The Secretary of State to President Harding
My Dear Mr. President: The Department receives a large number of communications with respect to the persecution of Christians in the Near East, and I have not thought it necessary to trouble you with any further discussion of policy. But Bishop Cannon of the Methodist Church recently handed me in person the following resolution adopted by the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South:
“The General Conference memorializes the Government of the United States to take whatever steps may be necessary to stop the persecutions, which threaten the complete annihilation of the Christians in the Near East, and to give them such protection as will enable them to reestablish their desolated homes and to support themselves in decency and comfort.”
I asked Bishop Cannon whether he thought we should send an American army to Turkey and I gathered that he rather favored such a course if nothing else would suffice. It seemed to be necessary to answer the communication which he left in my hands and I have accordingly drafted the enclosed reply.13a
As this states a little more definitely than we have hitherto been called to state that we shall not take action which would involve us in military operations or the forcible pacification of the Near East, I shall be glad to have your approval of this letter before it is sent.