102.102/359: Telegram

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

112. Federal Councilor Schulthess informs me that he is in receipt of numerous complaints as to [activities] of Treasury representatives in Switzerland to the effect that in the course of their investigations they demand information as to production costs, loan contracts and trade and manufacturing secrets; that they further demand opportunity to verify these facts by examination of company’s books under threat of preventing importation to the United States; that in some cases, notably Sandoz and Company of Basel, chemical manufacturers, such import rights have been refused. Mr. Schulthess stated that Federal Council considered the matter as a flagrant violation of Swiss sovereignty which could not be tolerated and requested that suitable inquiry be made. I have not brought these complaints to the attention of the Treasury officials but have endeavored to secure copies of their instructions without success although they were promised prior to this date. I have told Mr. Schulthess that there is undoubtedly a misunderstanding either on the part of Swiss manufacturers or of our Treasury representatives but that I am referring his complaint to the Department in order that an investigation may be made as soon as possible.