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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Switzerland,   pp. 565-582 PDF (6.6 MB)

Page 575

£54.11.3 Automobiles/25
The Minkter in Switzerland (Harrison) to the Secretary of State
No. 130                                   BERN, December 8, 1937.
                                          [Received December 15.]
  Sn: I have the honor to refer to the Department's telegram No. 70
of November 17, 4 p. m., and to previous correspondence concerning
inequality of treatment on the part of the Swiss Government in the
matter of automobiles shipped on consignment, under bond, to dealers
in Switzerland.
  Since the Swiss authorities are taking more time to reach a decision
on the representations made by the Legation than I had anticipated,
in view of the favorable tenor of Dr. Hotz's acknowledgement of
my letter of October 12,19a I think it well to report to the Department
at this time concerning the present status of this case.
  At first I wish to say that when deciding to address my letter of
October 12 to Dr. Hotz (despatch No. 65, October 22), I was fully
mindful of the importance of not giving any indication that we in
any way agreed with or accepted the Swiss contention that Article X
of the trade agreement was not applicable to imports in bond. It was
with the thought of adequately reserving our position as to the inter-
pretation of Article X that I included in my letter to Dr. Hotz the
phrase "irrespective of the point raised in the final paragraph of the
letter of October 8 18a as regards interpretation of Article X of the trade
agreement". My decision to write to Dr. Hotz along the lines of my
letter of October 12 was motivated chiefly by a desire to have this
specific case of discrimination settled with as little delay as possible.
  On November 23, by my direction, Mr. Bigelow called on Dr. Hotz.
He reminded him that a definite reply had not yet been received to my
letter of October 12 and expressed the hope that the Legation would
soon be able to report to its Government a satisfactory settlement of
the matter. Dr. Hotz made it clear that the Division of Commerce
of the Federal Department of Public Economy was in favor of giving
satisfaction to the American Government, but that they were having
some difficulty with the Direction General of Customs. Mr. Bigelow
took occasion to inform him of how strongly the American Govern-
ment felt as regards the applicability of Article X to the case under
consideration, and of its complete disagreement with the customs
authorities' view that Article X cannot be invoked in a case involving
merchandise imported in bond.
  Dr. Hotz has again urged the Direction General of Customs to
reconsider the matter, and we are now awaiting the results of the
Commercial Division's latest intervention.
Respectfully yours,                           LELAND IHARRISON
so Not printed.

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