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

No. 3863

Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 2929 of April 15, 1935,61 concerning export of arms to China, I have the honor to transmit herewith copy of the Legation’s note No. 629 of April 29, 1935, to the Swiss Federal Political Department.61

I discussed this matter with the British Minister here and he stated that he had already addressed two notes on this subject to the Swiss Government and had been informed by the French Embassy here that it had likewise taken up the matter with the Swiss Government. [Page 723] The British Minister informed me that he had been told by Mr. de Stoutz, Chief of the Division of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Political Department, that the Swiss Government had delayed passing any law on this matter in the hope that it would be taken care of by an international agreement, but that since there did not seem to be any possibility that such an agreement would be entered into at least for the present, he had submitted to the Department of Justice and Police a project of a decree, asking its opinion as to whether or not such a decree would be constitutional. Mr. de Stoutz said that there was grave doubt that the Federal Council had the authority to issue such a decree regulating this matter without having it passed by the Assembly.

The Legation will keep the Department informed of any further developments in this matter.

Respectfully yours,

For the Minister:
Stanley Hawks

Secretary of Legation
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