File No. 600.001/161

The Ambassador in France ( Sharp ) to the Secretary of State


2550. My 2523, September 21, 6 p.m. Foreign Office informs me that it has received notification from the Swiss Chargé d’Affaires [Page 1176] at Paris that the Swiss Government has ratified on the 17th September the arrangement between the Federal Government and the [Associated Governments] of September 4 relative to silks and silk goods.1

Foreign Office adds that the note from Swiss Chargé d’Affaires stated that he would be glad to learn of the ratification of the arrangement by the Government of the United States.


[Regarding the negotiations with the Swiss representatives at Washington, the following statement was made to the Allied blockade authorities in a conference at Paris, November 23, 1917 (minutes attached to Mr. McCormick’s report to Colonel House, File No. 763.72/13416), by Dr. A. E. Taylor:

When the Swiss Minister at Washington expressed the desire to negotiate concerning the rationing of his country, the delegates of the [War Trade] Board decided that they could make no definite decision without first consulting the French Government, which was so much more vitally interested because of her proximity to the Confederation. They obtained from the Ambassadors of the Allies at Washington the statement of the conditions by which the allowance to Switzerland had already been regulated; then they endeavored to agree as nearly as possible as to the extent of exportation and even to reduce this figure to the minimum.

On October 26, 1917, the War Trade Board presented to the Swiss Minister a memorandum of agreement (File No. 654.119/844) in terms substantially similar to those of the final agreement signed December 5, post, page 1185.]

  1. See footnote 2 to preceding document. Notice of France’s ratification of the agreement of Sept. 4, 1917, was communicated by the French Ambassador under date of Sept. 22 (File No. 600.001/158); no record has been found of ratification by Great Britain, Italy, and the United States. However, in Art. V of a new general agreement with Switzerland, embodied in a joint memorandum of Jan. 22, 1919, “the agreement concluded on August 9, 1917,” is referred to as one of the arrangements in effect limiting Swiss exports to the Central powers (File No. 654.119/690).