Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Commercial Policy (Brown)

I called Mr. Bruggmann at 10:30 a.m. to inform him that the Department was issuing a press release at noon53 stating that a note had been handed to him concerning the increasing volume of imports of Swiss watches. I told the Minister that I would be glad to furnish him with copies of the release as soon as it was handed to the press.

The Minister said that he considered the issuance of the release “a terrible blow” and that he would have preferred that nothing be made public about the matter. He said that he had hoped the situation could be discussed in a friendly way and agreement reached, but that no specific proposals had ever been made to him and it had not been made clear to him exactly what it was we wanted the Swiss Government to do. He added that he was “amazed” when Mr. Acheson handed him the note on Friday, November 30.

I assured the Minister that these steps had been decided upon only after the most careful consideration, and in view of the extreme urgency of the matter, and that it had been decided on a very high level.

Copies of the press release were given to a messenger from the Swiss Legation immediately after it had been handed to the press.

  1. Department of State Bulletin, December 9, 1945, p. 942.