767.68119/141: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy ( Child ) to the Secretary of State


226. Ranking Turkish delegate, Djellal ed Din Bey, a former president of the National Assembly, and very influential at the Genoa Conference, called upon me informally on his way to Switzerland. His views are set forth below:

He stated that the determination of the Turks to abolish the capitulations is based on a sense of humiliation and on dissatisfaction with the working of the capitulatory system, particularly in tax immunities. He supposed, however, that any friendly power would receive fully satisfactory guarantees in place of the capitulations.
He stated that the practice of conceding, either explicitly or implicitly, zones of influence had been initiated by the old government of the Porte, but that out of self-respect Angora and the Assembly would oppose similar grants, and that a Turkish representative who might venture to negotiate anything of the sort would be severely dealt with.
He declared positively that the Angora Government would duly confirm and enlarge all guarantees either now or formerly enjoyed by the United States on behalf of the Missions and religious enterprises of its nationals.
He stated that the question of minorities was delicate and troublesome. Minorities often stirred up resentments, and were occasionally encouraged to do so by foreign machinations. But he warmly invited suggestions from the United States.
Rumors set afloat by the British had excited general apprehension by misrepresenting the measures and policies of the Angora Government regarding Constantinople. He alleged that there were indications that the British were encouraging agitators, most of them Armenians.
He intimated that Slavs and Turks might be forced into cooperation on basis of hostility to Great Britain if the British opposed certain demands at Lausanne.
He stated that he could not conceal his Government’s urgent need for a friendly attitude in the United States toward Turkey’s financial problems.

In reply I said that he could judge for himself what might be the present attitude of the United States by taking into account the familiar American policy of the Open Door as opposed to special favors, and by considering what might be the effect upon American opinion, now and later, of moderation in Turkey’s demands and of a sympathetic solicitude that Americans should be as well protected in Turkey as on American territory. I intimated that the course of the peace negotiations would have an important bearing upon the future relations of our two countries.