Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Moffat)
The Swiss Minister called by appointment on Mr. Sayre and Mr. Moffat this afternoon. Mr. Sayre had asked to see him before he left for Switzerland on his annual vacation tomorrow.
Mr. Sayre remarked that when he last talked with the Minister our organization to undertake trade negotiations had not been completely set up. Now, however, that it is completed, he was prepared to tell Mr. Peter that, if agreeable to the Swiss Government, we would be prepared to go ahead with the negotiations upon his return in late September. He asked Mr. Peter to inform the Swiss Political Department to this effect and to request it to undertake the necessary studies covering their desiderata. As soon as we were informed that this was agreeable, we would promptly set up a Special Committee to make an intensive study of Swiss–American trade.
Mr. Peter said that he could, on the basis of instructions previously received, inform Mr. Sayre forthwith that this was agreeable and that he might proceed to the nomination of the Commission in question. As far as the Swiss studies were concerned, they were already partially completed. It was no secret that the first and foremost on the list of Swiss desiderata was some relief on the question of watches and watch parts. He quoted figures to show the virtual destruction of this important element in Swiss-American trade.
It was agreed that Mr. Sayre’s proposal and the Minister’s acceptance would be kept confidential for the time being.[Page 736]
Upon the Minister’s return on September 25th, he will call on Mr. Sayre with instructions in hand and ready to start immediate negotiations.