The Special Mission at Lausanne to the Secretary of State
[Received April 30—2 a.m.]
272. Your 28, April 19, 6 p.m., paragraphs 11 and 12. All members of staff concur in the following views which I submit to the Department for its consideration and instructions:
- It is urgent that the task of our mission be clearly defined, as, beginning the morning of May 1, the declaration and two conventions mentioned may be discussed this week.
- I have as yet formed no definite opinion as to whether we should join the Allies in signing the conventions, but at present I am inclined to think it would be better to sign substantially identical treaties. It is probable that later negotiations would give us no more favorable terms and an intervening period might be to the disadvantage of our citizens in Turkey.
- It is not likely that there will be any objection by the Allies or the Turks to my taking part in committee discussions regarding the draft declaration. A different situation may exist with respect to the conventions in view of counterproposals by the Turks excluding accession of [third parties]. The Turks might object to my participation in debates on these conventions, although there would probably be no objection on the part of the Allies, who recognize [Page 994] that they have a community of interests with us. With respect to the negotiation of the conventions I am inclined to believe that we should limit our participation to: (1) informal talks; (2) a general indication of our interest in the main committee; (3) taking part in the discussions in subcommittees.
- The Turks are very anxious to negotiate immediately a treaty of amity and commerce with us. The reason for this is partly that they realize the importance of their trade with the United States and partly that they believe that for its internal development Turkey largely depends on friendly relations with our country. It might make our participation in discussions of conventions more desirable to the Turks if, as an act of good faith, we should offer to proceed immediately to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce, it being understood that the treaty would not be signed unless or until the conventions and declaration were made acceptable to us. We could base preliminary negotiations on the treaty draft which Turlington brought, adding an article regarding claims.
If suggested program meets Department’s approval I should be authorized to begin conversations at once with both Turks and Allies, dealing with both in the open and avoiding arousing suspicion on the part of either.