File No. 654.0031

The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall) to the Secretary of State


938. A commercial agreement was signed in Paris May 12 between representatives of Governments of France, Great Britain, Italy, and Switzerland which enters immediately into effect on its ratification by the Governments concerned and lasts until March 15, 1918. Denys Cochin signed for France which implies ratification for that country, and Italian Government has informed its delegate that it approved the terms. Agreement provides:

Italy must send Switzerland before fixed dates certain quantities of oil cakes and linseed, bulk of which are already owned by the Swiss Government; Allies agree to allow the transit of 3,000 wagons of oil cakes. Switzerland agrees not to ship except to Allies, Spain, or overseas more than 30,000 head of cattle during force of agreement. If they must export more through lack of fodder Allies have four weeks’ option of purchase or sending fodder. If they do not comply with either provision, Switzerland free to ship where she will. Switzerland agrees to sell to Allies 70 per cent her total export of milk; of the 30 per cent remaining one-third at least must be sent neutral countries. If exportation passes 3,000 wagons, 80 per cent of excess must go to Allies. Switzerland will not send to Central powers more than three-quarters of the mean export of butter and cheese to those countries for the years 1911 to 1913. If Italy does not fulfill her part of this agreement concerning oil cakes, agreement is void. Switzerland is to recompense Italy with additional quantities of wood and Italy must send five wagons of sulphate of copper.

This reduces the quantity of cattle from the quantity exported during past year to Germany by about 12,000, which reduction I am informed was brought about by the threat of action on the part of United States in grain shipments. …