biggest U. S. customer (after Great Britain, Canada, Japan). Instrumental in arranging the trade pact was a close-cropped Knight of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer Pieter Jacob Six, owner of the world's greatest collection of Rembrandts, four of them portraits of members of his own family. Jonkheer Six likes to point out that both the U. S. and Holland are creditor nations, that their trade needs complement each other. Last January he and Dr. E. H. von Baumhauer went to the U. S. to see about forming an organization to spur mutual trade.

The two burghers soon turned their scheme over to Fenton B. Turck Jr., youthful vice president of American Radiator & Standard Sanitary Corp. and a trustee of New York's Holland Society.

Energetic Yaleman Turck last month officially announced the formation of Holland House, with such potent directors as Chase National's Winthrop Aldrich, International Business Machines' Thomas J. Watson, Standard Oil of New Jersey's W. S. Farish, Author Hendrik Willem Van Loon.

The Netherlands Government came through with $14,000, various interested companies, such as oil, agreed to put up some $5,000 apiece annually for five years.

Last week Holland House had a guaranteed yearly income of $100,000, was functioning temporarily in Radio City's International Building until its new headquarters are built. Said President Fenton Turck: "Holland House will serve as a clearing house for trade and financial transactions between the two countries, providing a focal point, heretofore lacking, for the establishment of contacts and for initiating and carrying on negotiations."