867.602 Ot 81/424: Telegram
The High Commissioner at Constantinople (Bristol) to the Secretary of State
[Received 3:50 p.m.]
292. In telegram from London dated November 2, Clayton-Kennedy instructed Soubhi Bey, his representative here, to send to Samsoun technical staff and to arrange to have work begun on [Page 1250] November 9. Although Clayton-Kennedy also states that funds are being transmitted by telegraph they have not been received as yet and Soubhi Bey has found it necessary with much difficulty and personal sacrifice to raise money here for the maintenance and traveling expenses of the technical staff. Yesterday four Turkish engineers started for Samsoun, and an American engineer is leaving today. Their instructions are to call upon the local authorities when they reach Samsoun, to begin work with appropriate ceremonies, and to obtain from the authorities, if possible, a procès-verbal stating that work has been begun. Then they will hire about 40 or 50 workmen who will be employed in repairing the ballasting of the portion of the Samsoun-Sivas railway which has already been built. Today Soubhi Bey will himself leave for Angora with an engineer to receive formally the Arland documents with respect to the lines for the construction of which option has been accepted. He also will try to have the beginning of construction officially accepted. It is believed that Clayton-Kennedy sailed on November 3 for a three weeks’ visit to the United States. It is not known here what was the outcome of his negotiations with Cromwell and Farnham. If the funds which Clayton-Kennedy promised in his telegram of November 2, do not arrive before November 9, it will create an intolerable situation. Also the Turkish Government may refuse to regard the somewhat formal commencement of work at Samsoun as effectively fulfilling the terms of the contract.