767.68119P/11: Telegram

The Special Mission at Lausanne to the Secretary of State

288. Fifth meeting first committee today.

Rumbold in opening meeting stated that he had a new formula for a declaration on the judicial regime of foreigners which would be distributed at the end of the meeting (see our telegram 248, April 22, 9 p.m.10). He would not conceal from the Turks that it provided for an important change from the so-called Montagna formula, viz, in regard to domiciliary visits, searches, arrests, et cetera. French, Italian and Japanese delegates associated themselves with Rumbold.

Ismet replied that Turks had come back to Lausanne on the basis that the Allies had accepted the Montagna formula and that this [Page 1001] was one of the questions that had been settled. The Montagna formula represented the maximum that the Turks could offer and the question could not be reopened.

Allies took position that Montagna formula was offered to Turks Sunday evening, February 4th, in a last effort to secure peace. The offer was not accepted and the conference adjourned. It was not accepted by Ismet until Monday and in consequence cannot be considered as binding on Allies.

Ismet replied that secretary general of conference on February 7th had said to him: “If Turkish delegation will accept Montagna formula presented in the name of the Allies, conference can reassemble.” Also Colonel Mougin in Angora had sent a letter to Turkish authorities stating that Bompard and Ismet had agreed on the Montagna formula. Furthermore, in Bucharest a high Roumanian official had informed Ismet that if the Turks would accept Montagna formula, conference could go on.

Pellé replied that Mougin letter was written to refute the statement that French were responsible for the breaking up of the conference. Mougin cited in letter that Bompard had said he was personally agreeable to accept Montagna formula. Bompard spoke for himself and not for French Government; Diamandy disclaimed any knowledge of what Duca had said to Ismet.

Ismet pointed out that Turks had exposed their [point of view] in their counterproposals, and Allies after carefully examining them had agreed to resume conference. Allies were now proposing a substantial modification of basis of resumption. They would not permit discussion of subjects which were substantial modifications of territorial claims; why should Turks permit substantial modification of their voluntary declaration; he suggested conference accept Montagna formula and proceed to the order of the day.

Rumbold declined to agree. Pellé and Montagna urged Turks to let question be studied in subcommittee. Allies had consented to discuss Turkish counterpropositions in subcommittee; why should not Turks discuss this Allied counterproposal in subcommittee.

Ismet replied Turks cannot discuss a question which affects their sovereignty. Pellé pointed out that Turks had been willing to discuss in subcommittee their declaration about religious institutions, et cetera. What was difference? Allies pointed out that their counterproposal was no attack on Turkish sovereignty but only an effort to define functions of officials which are in last analysis Turkish functionaries appointed by Turkey in full exercise of its sovereignty.

Grew made following statement:

“I appreciate the spirit in which the Turkish delegation had indicated its willingness to make a declaration on the subject under discussion, and I should be glad to see the declaration issued in such [Page 1002] a form as to be acceptable to the United States in connection with such revision of the existing treaties as may be agreed upon between the United States and Turkey. My Government would attach great importance to provisions in the declaration clearly defining the function of the proposed legal advisers, for example, with respect to domiciliary visits, searches, arrests and imprisonment.”

Ismet immediately replied that in the discussions on February 4th concerning the Montagna formula, Child, Grew and Admiral Bristol had approved of the terms discussed and that he had obtained the impression that this formula was acceptable to them. Grew immediately replied as follows:

“I fear there is a slight misconception in the mind of His Excellency, Ismet Pasha. At our last informal conversation with him we were endeavoring to use our good offices with a view to enabling the delegates of the Allies and of the Turks to reach a settlement and no commitments were made by us either on our own behalf or on behalf of the Allies.”

Ismet stated no addition to “the maximum” was possible. He again begged conference to accept Montagna formula and proceed to the order of the day.

Rumbold suggested referring question to jurists which Ismet objected to, saying that jurists can only work on basis adopted by conference. Turkish basis is the end, question is already settled.

Rumbold stated conference would resume discussion of question at later date whereupon Ismet replied: “We stand on the basis we have stated.”

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