765.84/2349b: Telegram

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

195. Press despatches this morning report that Coordination Committee’s subcommittee is considering proposal to prohibit shipments to Italy of coal, iron, steel and oil and that there is a feeling in League [Page 855] circles that Berlin and Washington will be sounded out on attitude of the respective governments on this step.

I consider it advisable that you make clear orally to any of the representatives of the governments or the League who might be contemplating making inquiries of this Government with regard to these commodities that you assume that the policies of this Government with regard to keeping out of the war and with regard to its duties and obligations in connection with the Kellogg Pact and other international agreements for the preservation of peace are well known and thoroughly understood. You might also refer again to the steps this Government has taken in conformity with the neutrality resolution of Congress and, further, you might well point out that the President and the Secretary of State have publicly warned American citizens against the extension of transactions of any character with either of the belligerent nations. You might say also that in the face of the independent actions of this Government you do not believe that anyone would wish to precipitate a controversy over here and inject confusion into the situation by querying us with regard to any action we might take with respect to any particular commodity in connection with the program under discussion or contemplated by the states members of the League.

As applying to this possible situation, I refer you to our 129, October 17, 6 p.m. to the Consulate a copy of this present telegram also to be furnished to the Consulate.