Treaty Affairs Files
The Heads of the American, French, and British Trade Delegations (Currie, Charquéraud, and Foot) to the Head of the Swiss Delegation (Rappard)
Dear Professor Rappard: As a result of our recent negotiations we understand that the Swiss Government has taken the following decisions which will remain effective until the end of hostilities in Europe.
- The Swiss-German Trade Agreement which lapsed on 15th February 1945 will not be renewed.
- Swiss exports to Germany and German-controlled territory will not in any case exceed the limits set out in Annex I to this letter.
- The restrictions on transit between Germany and the German-occupied part of Italy already decided on by the Swiss Government will be maintained. These restrictions apply to coal, iron, scrap-iron and steel which wall not be allowed to pass through Switzerland either by rail or otherwise between Germany and the German-occupied part of Italy.
- In order to prevent the transit of looted property no goods will be allowed to pass through Switzerland by rail or otherwise from the German-occupied part of Italy to Germany until the Swiss authorities are satisfied that such goods have been legitimately acquired and are not property of which the Italian people have been deprived by any act of dispossession. It is understood that in each case the onus of proving that the goods in question have been legitimately acquired will rest upon the person who applies for transit facilities. In cases of doubt the Swiss Government will be prepared to consult with the Mixed Commission and will take into account any information which the Commission may be able to supply.
- Transit in either direction between Germany and the German-occupied part of Italy will not be permitted to exceed the level of February 1945 either in total volume or to any significant degree in respect of any particular item, save insofar as variations may be agreed by the Mixed Commission.
- All practical measures have been taken and will continue to be taken to stop the export of Swiss electric power to Germany or to any territory under German control.
We also take note of your letter of today’s date concerning the financial measures discussed between us and the measures to be taken regarding property held in Switzerland by nationals of other countries.
The Swiss Government has obtained or will immediately obtain the concurrence of the Government of Liechtenstein as far as such consent is necessary in order to make these measures effective.
We understand that it is the intention of the Swiss Government to co-operate with the United Nations in the general economic tasks involved in the reconstruction and relief of Europe and the orderly distribution of supplies throughout the world.
We also understand that the Swiss Government, when making purchases of any of the commodities now or subsequently appearing in Annex II of this letter will upon request of the appropriate Allied authorities make such purchases through Allied procurement agencies or in other manner requested; also that the Swiss Government will keep the Allied authorities informed regarding stocks of these commodities which Switzerland holds abroad and will not make purchases in amounts greater than those required for orderly shipment in the quantities indicated in Annex II.
The purpose of this arrangement is solely to avoid the disruption of markets which might result from excessive and disorganized buying of goods of which there is a scarcity. Our Governments do not intend to request co-ordination of purchases in this manner except in those instances where shortage of world supply clearly makes it necessary.
Our three Governments will immediately open import quotas to the amounts and under the conditions specified in Annex II of this letter.
Our three Governments are also prepared immediately to make available facilities for the transit of goods across France to Switzerland to the fullest extent compatible with the requirements of the Allied military forces in Western Europe and the civilian needs of France and other liberated countries. The conditions which will govern this traffic for the immediate future are set out in Annex III of this letter.
Except as modified by the present exchange of letters the Agreement of December 19, 1943, as subsequently modified remains effective.
On learning that this letter and its Annexes accurately sets forth the actions and intentions of the Swiss Government the Government of the United States of America, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom will be ready to regard this letter and your reply as constituting a formal and binding agreement between the four Governments.[Page 789]
This letter has been written in English and French, both texts having the same validity.