767.68119P/52: Telegram

The Special Mission at Lausanne to the Secretary of State


402. Your telegram 159 of June 1. I am informed that the British, French, and Italian delegations have agreed that after all outstanding questions have been settled they intend at the last meeting of the conference before signature to make final forcible representations to the Turkish delegation for the extension of the amnesty terms so [Page 1016] that Armenians of Turkish nationality may be allowed to go back to their homes in Anatolia or that compensation for liquidated property be given if there are reasons why for the safety of the state certain individuals should be barred. It is felt that such humanitarian representations should be made as the conference’s final word, whether they are successful or not. The suggestion has been made to me that our delegation might strengthen the effect of these representations by taking part in them and that such participation would merely be giving additional expression to America’s traditional humanitarian policy.

I do not think we could appropriately be silent should the Allies carry out their intentions. I am not convinced by any means, however, that it would be in the real interests of the Armenians themselves for an attempt to be made to coerce the Turks into accepting their return now, especially in large numbers. I am inclined to feel that the most effective solution of the Armenian question will be found in noninterference by the powers and the lapse of time. We might, however, without asking permission for a return at once en masse, urge in general terms, if the Department thinks it wise to do so, that there be a reasonable treatment of the question which would seek to harmonize the welfare of both the expatriated Armenians and the Turkish state.