867.602 Ot 81/229: Telegram

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


370. Chester concession now contemplates the building of the following railways, with grant of mining rights within 20 kilometers on each side of lines: (1) Yumurtalik–Diarbekir, (2) Samsun–Sivas–Harput–Diarbekir–Mosul–Suleymania–Persian border, (3) Lake Van–Harput, (4) Angora–Sivas, (5) Sivas–Erzerum.

The Council of Ministers and the Public Works Commission of the National Assembly have been kept fully informed of negotiations conducted through Ministry of Public Works. Negotiations now nearing conclusion. Principal points remaining for future [Page 980] discussion are clauses relating to purchasing rights of Government and to forfeiture.

Kennedy under suspicion of being a British spy is denied permission to return to Angora. Both he and Arthur Chester now here trying to clear him of charges. Turkish authorities wish to have High Commission’s guarantee of Kennedy before permitting his return, but as he is British subject guarantee has of course been refused. High Commission has been guided by Department’s 207, of October 20, and has been guarded in its relations with Kennedy, but has also been most careful to avoid statements which might injure him with the Turkish authorities. Chester leaves tomorrow for Angora, Kennedy following later if possible.

Kennedy’s credentials as representative of company appear to be in due form. Assertions of both Kennedy and Arthur Chester are to the effect that Admiral Chester’s opinions in affairs of Ottoman-American Development Company should be ignored, and that he has no part whatever in management of company.

For the sake of the better protection of American interests concerned I should be glad to be informed by telegram (1) whether in the opinion of the Department Admiral Chester is competent to speak for the Ottoman-American Company, and if so, on what basis this competency rests; and (2) whether there is substantial ground for believing that Kennedy is or has been in the British secret service. …