767.68119/212: Telegram

The Special Mission at Lausanne to the Secretary of State


25. Ismet Pasha called upon Child and engaged in conversation. In discussion his manner was that of a soldier rather than of a diplomat, and his thinking also seemed to be rigid and literal. He asserted that the instructions of his Government were very strict touching those matters which bore upon Turkey’s freedom to administer her own affairs. He supposed, therefore, that the capitulations would be a serious hindrance in negotiation, and bespoke for himself the fullest tolerance for the attitude he must take under dictation of a lively nationalist sentiment at home. It would be demonstrated, he said, that the juridical system in Turkey had in it no element which need give foreigners any anxiety for their safety. It was suggested to him, however, that legal usages and procedure were of hardly less consequence than the formal laws, and that in Turkey’s own proper interests it might seem best for the Turkish Government to continue to give its best endeavors toward the protection of foreign interests and to do so in a way which would wholly satisfy them. Ismet was informed that a strong and wide public sentiment in the United States would be affected by any apprehension for the safety of American religious and educational establishments in Turkey, and he was eventually led on to inquire whether he could do anything toward counteracting what he called the Armenian and Greek propaganda by issuing a reassuring statement. [Page 907] In reply he was told that the American delegation in its wish to be helpful entertained the belief that opinion in the United States would be very grateful for such reassurances.

  • Child
  • Grew