The Secretary of State to the High Commissioner at Constantinople ( Bristol )

No. 85

Sir: Receipt is acknowledged of your despatch No. 447 of August 30,1921, transmitting a report by Mr. Gillespie concerning the agreement entered into by Mr. Henry M. Day and the Union of Foreign Trade of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

The Department is desirous of receiving a copy of the contract referred to and wishes to be kept thoroughly informed concerning further developments in Mr. Day’s scheme. Further information concerning the $500,000 deposited in the Imperial Ottoman Bank, [Page 784] in particular how it came into possession of the so-called governments of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, and the manner in which it is to be drawn upon, and concerning the $1,000,000 credit opened in Batoum, is desired.

Though the Department desires to lend all proper support to American business men for the purpose of extending American trade, it should be pointed out that, in view of the unsettled political conditions in the Caucasus, and in view of the relations between this Government and Russia, unusual care should be taken that the action of American officials should not be construed as extending the official sanction of this Government to the negotiations between Mr. Day and the Caucasus republics. At the present time, Americans who enter into business relations with Soviet Russia or with the Caucasian Soviet Republics, or enter the territories under the control of these authorities, must do so on their own responsibility and at their own risk.

With reference to the final paragraph of your despatch No. 447 of August 30, you are therefore instructed to give no encouragement to Mr. Day that could be interpreted by him as a promise of governmental support or that would prompt him to enter into any kind of political activity in the belief that he was carrying out the policy of this Government toward Russia. Needless, to say, it is the policy of this Government not to interfere in Russian internal political affairs.

Referring to the second paragraph on page 6 of your despatch No. 418 of August 18, 1921,90 you are informed that restrictions upon the sale of war materials to Russia are no longer in effect.

I am [etc.]

For the secretary of State
F. M. Dearing
  1. Not printed.