867.602 Ot 81/300
The British Ambassador ( Geddes ) to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have noticed lately in the Press statements to the effect that the concession recently granted to Admiral Chester by the Angora Government comprises certain rights in Mesopotamia.
In order to avoid future misunderstanding and the possible development at a later date of some ill-feeling which might conceivably ruffle the surface of Anglo-American relations, at least in the public mind, I venture to suggest to you that it might be useful if you could see your way to convey to Admiral Chester and his associates an understanding of the elementary fact that the Turkish Government at Angora cannot grant rights in Mesopotamia which is not [Page 1209] within its jurisdiction. I have not of course seen the authorised text of the concession and am ignorant if it in fact purports to convey rights in territory detached from the Turkish Empire by force of arms in the late war and not handed back to Turkey. If it do, I venture to hope that you will take such steps as seem good to you to make it plain to the individuals concerned that His Majesty’s Government is unable to recognise the validity of any concession in Mesopotamia granted by the Turkish Government at Angora.
I am [etc.]