File No. 651.11251/33
The Ambassador in France (Sharp) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 12, 1916.]
Sir: In reply to the Department’s No. 727 of November 20,1 I have the honor to enclose herewith in copy and translation the answer of the French Government to my request for information regarding the policy of the French Government as regards American merchandise destined for Switzerland sent in transit through France.1 There is also enclosed the list referred to, as published in the Journal officiel of November 15, and translation of same arranged alphabetically.1
According to the note above referred to, it appears that before March 1, 1916, merchandise from America must be consigned to the Société Suisse de Surveillance Economique by a declaration made at the time of loading and mentioned upon the bills of lading, subject to the certificates of consignment established by the Société Suisse de Surveillance Economique being produced at the port of unloading. On and after March 1, 1916, the written consent of the Société Suisse will have to be obtained for the consignment to it of the merchandise mentioned on the list in the quantities which it may be desired to send in transit through France.
As regards the actual transportation in France, it will be noted that the delays are attributed by the French Government to the scarcity of cars and to the exigencies of the military situation, although it is promised that these conditions will be ameliorated in cooperation with the Swiss Government.
Any further information upon this subject which may be available will be transmitted from time to time.
I may add that the two cases specifically mentioned in the enclosures to the instruction above mentioned were properly brought to the attention of the French Government.
I have [etc.]