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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 581

  The Charge in Suitzerland (Bigelow) to the Secretary of State
No. 5067                                      BiRN, July 31, 1937.
                                            [Received August 16.3
  Sm: I have the honor to refer to the Legation's despatch No. 4902
of April 6, 1937, transmitting a copy of a note from the Federal Po.-
litical Department submitting a counter-proposal for an agreements
between Switzerland and the United States relative to exemption from
military service of certain persons having dual nationality, resembling
provisions of the Convention of November 1, 1930, between the United
States and Norway on the same subject.
  I have lately received from the Department copies of Treaty Series
No. 913 containing the text of the Protocol concluded at the Hague in
1930 between the United States of America and other Powers, relative
to military obligations in certain cases of double nationality, which
entered into force between ten States on May 26, 1937.29 The entry
into force of this Protocol, I considered, afforded me an opportunity
to inquire informally whether the Swiss authorities were likely to
adhere to the Protocol, although, as reported in despatch No. 4902 of
April 6, they had previously stated that Article I of the treaty text
proposed by the United States-similar to Article I of the Protocol-
was not acceptable to them.
  I decided to make such an informal inquiry with the thought that
a further conversation at this time might enable me to obtain informa-
tion as regards the Swiss attitude which would be helpful to the De-
partment in connection with consideration of the Swiss counter-pro-
posal. I have ascertained, as a result, that there is no change in the
attitude of the Swiss authorities. I was told that they have no inten-
tion of ratifying the Protocol in question, and the point was made that
it has not been adhered to by any of the States adjoining Switzerland.
  Without desiring to express an opinion as regards the acceptability
to the United States of Article I of the Swiss counter-draft, I believe,
however, that an agreement in some such form would serve a very
useful purpose, not only at this time but especially in the event of any
general mobilization of persons subject to Swiss military service. As
a result of my inquiries here, I am of the opinion that further discus-
sion of the matter between representatives of the two Governments
will not induce the Swiss authorities to enlarge the scope of Article I
of their proposed draft, and I might add that they impress me as being
entirely indifferent as to whether their counter-proposal, which they
say was drawn up wholly in a spirit of accommodation, is acceptable,
or not, to the Government of the United States.
  Respectfully yours,                         DONALD F. BIGELOW
  9 Protocol signed at The Hague, April 12, 1930, Foreign Relations, 1930,
vol. I
p. 224.

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