767.68119P/37: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Special Mission at Lausanne


159. Your telegram 360 of May 23. Doubtless you are familiar with the circumstances of the recent trip of Colonel Haskell to Angora20 when he unsuccessfully sought to obtain from the Turkish authorities permission for the refugees in Greece who desire to return to their former homes in Turkey to do so. The Department questions whether it is possible at present to achieve any appreciable progress along this line. We may hope that the Turks themselves will appreciate after the conclusion of peace the disadvantages of their present policy respecting the refugees and will allow those wishing to go back to Turkey to do so.

The compulsory transfer of thousands of persons between Turkey and Greece will surely result in serious hardship, as was stated by our Mission during the first phase of the Lausanne Conference. The Department does not feel that an attempt to do this on the scale proposed is a practical solution of the problem. The Department is inclined to share your view, however, that now is not the time when anything could be done in this matter with any expectation of success. Report whenever there is any indication of a change by the Turks in their attitude in this matter.

Repeat to Athens as our no. 30 and to Constantinople as our no. 106, referring to your telegram no. 360.

  1. See telegram no. 66, Mar. 29, from the Chargé in Greece, p. 329.