890g.6363/156: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Special Mission at Lausanne


13. Mission’s no. 24, of November 26, 11 a.m.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In view of the above, the position of the Department is in brief:

That the American companies would receive Department’s support in their efforts to obtain adequate participation in the development of Mesopotamia, if Mesopotamia, including the Mosul vilayet, remains under British mandate.
That a new situation would be presented if the Mosul area reverts to Turkey. But it may be stated in general that the Department would refuse acquiescence in any monopolistic concession in the Mosul area resulting from a political trade. Any American companies desiring to obtain equal opportunity in territory which might revert to Turkey would receive appropriate support from the Department.

The position taken by the Department is that in view of American contribution to the common victory over the Central Powers, no discrimination can rightfully be made against us in any territory won by that victory. The United States claims equality in economic rights in territories under mandate. Moreover, the other powers may not rightfully secure for themselves a basis for discrimination against us by surrendering interests in territory in which we are entitled to economic equality with them.

If the Turkish authorities should wish to grant to non-Turkish interests a share in the development of economic enterprises, the Department expects American interests to have an opportunity to participate. The United States does not seek monopolistic concessions in Turkey. It expects only an equal opportunity for participation on terms fair alike to the United States, Turkey, and the other powers. Substance of this passage may, in your discretion, be communicated in informal conversation to the Turks and to the Allied delegates.

You should proceed openly and candidly, in view of the delicacy of oil questions, and in view of the danger that Turks may attempt to raise dissensions over oil among the powers represented at Lausanne. The United States has nothing to conceal. It is not seeking any secret arrangements for itself and does not expect any on the part of other governments.

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Information concerning the latest developments regarding the Chester project will be furnished to you by Admiral Bristol.70

  1. For papers relating to the Chester project, see pp. 966 ff.; Admiral Bristol, the High Commissioner in Turkey, had been instructed to be present at Lausanne “as associate observer during the time that his duties will permit him to be present at Lausanne.” (File no. 767.68119P43/22a.)