File No. 665.11251/97

The Ambassador in Italy ( Page ) to the Secretary of State

No. 423]

Sir: In reply to the Department’s instruction No. 236 of November 9,1 I have the honor to state that I at once presented the matter of shipments for Switzerland from neutral countries to the Royal Italian Foreign Office asking details as to the conditions under which such goods might be shipped, and am to-day in receipt of a reply informing me that:

The bill of lading must be made in conformity with the Royal decree of November 13, 1914.
Goods which are sent to the address of the S.S.S. (Société Suisse de Surveillance Economique), must be accompanied by the acceptance of the S.S.S.

The first point was settled between Italy and Switzerland by agreement of November 13, 1914; the second by an arrangement between Switzerland and the interested powers concerning the organization of the S.S.S. (decree of November 26, 1915).

With regard to the question brought up in the letter of Morris and Company, which was enclosed in the above-mentioned instruction, I was told at the Foreign Office that it was, of course, impossible to force a steamship company to accept goods for Switzerland, and, furthermore, that goods arriving at an Italian port with bill of lading made out in the name of an Italian consignee or “to order” could not pass through Italy in transit, as is shown in the Royal decree of November 13, 1914.

I have the honor to enclose herewith the two decrees mentioned.1

I have [etc.]

Thos. Nelson Page
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.