860j.01/53: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis)

5867. Your 2840, August 20, 10 a.m.

I have discussed matter very fully with the President and find the situation difficult. We would like to appeal officially to the British Government to continue their military control assuring them that they would receive financial aid in maintaining their forces, but unfortunately there are no funds available for such a purpose and it would require an appropriation by Congress in order to obtain them. At the present time to attempt to secure an appropriation would be to complicate further the political situation which the treaty of peace has caused. The same is true in regard to saying to the British Government to hold on “until we can make arrangements “. The Senate would bitterly resent the apparent assumption that the United States will later take over responsibility for order in those regions. The temper of certain Senators and their hostility to the President and everything which he advocates is so intense that such action would add fuel to the flames already raging.

In view of the situation there is only one thing possible and that is to appeal to the British Government on the ground of humanity to continue their protection over those wretched people pointing out the undoubted feeling of the world in the event that the British forces just at this time while the future of the Ottoman Empire was being determined should be withdrawn and the country given over to massacre, rapine and lawlessness.

I hope that you can make this plain to Lord Curzon and urge him to do all that he can to continue the protection which Great Britain is so generously giving to a distracted and unhappy race. Please telegraph the result as soon as possible.