File No. 654.119/262

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


3399. For War Trade Board [from Dresel]:

No. 41. My No. 35, Legation’s 3362.1 New convention between Germany and Switzerland was accepted for Swiss but owing to French protest signature has been deferred and in any case it will probably not be signed before 23d. Agreement as confidentially communicated provides in substance:

For monthly delivery 200,000 tons coal at average price 173.50 francs per ton, and 19,000 tons iron and steel.
Germany to furnish 3,000 cars fertilizers, besides gasoline, potato products, zinc, sulphate of copper and medicines; Switzerland to give in exchange milk products, chocolate, [garbled word], and fifteen to seventeen thousand head of cattle.
German S.S.S. to be created, (details?) to be arranged later.
If French are able to furnish whole quota of [85,000] tons monthly no restrictions beyond present arrangements regarding coal going into war material to be imposed by Germany. If, however, ratio of French coal delivered to whole 85,000 tons promised falls materially below ratio of amount of German coal delivered to whole 200,000 tons promised, Germany considers herself free to discuss further restrictions on use of German coal.

France has made vigorous protest against fourth provision alleging, as already stated in Legation’s 3437 [3337] of May 11 [10],1 that French offer was made on express understanding that no further restrictions imposed by Germany would be accepted. Swiss Government claims no such understanding existed and that protest entirely unexpected, but am convinced verbal notice to effect stated was actually given by French representatives immediately offer made. Undoubtedly French attitude partly explained by feeling that national dignity affected by implication that France will not live up to her agreement and by the balancing of her performance against that of Germany.

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Two Swiss Government delegates have been sent to France to discuss situation further. I believe that settlement will eventually be reached as French not inclined as far as I can gather to take an absolutely uncompromising attitude. The new German restrictions will in no event come into force until July 15 and will only affect use of four to five thousand additional tons of coal. Fifteen to twenty thousand tons coal monthly from France would look out for exportations of Swiss products to Entente and it is possible French may make further proposition limiting their offer of coal to this extent. Dresel.

  1. Not printed.
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