File No. 763.72/1739
The Ambassador in Turkey ( Morgenthau ) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 6, 9 p. m.]
639. I called again on Minister of War and did my best to dissuade him from his decision to send non-combatants into the war zone and tried to persuade him to take no action whatever until I heard from British and French Governments. He stated that having given the order and communicated it to the commander of the army, he could not countermand it without seriously injuring the discipline of the army. As a result of my persistent argument Minister of War concluded to send only men between 20 and 40 and to limit number to fifty, selecting the youngest. These men may remain on board steamer until I hear from London and Paris, and according to nature of reply, they will be landed at Gallipoli or returned to Constantinople. No French or British connection with American missions or institutions, Standard Oil or Singer Company, nor any sick persons will be sent. A member of the Embassy accompanies party for relief purposes.