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

No. 172

Sir: Reference is made to the Legation’s despatch No. 155 of December 21, 1937, with regard to the four percent tax levied by the Swiss Government on customs receipts.

[Page 579]

The Department has given careful attention to Dr. Hotz’ reply to your informal representations on this subject and to your recommendation, and the bases therefor, contained in the last paragraph of the despatch under reference. While the Department does not wish to embarrass the Swiss Government by insisting that the tax be removed on articles included in Section I of the trade agreement, it cannot view as other than unsatisfactory the continued imposition of the tax.

You are accordingly instructed to inform the appropriate Swiss authorities informally of the Department’s disappointment over the incorporation in the 1938 budget law of a provision for the continuation of the tax and to express the hope of your Government that the tax, insofar as it applies to articles included in Section A of Schedule I of the trade agreement, will be removed at the earliest possible opportunity.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Francis B. Sayre

[No further correspondence of any consequence on this subject has been found in Department files.]