The Special Mission at Lausanne to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:55 p.m.]
- The Turks favor resumption of consular and diplomatic relations with the United States.
- They maintain that since abrogation of the capitulations no consular conventions have been concluded which still remain valid, inasmuch as under the Treaty of Versailles the German conventions of 1917 were denounced. Any convention which they make with us, therefore, must provide in detail for consular functions.
- They propose that rights of nationals of one country residing
in territory of the other be defined by convention.
- They do not favor our adhering to the convention between the Allies and Turkey, nor our signing an identic convention, but would prefer to come to a separate agreement with us.
- They desire that the convention shall respect the principle of equal treatment for Turks and Americans. The United States will receive the benefit of such exceptions to this rule as are to be embodied in conventions with the Allies, as for instance the right of persons already established in Turkey to continue the practice of their professions and also the right of special jurisdiction in questions of personal status.
- The Turks are unwilling, therefore, to assent to a most-favored-nation clause in the new treaties, as under the above principle it would have no significance. (But see draft of trade convention, article VII.53)
- On this point they will expect reciprocal engagements from the United States.
- Trade agreement:
- Our adherence to trade agreement of the Allied Powers is not apparently what the Turks wish for. They admit that here in Lausanne they may not be able to conclude a trade agreement with the United States as the issues are involved and time is too short for full discussions. But in principle they are ready to negotiate.
- It is the plan of the Angora Government to frame special conventions with individual powers granting special customs rates. The [Page 1062] general rates will apply to all countries which have not concluded these special conventions.
- The treaty of 1830 with the United States54 is regarded as cancelled. The Turkish argument seems to be that the pre-war treaties, which were all capitulatory, were made void on the abolition of the capitulations.
- The Turks are unwilling to admit into their convention with us any mention of American missions and schools. But they are prepared to make a declaration similar to the one offered to the Allies.
- They are willing to give consideration to the question of naturalization, although they had not supposed the treaty would deal with that subject.
- The Turks maintain that there can have been no instance of injury to American property in Turkey during the war, and therefore no claim against the Turkish Government, since on the rupture of diplomatic relations the authorities had directed that American property was not to be touched. The proper Turkish authorities will deal with claims for requisitioned property when receipts are presented. Apparently the Turks will not reject claims which have a sound basis in international law, and they advise that such claims be negotiated either through regular diplomatic channels or directly by the claimants.
- The Turks are unwilling to admit into the treaty any reference to the Open Door, or to bind themselves by a declaration to respect the principle of equality of commercial opportunity. In the view of Mustapha Cherif Bey it is to the Allies that we should make representations on this score, and he expressed surprise that, considering the Chester concession, we had brought the subject up at all.
- The Turks are willing to permit consuls to attend as observers any public trial, but they refuse to make express promises in the treaty even in terms of reciprocity.
- There seems little doubt that we can agree with the Turks regarding patents, trade marks, and so forth, as these are matters of detail.
- The regulation of succession to property will receive proper attention in the treaty.
- The right of Americans charged with crime to be tried only before tribunals in the principal cities will not be admitted.
- A fundamental condition of negotiation must be an express recognition of the abolition of the capitulations.
Toward the end of the conversation we promised to supply the Turkish expert with a memorandum of our discussion, and the various subjects are to be examined further by both sides and to be discussed again in a few days.