611.5431/55: Telegram

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

39. We informed the Swiss Minister yesterday that, if agreeable to the Swiss Government, we are prepared to enter upon reciprocal tariff conversations with Switzerland upon the return to Washington of Mr. Peter in September. Meanwhile, we requested that the Swiss Political Department complete the necessary studies covering their own desiderata; for our part, we undertook to set up without delay a Special Committee to study and formulate our wishes.

We are anxious to keep this proposal confidential in order that if our points of view turn out to be too far apart to warrant the successful conclusion of an agreement, it may not appear that there has been an actual breakdown in negotiations.

You may discuss the foregoing confidentially with the appropriate Swiss officials.

Please prepare one or more despatches reporting in detail, for the consideration of the Committee referred to in paragraph 1, (a) any recommendations you have concerning the conduct of negotiations, (b) the essential concessions or commitments for which you feel we should ask, (c) the concessions or commitments from us to which you feel Switzerland is going to attach the greatest importance, and (d) any other pertinent information you may have regarding Swiss trade policy, commercial treaties either concluded or under negotiation with other countries.

You may, of course, call freely upon consular officers stationed in Switzerland.