The Secretary of State to the Commission to Negotiate Peace 17
2849. Strictly confidential. Department’s 2707, August 2, 2 p.m.18 Your undated 3629 received August 12, 1919, and previous telegrams concerning peril for Armenians. The President desires Turkish authorities to be warned that should they not take immediate and efficacious measures to prevent any massacres or other atrocities being perpetrated by Turks, Kurds or other Moslems against Armenians in the Caucasus or elsewhere, then all support concerning a secure sovereignty over the Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire, under Article XII of his peace terms, will be withdrawn, and that such withdrawal might result in the absolute dissolution of the Turkish Empire and a complete alteration of the [Page 832] conditions of peace. Should Turks put forward the plea that they have no control over such occurrences, it should be pointed out that if they expect to exercise any sovereignty over any portion of the Empire they should demonstrate that they are not only willing but also able to prevent their conationals and coreligionists from the perpetration of atrocities. Therefore no excuse of inability to prevent atrocities against Armenians will be accepted from Turks. Communicate to Turkish authorities at your discretion through such diplomatic channels as in your judgement may be available, and in any case, repeat to Admiral Bristol for communication to Turkish authorities.