File No. 763.72111/398

The Ambassador in Turkey (Morgenthau) to the Secretary of State


British Ambassador informed me English Admiral in command squadron outside of Dardanelles compelled Turkish torpedo boat which wanted to enter Mediterranean to return to Dardanelles because British Government had instructed him to treat all Turkish ships having German officers or sailors aboard as German ships. On torpedo boat’s return Weber Pascha, a German commandant of the Dardanelles, thereupon placed additional mines which completely closed Dardanelles. Just called on Grand Vizier who confirmed closing of Dardanelles. He was greatly agitated and stated that Turkey does not desire war and that the charge that the Cabinet has hostile intentions in Egypt against British is untrue. I informed Grand Vizier that United States did not admit that Turkey has right [Page 114] to close Dardanelles in time of peace. He answered that he hoped this incident would shortly be settled and Dardanelles reopened. To me situation appears extremely critical.

American Ambassador