740.00112 European War 1939/12–1644

The Department of State to the British Embassy


The United States Government has given careful consideration to the recommendations of the British Government, as contained in the aide-mémoire of the British Embassy of December 16, 1944,22 regarding the steps to be taken by the American and British Governments in the attainment of Allied economic warfare objectives in Switzerland.

The United States Government shares, of course, the appreciation of the British Government for the services rendered to the United Nations by Switzerland during the war, particularly those services rendered in connection with the protection of prisoners of war, and concurs that appropriate consideration should be given in Allied economic warfare policy vis-à-vis Switzerland to the interest of UNRRA23 and the military authorities in obtaining goods and facilities from Switzerland. While it is recognized that Switzerland has now substantially met the demands of the American and British Governments of last September as regards exports to Germany and that reductions in Axis transit traffic across Switzerland have gone far toward meeting the Allied desires, it is the view of the United States Government that continued efforts should be made to obtain further reductions in those exports and in that traffic without prejudicing important benefits which are derived by the United Nations from Swiss neutrality.

It is believed that the best means at this time of attaining the desired reductions in Swiss exports to Germany and in transit traffic is by discussions by American and British representatives, familiar with the problems involved, with the appropriate Swiss officials at Bern. An American delegation, headed by Mr. Lauchlin C. Currie, has now proceeded to London to confer with the appropriate British authorities and to join such representatives as the British Government may appoint for the discussions at Bern. It is contemplated that the American delegation will discuss in London matters relating to supplies for Switzerland, including the question as to whether supplies should be made available to the Swiss before negotiations actually begin in Bern or whether such supplies should be part of a general quid pro quo for Swiss concessions to Allied demands. The American delegation has been given wide authority to settle this and similar questions of tactics with the British authorities in London.

  1. Not printed.
  2. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.