711.672/8: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Special Mission at Lausanne


85. It is the intention of the Department, in preparing a preliminary draft of a treaty of amity and commerce with Turkey, to follow the general outlines of similar treaties recently concluded with other countries where conditions most nearly resemble those in Turkey, but to modify the provisions as may be required by the special circumstances. You are referred to the treaty with Japan of 191139 and to that with Siam of October 12, 192140 (omitting the annex). The treaties between Turkey and Germany of 1917 are also being considered by the Department.

The Department is proceeding on the assumption that Turkey will not oppose the continued application of the extradition treaty and the real estate protocol of 1874.41

Questions which are of special importance in a settlement with Turkey but which are not covered by the treaties mentioned above are:

Adequate provision for the safety of our philanthropic and religious enterprises in Turkey.
The devising of special arrangements to be accorded by the Turks to the Allies and ourselves as a substitute for the capitulatory regime, which shall provide for customs dues, taxation, immunities of person and domicile, judicial reform, and other matters.
Free navigation of Dardanelles and Bosphorus.
Adjustment of claims for losses and requisitions.
Facilities for excavating and examining the remains of ancient civilizations.
Measures for safeguarding minorities in Turkey. The Department will consider whether this question may be met by an exchange of notes.
The regulation of naturalization.

The Department cannot profitably undertake the drafting of treaty clauses covering these questions before it has examined the definitive text of the provisions of the Turkish treaty with the Allies.

The nature of the provisions of the Allied treaty will of course be taken into consideration in deciding how far they should be embodied in our own treaty. In dealing with questions like those mentioned above it may be found desirable to include some features of the Allied treaty in our own rather than to rely wholly upon the principle of most-favored-nation treatment, since there is a possibility that our own treaty will be ratified while the Allied treaty will not or will be terminated later on.

The tentative draft for the general provisions of a treaty of amity and commerce will be telegraphed to you from the Department as soon as possible. Changes in the draft may be made in accordance with definitive text of the Allied treaty or with your suggestions. You should telegraph to the Department the texts of any articles upon which the Turks and the Allies are agreed and which you think should be embodied in our treaty and also your own recommendations regarding the subjects to be dealt with in our negotiations with the Turks.

As regards the last paragraph of Mission’s 194 of January 12, you should inform the Department at once what additional help you require in the negotiations. If absolutely necessary the Department could supply you with a drafting expert, but it is suggested that you may be able to conduct the negotiations with the staff already at your disposal, leaving to the Department the technical task of drafting.

  1. Foreign Relations, 1911, p. 315.
  2. Signed Dec. 16, 1920; ibid., 1921, vol. ii, p. 867.
  3. Malloy, Treaties, 1776–1909, vol. ii, pp. 1341 and 1344, respectively.