740.00112 European War 1939/10638: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

3374. For Department and FEA from Riefler and Lovitt. Reference Department’s 3241, April 22.25 All relevant developments in Swiss negotiations have been reported to you promptly either by telegram or desptach. We have purposely not reported discussions which have not developed tentative results.

The restrictions in the exports of ball bearings, et cetera, obtained in Annex I of the December 19 agreement are in force until June 30, 1944. The Swiss have already offered to extend these restrictions for the second half of 1944 with further reductions of 25% in ball bearings, arms, ammunition, machine tools, fuses, et cetera, (as reported in Embassy’s 2383, March 23, and Embassy’s despatch 14640, March 2426), in return for the continuation of the import quotas granted Swiss in December (Annex II25 of December 19 agreement). Thus at present stage of negotiations we have not only safeguarded the position achieved in December but have obtained further reductions in the most strategic items without offering any import quotas for industrial raw materials.

Our full economic bargaining power is thus reserved for use in trying for lower limits of the export of most important items. From a strategic angle it seemed important to husband our bargaining power and to explore the extent to which the Swiss would go to meet our less important objectives before making our major attack. By the method employed it will be difficult for the Swiss to recede from points tentatively conceded and our maximum strength can thus be concentrated on the vital issue which we are now about ready to raise. In this connection you may be sure that the Swiss are profoundly aware of the address of the Secretary of State27 and the recent action of the Turkish Government28 which have been given wide and favorable publicity here.

To strengthen our hand we would most appreciate hearing from you with respect to the extent we may go to meet the Swiss requests for supplies. See Embassy’s despatches 14075, February 24; 14160, [Page 718] February 29; 14922, March 23 [April 7].29 The Swiss have repeatedly raised this question and are particularly pressing for answer to their request for petroleum products. On assumption that Swiss concessions are in the end satisfactory, which of the Swiss requests for imports would it be impossible to meet on supply grounds? [Riefler and Lovitt.]

Winant
  1. Not printed.
  2. Latter not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. For text of Secretary Hull’s radio address of April 9, 1944, on Foreign Policy of the United States, see Department of State Bulletin, April 15, 1944, p. 335.
  5. Presumably reference is to the suspension by Turkey in April of the export of chrome to the Axis countries. See telegram 717, April 21, from Ankara, vol. v, p. 831.
  6. None printed.