File No. 600.119/121

The Secretary of State to the Swiss Minister ( Ritter)

No. 482

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of June 13, 1917,1 with reference to the adoption by Congress of the Espionage bill with a provision conferring upon the President of the United States authority to declare an embargo on the exports of certain goods to certain countries and the possible effect of the act upon the receipt of supplies by Switzerland.

It is not the intention of the Government of the United States to interfere with the exportation of needed supplies to Switzerland or other neutral European countries where measures have been adopted to prevent the reshipment of such supplies to Germany and its allies, subject always, of course, to the paramount needs of this country and its allies in connection with the prosecution of the war.

I am forwarding a copy of your note and the enclosure thereto to the Secretary of Commerce for his information and at such time as the President shall make proclamation under the authority conferred upon him in the provision of the Espionage bill referred to and the selection of the personnel of the division to deal specifically with this question shall have been made, a representative of the Government of the United States dealing with this matter will be glad to confer with a representative of your Legation in regard thereto.

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Frank L. Polk
  1. Not printed.