711.672/40: Telegram

The Special Mission at Lausanne to the Secretary of State

295. Referring to my 292, May 5, 1 a.m. Following is translation of letter from Ismet received this morning: [Page 1056]

“Lausanne, May 5th, 1923. His Excellency, Mr. Grew, Minister of the United States of America, etc., etc., etc., Berne.

Excellency: Referring to the interview which I had recently with Your Excellency, relative to the resumption of normal relations between Turkey and the United States of America,47 I have the honor to suggest that it would be useful to this end to enter immediately into negotiations with a view to concluding not only a treaty of amity, but also a convention regulating reciprocally consular relations and the conditions under which the nationals of each of the two countries may reside in the territories of the other.

We could, at the same time, proceed to the conclusion of a treaty of commerce between the two countries. Nevertheless, it is possible, and perhaps preferable, to commence negotiations with the idea of concluding this treaty at Constantinople after the resumption of diplomatic relations.

By virtue of the full powers which I have from my Government, I am ready to negotiate and conclude the acts above indicated. In the event that Your Excellency is animated by the same desire, and that you should obtain full powers from your Government, insofar as you are not already supplied, we could commence the desired negotiations at once. These once begun should be continued until a positive result is obtained.

Accept, Excellency, the assurance of my high consideration. Signed Ismet.”

[Paraphrase.] I stated during conversation with member of Ismet’s staff, reported in Mission’s 292, that it might be desirable in connection with the proposed conversations, and in case negotiation of the commercial treaty should be deferred, to settle upon some general arrangement relating to other pending questions, perhaps by an exchange of notes. The Turkish representative, in assenting, replied that Turkey would certainly accord to the United States any privileges which might be conceded to the Allied Powers. We also discussed the exact meaning of the phrase “positive result” in the concluding sentence of Ismet’s letter, and we agreed that it should be interpreted to mean that it is in good faith that we enter upon the negotiations.

By suggesting that it is desirable to embody in the proposed convention provisions for regulating consular relations, Ismet probably has in mind general provisions like those in draft sent from the Department, articles 10, 11, and 13.48 A detailed consular convention, however, would probably be acceptable to him. His proposal that our treaty of amity be negotiated apart from the treaty of commerce can hardly have been made without regard to my previous representations that as a preliminary to resuming normal relations we should settle pending questions by definite arrangements. It is to be supposed that he has kept in mind what I have said about [Page 1057] the proper settlement of questions now under discussion between the Turks and the Allies and how important it is to us to have them settled satisfactorily.

I have not yet sent a formal acknowledgment of Ismet’s note since I realize that my reply may be regarded as an important communication. Concerning its form and content I shall await precise instructions from the Department, and in the meantime I respectfully suggest that the Department authorize me to send an acknowledgment to Ismet in the following terms: [End paraphrase.]

“I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s communication of May 5th, 1923, in which you suggested that, with a view to the reestablishment of normal relations between the United States and Turkey, it might be desirable to enter at once upon negotiations for the conclusion of a treaty of amity and commerce and a convention respecting the consular relations of the two countries as well as the conditions of the residence of the nationals of each of the countries on the territory of the other. You state that by virtue of full powers which you hold from your Government you are prepared to negotiate and conclude the instruments mentioned and that upon my being provided, so far as I may not already have been provided, with the full powers of my Government for this purpose, we might immediately commence the desired negotiations with the understanding that they would be continued until the attainment of a positive result. In this connection you indicate that it might be preferable that the negotiations with respect to a treaty of commerce be commenced with a view to the conclusion of such a treaty at Constantinople after the resumption of diplomatic relations.

I shall take pleasure in communicating further with Your Excellency in regard to this matter when I shall have received fuller instructions from my Government.”

[Paraphrase.] It would be helpful to be advised of the Department’s wishes regarding the proper time and place for giving information to the public concerning this preliminary exchange of notes with Ismet Pasha. Rumors have already got about among the newspaper men in Lausanne and I have been questioned. When I address to Ismet my note of acknowledgment I should like to be able to inform him at the same time of the Department’s views on this point. [End paraphrase.]

  1. Telegram in two sections.
  2. See telegram no. 278, May 2, from the Special Mission at Lausanne, p. 997.
  3. Not found in Department files.