868.48/405a: Telegram

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


61. Cable information has been received by the Near East Relief that the Turks are trying to levy heavy consumption duties on food supplies sent by the Near East Relief for refugees in Constantinople. The press has also given wide publicity to similar reports and this has created a most unfortunate impression. The Department wishes you to make vigorous representations if the report is correct.

It would be hard to overestimate the effect of such action on public sentiment in the United States in view of the stories which have been received regarding suffering in Constantinople and of the fact [Page 334] that popular subscription in America made available the relief supplies for which customs are apparently demanded. …