The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 15.]
Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 3872 of January 26, 1937, relative to the control of lard imports by the Swiss Government, I have the honor to submit the following report on recent action taken by the Legation regarding this matter.
In conformity with the Department’s instruction, I have communicated with Dr. Walter Stucki, Delegate of the Swiss Federal Council for Foreign Trade, and re-affirmed the position of the United States Government in this matter, as had previously been set forth in the Legation’s letter of August 19 (despatch No. 4534, August 19, 1936).12 My letter to Dr. Stucki, dated March 20, 1937 (copy enclosed),13 added that the American authorities reserve their judgment regarding the present Swiss import monopoly system and are interested in the meantime in learning of the manner in which it is working.
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Under the terms of the Trade Agreement, the Swiss Government is, of course, free to allot as small or as large a quota to the United States as it desires, and it is questionable, I believe, whether it is desirable to press for the establishment of a fixed quota which almost inevitably, in my opinion, would be set at a minimum figure, i. e. a quantity far less than what would under certain livestock market conditions in Switzerland suffice for local needs. While it is true that if a small definite quota were fixed, it would be possible for the Government to grant extra quota allotments at its discretion, I am inclined to feel that insistence upon any definite quota might result in a situation still less favorable for the American exporters than the one now prevailing.