File No. 763.72112/635

The British Ambassador ( Spring Rice ) to the Secretary of State

No. 27]

Sir: I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your note No. 476 of January 14 respecting certain difficulties which are experienced by firms in this country in connection with the exportation of goods to Switzerland.

The attention of my Government had already been drawn to this matter and on the instructions of His Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs I issued to the press on the 11th instant a statement on the subject, copy of which I have the honour to enclose. I trust that in view of this statement the shipping companies will see their way to accept shipments for Switzerland and that the difficulties experienced by American firms will be diminished in proportion as it is found by experience that shipments destined for use in Switzerland are not interfered with.

I have [etc.]

Cecil Spring Rice
[Enclosure]

Statement to the press issued by the British Embassy January 11, 1915

It is understood that certain American and Italian shipping lines are refusing to carry goods consigned by name to Swiss firms, and that this refusal has been attributed in some quarters to some suggestion or action on the part of the British authorities. There is no foundation whatever for the latter statement; the British Government are on the contrary most anxious that no restrictions whatever should be placed in the way of articles intended for bona fide consumption in Switzerland.